How Normative Multiculturalism affects Immigrant Wellbeing


Objectives: In this study we examine the relationship between contextual factors, that is, perceived multicultural norms, and immigrant well-being. Specifically, we test a model whereby each of the three dimensions of normative multiculturalism, perceived Multicultural Ideology, Multicultural Policies and Practices, and Multicultural Contact, positively predicts immigrant well-being both directly and indirectly via belongingness. Method: Korean immigrants in New Zealand (N = 306, 56% female) participated in the research. Their average age was 31.17 (SD = 10.46), and the average length of residence was 10.04 years (SD = 7.21). Participants completed a survey that included the Normative Multiculturalism Scale along with measures of belonging and well-being (flourishing, life satisfaction, and positive affect). Results: Structural equation modelling showed that perceived normative Multicultural Policies and Practices exerted a direct positive effect on well-being and an indirect positive effect via belongingness; Multicultural Ideology exerted only an indirect effect; and Multicultural Contact did not significantly relate to belongingness or subjective well-being. Implications: The results are discussed in terms of everyday experiences of intercultural encounters, social norms and the contextual influences of diversity climates, as well as the importance of distinguishing the defining features of multiculturalism in diversity science research. We also propose that multicultural norm setting, and norms marketing may lead to positive social and psychological outcomes for immigrants.

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology