Emerging Issues in Multicultural Psychology


Multicultural psychology can be defined as “…the systematic study of all aspects of human behavior as it occurs in settings where people of different cultural backgrounds encounter each other” (Grasha, 1997, p.16). This field also referred to as systematic science, involves a lot of research, analysis, and investigations on the different aspects of behavior that people portray in various settings involving interaction between people of very diverse and distinct cultural backgrounds. Currently, Grasha (1997) points out, “This field has become one of the main areas in psychology providing supplement for other fields such as behaviorism psychology, psychodynamics psychology, and humanistic psychology” (p. 22). Worth noting is that cultures have different structures as well as behavior and have gone a step of introducing theories about these structures, which in turn have assisted this field largely in its endeavor to find out the prevailing cultural differences and similarities. More so, there is a pronounced emigration depicted by people in the current world, fuelled by the uprising globalization, resulting in an increased rate of interaction among people of diverse cultural settings. As Nancy (1997) unfolds, “Multicultural psychology is generally interested in unveiling what really happens when different people from various cultural backgrounds come together and interact and explores diverse topics among them: stereotyping, prejudices and biases, racism, segregation, differences in people’s opinions and perceptions, differences in communication means…” (p.45). There have emerged many issues in multicultural psychology mainly contributed by the clash between different cultures. For instance, racism is among them.

Emerging Issues

Racism is a phenomenon, which involves beliefs that there exist racial differences and is mostly characterized by racial discrimination, hatred, violence, oppression, dislikes, segregations, and dehumanization of different people by another race. Racism is founded on the notion a particular racial group is mediocre or even more powerful than the other, and thus calling for isolation based on the differences. Racism exists in many forms such as racial discrimination, which involves treating people in a different and discriminative way through social division. Institutional racism also referred to as systematic racism involves racial segregation and discrimination by corporations, educational institutions, governments, religions, and other organizations. Economic disparity, which involves discrimination in economic policies and benefits such as in the allocation of loans and grants, is also another form of racism.

In addition, Constant portrayals and the advertising of different ethnic groups in specific ways have also affected the world population to great extent. As a result, the issue that has emerged is the crisis in cultural identity aspects. When people from different cultures interact, there is a lot of exchange and fusion of different cultural features resulting into alteration of the culture beliefs. All these issues have many impacts on the society both positive and negative. Hatred is among the impacts.


Racism breeds a lot of hatred between people from different races due to discriminations and oppressions posed by people who believe and practice racism. This has resulted into many social crimes because of anger generated by the hatred leading to a lot of violence. In addition, self-hatred among the society members exposed to racism is rampant and results into deadly repercussions to the involved individuals where they tend to have low self-esteem thus unable to mingle with the other people and to carry out their daily activities. Depressions too are also common because of racism and cultural changes, as the affected society members find it difficult to cope with the effects of these issues and the changes involved. Bullying is also common in a society affected by these issues. It instills fear and a lot of hatred between the society members resulting into such conditions as low self-esteem, inferiority complex and agoraphobia, which is the fear of affected individuals attending or going to public functions and places.

Crimes are also on rise in the societies affected by the racism as the disillusioned and depressed people use guns and knives to commit crimes resulting into many injuries and even deaths. Much segregation also occur as a result of these emerging issues resulting into a lot of fear of all racial stereotypes forcing some society groups to isolate themselves from other groups. Racism denies many people opportunities available in the society resulting into economic difficulties and disparities among the affected people leading to poverty. Injustice cases are also common leading into dehumanization of the society members making them disillusioned and depressed thus unable to perform their duties as expected. Risk of a lot of social unrest is also eminent because of the racism and other issues.

Cultural diversity in the current world has brought many competitive advantages to many sectors especially “… through innovation which have come as a result of integration of the diverse cultural perspectives (Nancy 1997, p.74). However, there are many challenges related the diversity especially in the communication between culturally diverse individuals or groups and hence a dire need to address this issue. These issues have a lot of impact on the interaction between people of different cultural backgrounds. There will be a lack of free mixing of people.


Racism will make interactions among the different members of a multi-racial society very difficult, as there will be a pronounced hatred, injustice, and discriminations and thus the people will not be able to interact freely. The diverse society groups will fail to have common grounds in communication, as one group will regard itself as superior than the other thus despising and disregarding the other group resulting in breakdown in all communication means. On the other hand, proper mingling between different people as they work together will improve their interaction largely.

References List

Grasha, A. (1997). Practical Applications of Psychology. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Print.

Nancy, J. (1997). International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. Cincinnati: South Western Publishers. Print.