According to the American Psychological Association (APA), multicultural psychology allows us to identify and respond to different needs for particular individuals and groups historically marginalized or disenfranchised within and by psychology based on their ethnic/racial heritage and social group identity or membership.
What is the significance of multicultural psychology?
The impact of multicultural psychology is huge. It helps us to stop attempting to apply a one-size fit all blanket solution to the challenges and ills we face in society. It allows us to understand that cultural differences actually can and do make a difference in how individuals perceive and respond to information and events. We can no longer make the easy assumption that we all think and behave identically; it forces us to have a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation for gender, cultural, class, racial and ethnic differences. The study of multicultural psychology opens our eyes, allowing us to understand the contributions of racial, cultural and economic groups in our society. We can also recognize and most importantly address biases, prejudices, and discrimination. Organizations that study and apply multicultural psychology concepts can immediately see their return on investment if they create a workplace environment which facilitates the positive self-image of all people regardless of background. Schools, for example, who implement multicultural, gender fair, disability sensitive, inclusive approaches, may realize improved grades, behavior and morale from its students.