Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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How should public policies respond to the dynamics of the multicultural setting? This chapter illustrates how cross-cultural psychology was used to provide tangible intellectual support to help develop and frame a policy response in the multicultural setting. Over the past twenty years, New Zealand has changed from a bicultural to multicultural society competing in the global economy. This chapter identifies policy issues and challenges the transition to a diverse, multicultural society has created, the type of response that was developed and its outcome. These are informed by the author’s personal reflections in developing and promoting Ethnic Perspectives in Policy, a government policy framework and resource guide for public servants. A survey of all departments after two years has indicated that Ethnic Perspectives in Policy affected positive institutional change and provided an impetus to develop more specific policies to address the intercultural setting. The potential for further applied research is discussed in the context of contemporary social policy issues related to settlement, social cohesion and national identity.

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