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A Coherence of Identities or an Identity of Coherence?: A Review of the Recent Discussion on Well-Being, Social Identities and Integration in a Multicultural Context
University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture, Divison for Health, Culture and Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0535-2059
2015 (English)In: Building Barriers and Bridges: Interculturalism in the 21st Century / [ed] Gourlay, Jonathan & Strohschen,Gabriele, Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2015, 1, p. 11-19Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A principal element in the process of integration is identity. The ability of immigrants to integrate the cultural identity of their country of origin and the cultural identity of their new country to form a coherent self-concept has been found to be positively related to various forms of psychological well-being. But there is a lack of consensus among researchers regarding the optimal integrated identity structure. While supporters of the acculturative approach argue that a strong identification to both the original and the new groups maximizes well-being,others insist more on the importance of maintaining a coherent identity, regardless of the strength of identification and regardless of the number of social identities.As most researchers in the health oriented debate on identity have focused on abicultural context, knowledge of the identity structure that promotes well-being in a multicultural surrounding is limited. The identity politics dominating mainstream multicultural discourses are theoretically grounded on the idea that humans have essential, unchanging cores that are fully formed and integrated. Within this paradigm, groups are identified by characteristics that are understood as inherently distinctive. Therefore in order to understand the process by which social identities become integrated into a concept of self an intercultural approach of the understanding of social identities and well-being is suggested. The aim of this chapter is to review the debate on the concept of coherence in relation to identity and well-being in a multicultural context and to investigate whether identity based coherence is challenged or promoted by an intercultural approach of understanding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2015, 1. p. 11-19
Keywords [en]
Acculturation, sense of coherence, identity, multicultural society, wellbeing
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Social Psychology
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Sociology; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-7431ISBN: 978-1-84888-325-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-7431DiVA, id: diva2:796006
Available from: 2015-03-17 Created: 2015-03-12 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Hassler, Sven

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