2021AwardWinnersAs “a professional inter-disciplinary organization dedicated to the under-standing and improvement of intercultural relations through world-class social science research” it is our privilege and responsibility to honor and celebrate those who lead the way in intercultural research.

Each two-year cycle, top candidates are nominated in four award categories and award recipients are invited to present their work at the IAIR biennial conference. Though the pandemic led us to postpone the Rapperswil, Switzerland conference (Preconference 23-24 July, Presentation sessions 25-28 July 2022), we have arranged for each of this year’s award recipients to present during the Webinar! Please note the talks and times of those that you want to hear and register!


Jonas R. Kunst, PhD, University of Oslo, Norway

Recipient of the 2021 Rapperswil, Switzerland IAIR Early-Career Award

Transformative and Disruptive Developments in Acculturation Psychology

Abstract: Presenting some of my most recent work, this talk will focus on two major issues. The first issue deals with the topic of majority-group acculturation. Whereas acculturation is commonly defined as a process of mutual accommodation, we know very little about cultural changes among majority-group members. This lack of research is particularly striking as a larger number of individuals formerly belonging to the historical majority group now live in environments in which they form a minority group. In the talk, I will give an overview of findings from a recent line of research, focusing on how and when majority-group members acculturate. I will finish with a conceptual model to study majority-group acculturation in the future. The second part of my talk will focus on potentially disruptive findings on the link between acculturation and adaptation based on a project recently conducted with Dr. Kinga Bierwiaczonek. Specifically, through a re-analysis of a previous and much-cited correlational meta-analysis (k = 83, N = 23,197) and a new longitudinal meta-analysis (k = 19, N = 6,791), I will show that acculturation seems to play a much smaller role for adaptation than commonly is assumed, with most longitudinal effects approaching zero. I will discuss consequences for the field and suggest ways of moving forward.


Dr. Ágnes Szabó, PhD, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Recipient of the 2019 Shanghai, China IAIR Early-Career Award

Growing Old in an Adopted Land

Abstract: Growing old involves complex developmental and social changes for all individuals. However, navigating the ageing process can be especially challenging for migrants because of their dual cultural and transnational contexts that often present contradictory expectations. In the Western, individualistic world, health and independence are the yardsticks by which successful ageing is measured. Collectivistic societies value harmonious relationships, and indigenous communities further emphasises multi-generational reciprocity. Based on these broad cultural values, communities and societies ascribe specific roles to older adults and deem particular behaviours as desirable, and others as inappropriate. This puts migrants in a challenging position as they live at the intersection of multiple cultures and societies. They follow (at least) two different scripts: one that delineates the expectations of their host society and one that they internalised growing up in their home country and is reinforced by members of their cultural community. In this talk, I will discuss findings from a focus group study investigatingwhat it means to age well for migrants and how they achieve it. Over 70 older adults (aged 65-89 years old) from six migrant communities in Aotearoa New Zealand (Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan, Samoan, South African and British) were interviewed. Preliminary findings suggest that for migrants, ageing well may be more than maintaining health, remaining independent, having strong family ties, or community involvement; it lies in the ability to negotiate demands and expectations of multiple cultures effectively throughout the lifespan.


Miriam Schwarzenthal, PhD, University of Potsdam, Germany 

Recipient of the 2021 Rae and Dr. Dan Landis Outstanding Dissertation Award

Intercultural Competence and Critical Consciousness Among Adolescents Attending Culturally Diverse Schools in Germany

Abstract: Politicians and educators propose that adolescents growing up in increasingly globalized societies need to develop intercultural competence. In my dissertation, I investigated the conditions under which students attending culturally diverse schools develop intercultural competence. Specifically, I (1) developed a new, multimodal measure of intercultural competence that comprises a self-report questionnaire and situational judgment tests, (2) examined how intercultural competence is related to age and developmental processes, (3) examined how the classroom cultural diversity climate as well as intercultural friendships may contribute to adolescents’ intercultural competence, and (4) explored how students’ immigrant background and cultural self-identification affect intercultural learning processes.

Overall, the dissertation comprises five empirical studies, drawing on three datasets including overall 3.941 6th to 10th graders in schools in different regions in Germany. My findings show that cultural diversity in schools is a resource and, under certain conditions, can foster important skills that adolescents need in increasingly diverse societies. However, cultural diversity typically goes along with social inequity, which is often neglected in models of intercultural learning. Therefore, I will also give a brief outlook into my post-doctoral research, in which I am studying how adolescents develop critical consciousness, i.e., how they come to learn and address social inequity.


2021 IAIR Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA):

Jan-Pieter van Oudenhoven, PhD 

Abstract: Dr. van Oudenhovenhas been a formative scholar in the field of intercultural studies and acculturation psychology.  His contributions to IAIR as president, associate editor of the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, and organization of IAIR’s Groningen conference in 2007, demonstrate his extraordinary service to the Academy.Dr. van Oudenhoven’s scientific work is characterized by a highly creative selection of topics that link his own field of cross-cultural psychology with the humanities and language sciences. Examples are his research on virtues across cultural groups, or his publications on swear words in different cultures.Also well-known is the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire (MPQ), that he developed together with his wife, Dr. Karen van der Zee, which has been identified as one of the most robust instruments for assessing multicultural personality, and intercultural competence in general. In an influential paper together with Dr. Colleen Ward, Dr. van Oudenhoven argues that developments in current societies (the growing importance of transnational relations, a diminishing size of native majority groups in big cities, and greater acceptance of what is referred to as “global culture”) increases the importance of competency models over traditional models of acculturation. Hence acculturation is no longer the process of migrants adjusting to a new cultural environment but has become the dynamic process that occurs in daily encounters between representatives of different cultural groups.


2021 IAIR Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA):

Colleen Ward, PhD, FRSNZ, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

What do we know about Cultural Identity Styles?

Abstract: This presentation provides a brief overview of our recent line of research on Cultural Identity Styles, the cognitive and behavioral strategies that individuals use to manage multiple cultural identities. Distinctions are made between the Hybrid Identity Style (HIS), which involves choosing desirable aspects of more than one culture and blending them together in a unique way, and the Alternating Identity Styles (AIS), which involves changing cultural identities depending on the context.  Importantly, these Cultural Identity Styles are conceptually and empirically differentiated from Bicultural Identity Integration as demonstrated by confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory structural equation modelling. Then, drawing on data from New Zealand, Mauritius, Canada, the United States and Israel, I describe: (1) how Cultural Identity Styles vary as a function of demographic factors;  (2) the relationship between HIS and AIS; (3) a person-centered approach to Cultural Identity Styles using latent profile analysis; (4) the antecedents of Cultural Identity Styles, including both individual differences and contextual factors; (5) the outcomes of HIS and AIS  in relation to consolidated and conflictual cultural identities and psychological wellbeing; and (6)  the conditions under which AIS may be adaptive.  Finally, directions for future research are suggested.


William B. Gudykunst Outstanding Book Award recipients

Dan Landis and Dharm Bhawuk

for their edited volume,

the Cambridge Handbook of Intercultural Training (4th ed)

Abstract: This 2020 edition offers authoritative chapters focusing on the (I) Theoretical foundations of Intercultural Training; (II) Practice of Intercultural Training, (III) Indigenous Psychology and Intercultural Training, (IV) New Interdisciplinary approaches to Intercultural Training, and a concluding chapter on (V) Intercultural Training for the New Global Village: Future Research Directions. Its 757 pages and 25 chapters cover culture-general as well as culture-specific issues of intercultural training related to the past, present and future, and were written by experts from the fields of Psychology, Education, Business, and Communication as well as by experienced practitioners. As with previous editions, this Handbook is destined to be a ready reference used by scholars, educators, graduate students, practitioners, and others interested in these in researching, educating, and preparing individuals for understanding and interacting effectively with persons from different cultures, a vitally important global orientation.