Early Interculturation, Late Interculturation – Does It Make a Difference in Our Memories?

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
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  • 1 Intercultural and Pathological Clinics Laboratory (LCPI - EA4591), University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, Toulouse, France
  • 2 Intercultural and Pathological Clinics Laboratory (LCPI - EA4591), University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, Toulouse, France

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Abstract

Our research is in the perspective of intercultural psychology and addresses the question of memories an intercultural situation leaves for individuals who experience it during their life. More precisely, it is through the autobiographical memory that our research analyzes the articulation between identity and memory processes in relation to a life experience in an intercultural situation, whether it is a life in a multicultural environment, a migration towards a new cultural environment, a plurality of cultural affiliations or many other configurations that the present world is filled with and for which the cultures contact is put in the foreground.

The autobiographical memory retains representations of our past and plays a fundamental role in building a sense of identity and continuity of existence. Our article presents results from an analysis based on the life stories of 5 elderly subjects who had intercultural experiences. It would seem that early intercultural experience directs life discourse towards a principle of coherence in autobiographical memory, emphasizing what the participant was rather than what he achieved. On the other hand, Late intercultural experience orients it to a correspondence principle in autobiographical memory, attaching to actions and temporality of life experience and highlighting achievements rather than individuals self perception.

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