Acculturation as a Transition: Mutual Insights for Career Transition and Acculturation Research in Sport Psychology

Natalia Stambulova, Halmstad University, Sweden

Theme: Social and cultural diversity

Program ID: SYM-08

Presentation: October 3, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Elmwood


This presentation encompasses three points of discussion: (1) characterization of acculturation of immigrant athletes in cultural sport psychology literature, (2) description of the acculturation process based on the approaches developed in career transition research, and (3) some ways athletes’ acculturation and transition research might be integrated to deepen our understanding of immigrant athletes’ transition experiences. In cultural sport psychology immigrant athletes’ experiences are described in terms of adaptation process, acculturation-enculturation continuum, and dealing with relocation and cross-cultural stressors, that are driven by five core motives, such as understanding, control, self-enhancement, belonging and trusting, shared with other people involved and result in promotion or demotion as acculturation outcomes (e.g., Battochio, Schinke, McGannon, Tenenbaum, Yukelson, & Crowder, 2013; Fiske, 2004; Kontos, 2009; Shinke, Cummings, & Bonhomme, 2013). In the career transition area, cultural transition research is a recent development within the cultural praxis of athletes’ careers paradigm (Stambulova & Ryba, 2013). Based on approaches developed in career transition research, a cultural transition can be considered as a process characterized by transition demands, interactions of internal and external resources and barriers, coping strategies, primary (successful vs. crisis), and secondary (delayed successful vs. negative consequences) transition outcomes (e.g., Stambulova, 2003, 2010; Taylor & Ogilvie, 1994) and expected to be studied using the holistic lifespan (Wylleman & Lavallee, 2004; Wylleman & Reints, 2010) and the holistic ecological (Henriksen, 2010) perspectives. To improve mutual understanding and cooperation, cultural sport psychology and transition researchers might consider several integration strategies, such as negotiating common terminology relevant to the acculturation/cultural transition, deciding on the best way to describe cultural contexts (home-host), as well as considering the complementarity of the holistic lifespan perspective and the five core motives in cultural adaptation frameworks, including their relevance to applied work with immigrant athletes, to name a few.

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