Interculturalism as a strategy to manage diversity: Moving psychological research beyond colorblindness and multiculturalism

Kumar Yogeeswaran*, Jessica Gale, Maykel Verkuyten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The 21st century has highlighted major dilemmas on how to best manage diversity in our increasingly plural societies. Various strategies for managing diversity have been promoted to address this challenge including assimilation, colorblindness, and multiculturalism. However, empirical evidence has revealed that each poses weaknesses for intergroup relations. As a result, policy-makers and political theorists have promoted interculturalism as an alternate strategy that addresses new and emerging realities revolving around superdiversity, cultural fusions, and mixed forms of identity. In the current paper, we explore interculturalism as a pro-diversity ideology that takes a more dynamic view of cultural identity where individuals belonging to different social groups are supported to interact and influence each other leading to new and complex self-understandings. We consider the meaning and conceptualization of interculturalism, its psychological correlates, its implications for intergroup relations, and how minority group members perceive interculturalism. Given that empirical research on interculturalism is in its infancy, we further consider gaps in our understanding of the topic and suggest avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12640
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • colorblindness
  • diversity
  • interculturalism
  • intergroup relations
  • multiculturalism


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