Discover more about the research program.
March 2020 – March 2025
International migration has often been referred to as one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Numbers of immigrants have been increasing, but social integration of migrants and their children is lagging at the detriment of immigrant minorities themselves and often resulting in conflict within receiving societies.
EmotionAcculturation investigates the role of emotions, as key processes of interaction, for immigrant minorities’ social inclusion, and their wellbeing. It builds on research showing that, in each culture, emotions are socialized to fit the most valued kinds of relationships, and that the prevalent emotions, therefore, vary across different cultures.
We pose that a misfit of the emotions of immigrant minorities with the typical majority emotions compromises interactions, and that this will hamper their social integration, and therefore their opportunities in the larger society.
We study how and when emotional acculturation forms an important gateway to the social inclusion and wellbeing of immigrant minority individuals.
The project is organized around three objectives:
1) the nature of emotional acculturation,
2) its conditions
3) its outcomes.
In order to answer these questions, we collect new and innovative data through several studies.
October 2020 – June 2024
Newcomers study is a three-wave longitudinal study (each wave separated by one year) among immigrants during their first three years in the new culture, which is a very dynamic phase that may determine long-term social inclusion. Newcomers will have been in the country for less than 5 years. The Newcomers’ Study will include 400 newcomers from Muslim countries (Turkish, Morrocan, and Algerian) to Belgium and 400 Central-American newcomers to Southern California. It also includes 200 majority members (N = 200 majority Belgians and N = 200 European Americans) who will serve as the standards of fit.
October 2021 – April 2022
The Daily Diary School study involves 200 Turkish/Moroccan-Belgian students and 100 of their majority Belgian class mates from ethnically diverse secondary schools in Flanders. They report their emotions during a seven-day period. This study allows us to systematically test the prediction that the minority students will have different emotions when they are in majority than in minority contexts, and that the level of fit with majority emotions varies by context.
September 2022 – December 2022