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Log In Sign Up. The assertiveness in the process of transformation of identity in multicultural marriages. Ewa Sowa-Behtane. Assertiveness is a necessary skill, especially when marriages come from people whose expectations may differ significant- ly in many spheres of marital life due to their cultural identity.

K e y w o r d s : assertiveness, cultural identity, identity transformation, multi- cultural marriages. Accordingly, couples of mixed cultures are increasingly becoming a subject of scientific research. When people from separate cultures join together to make a couple, it is very important to preserve their own cultural identity. In young multicultural marriages, identity begins transformation, which lasts until the end of the marriage.

At this time, they determine the fol- lowing: marital topics; marital roles and responsibilities; compliance with the matrimonial identities; strategies that regulate distance with family, friends or work; strategies regarding internal borders between spouses; household and financial management strategies; strategies for achieving sexual satisfaction and strategies for managing a potential conflict. The assertiveness is helpful in this situation. Cultural identity is currently a very current research topic.

Identity is a social category understood in general terms as show- ing to other individuals and to we ourselves an identity; that is, iden- tifying with some elements of social reality, as well as enabling others to identify them2. The personality of each individual is shaped in a small, local, family-neighborly community. Before we achieve a sense of belonging to a larger cultural group, such as an ethnic, racial or na- tional group, we identify with our closest surroundings — with family, relatives and neighbors.

We accept as our own dominant set of symbols trans- mitted by the family environment. Internalisation of norms and sym- bols forms our worldviews. Therefore we will distinguish individual and collective identity. Rozmowy z Benedetto Vecchi, transl. Olechnicki, P. Staszczak, Warsaw—Poznan , p.

Formation of identity is made today not on the basis of some own, homogeneous, native culture, but instead due to the mixing of the influence of many cultures whose provenance at some point becomes impossible to trace. Referring to the typology of socio-cultural identity, we can state that we have found ourselves on the level of the global identity of humanity.

It is difficult to talk about national identities German, Polish, etc. Civilisations, in turn, are an intermediate state leading to the disseminating and universalisation of world identity to all humanity producing transcultural identity. With this theoretical approach, the cultural identity of children functioning in multicultural families can be considered. From birth, these units are in a situation that can be defined by a kind of border- land, which can contribute to the emergence of new types of cultural identities7.

It seems that people of such a heterogeneous national ori- gin who had contact with the cultures of both parents, are a leaven of new awareness to the extent that, for them, national identity will, in the overall structure of individual identity, eventuallly lose its mean- ing8. As Tadeusz Paleczny writes, in a culturally mixed environment, in which there is a clear tendency to combine, synthesise and create a new, wider group identity of the cultural whole, the chance of cross- ing religious, linguistic or racial barriers increases.

It is a long-lasting process, encompassing various variants of mutual adaptation, accultur- 6 W. Welsch, Transculturalism. A new concept of culture, In: Philosophical con- texts of the concept of transversal reason. Around the concept of Wolfgang Welsch, edited by R.

It is not only among children from culturally mixed families, but also among multicultural marriages, that the boundaries between eth- nic, national, racial and civilisational identity are blurred. Types of functioning for members of multicultural marriages Referring to the two theories of shaping cultural identities presented above, i. Observer or participant. Paleczny, op. Distance or commitment.

Approaching from a dis- tance is not entering into a relationship of sympathy or fascination with the culture of a partner, keeping an appropriate distance. Behavioural sphere or mental sphere. The degree of cultural diversity determines the number of problems occurring between part- ners. Differences in nationality, religion, language and culture can af- fect marriage both negatively and positively The result is conditioned by many factors, but in this article, we will focus on the acceptance of a different partner culture.

Assertiveness Assertiveness is a skill that is a condition for mature and effective com- munication. The term means the ability of a person to honestly, sus- tainably and accurately express their own thoughts, beliefs, experienc- 12 Ibid.

Sowa-Behtane, Rodziny wielokulturowe, Cracow , p. Assertiveness is an attitude that preserves and maintains the dignity of all participants of interpersonal contacts in social situations The situation in which someone expects others to guess what he or she is experiencing leads to misunderstandings, conflicts and disap- pointments.

For this reason, assertiveness is a prerequisite for building clear and transparent interpersonal relationships. It is a tool for a good information flow between interlocutors. The test of assertiveness is the ability to defend your own righteous rights and your own identity, while respecting the legitimate rights and identities of other people. Marek Dziewiecki lists the following principles of assertion inform- ing interlocutors about ourselves 14 M.

Scenariusz i wywiad, Warsaw , p. Then the listener will be easier to understand and respect our subjective way of looking and feeling; 3. It is therefore necessary to formulate state- ments about the subject, so that it is obvious to the listener that I am talking about my ways of thinking and experiencing and that I take responsibility for them.

The issue of assertiveness is usually considered in ten aspects. Assertiveness in marriage The reality of marriage potentially involves the emergence of various conflicts that may happen when the wishes and expectations of one spouse are incompatible with those of the partner. The source of con- flict is often stress, which can arise inside, but also outside the family.

Stress within the family can be caused by developmental changes or other internal changes in the spouse e. Multicultural marriages are additionally burdened due to cultural differences. In young multicultural marriages, identity 19 M. Kornaszewska, op. Plopa, J. Research methods, ed. Plopa, Cracow , p. To do this, they must combine herit- age and themes from their generational families. Each new mar- ried couple must develop marital and family themes that reflect the various ways of representing themselves outside the commu- nity.

By adopting topics of the generational family, people who create a new relationship often express their willingness to identify with the experiences of the former family in the form of cultivating the same holidays, customs, traditions, values, divi- sion of roles, etc. In general, they will be more willing to use these family themes in their marriages that relate to a sense of happi- ness. When de- termining marital topics, the ability to behave assertively will be a condition for mature and effective communication in this area.

Being that the experi- ences of man and woman from culturally different generational families are different, there is a high probability that the spous- es will have different ideas about their marital roles To ensure compliance and compromise in this matter, one should be asser- tive and negotiate his marriage roles until a common consensus is found. It can be predicted that, for example, a man professing Islam will not be interested in attending church ser- vices with his Catholic wife.

Assertiveness in this situation should consist in honestly expressing his own thoughts and beliefs, while granting the right to the same to his spouse. Strat- egies that the couple determines to regulate its external bound- aries are influenced by two factors: boundary rules that exist in the generational family of each partner and the level of the pro- cess of individuation and separation from the generational family of each partner.

For example, a family of English origin emphasis- ing personal space and privacy will probably expect a newly sep- arated marriage from a newly born marriage. The situation will be different if one or two of the spouses come from, for exam- ple, a Pakistani family, which assumes maintaining closeness and even interference in the relationship. Determining the external boundaries will help foster an assertive attitude through which the spouses can determine the expectations of visits to parents, sharing dinner together, the frequency of telephone conversations and the degree of initiation into intimate matters of marriage, etc.

These boundaries must allow each of the spouses to express their in- dividuality and the possibility of realising themselves in a rela- tionship. Setting internal boundaries should be strengthened by openness in clearly communicating the emotional needs of a per- son and the willingness of both partners to negotiate a balance in meeting these needs.

A spouse who has more per- sonal resources and who is less dependent on the relationship, usually seeks to have more power in it and to delegate duties with a lower statute for a spouse. A culturally patriarchal sys- tem e. The other factors creating the allocation of duties in the household are earlier gender socialisation, expecta- tions for a relationship, a subjective sense of expertness in per- forming marital roles. The adequacy of these strategies is reflect- ed in the level of satisfaction of the spouses, due to their use.

It consists in developing a prop- er relationship to the funds and bank accounts, and responsibility for the way of use financial resources. The problem may be more difficult if the spouses bring unequal financial resources to the union. In marriages in which partners have significant differenc- es in personal or financial resources, an assertive attitude is par- ticularly important, which maintains and maintains the dignity of all participants of interpersonal contacts, including those who have less.

The sexual script has to be negotiated because the spouses can differently perceive the motives of having sex or interpret differently the needs and ex- pectations of the partner in this regard. Some couples, fear- ing marital conflicts, are looking for ways to avoid them. Other couples accept the inevitable conflicts and develop strategies to deal with them. These strategies include an open discussion about the conflict and assume negotiations. Conflict in rela- tionships is inevitable.

Assertiveness can be used to facilitate the expression of feelings, both positive and negative. Assertiveness supports the adoption of spe- 25 Ibid. This analysis also confirms the hypothesis that a high level of assertiveness of the respondents positively influences and builds fa- vourably on their marital relationship. The results of the study clear- ly showed that the acceptance of the assertive attitude by the spouses causes the emergence of permanent, strong and happy bonds between them.

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T oday, in the era of post-modernity, the ethnically, racially, religiously, culturally or nationally mixed marriages are more and more frequent phenomenon, contributing to the emergence of new types of cultural identity. Nationally mixed marriages binational define a new cultural quality when they do not concern only individuals, but when they become a phenomenon which is statistically frequent, and even dominant in a broader social context. The aim of the current project is an academic description of binational marriages which have been concluded by spouses from different nationalities, and thus characterized by different culture, tradition, mother tongue, and often religion and race, one of them being the representative of Polish culture. Alupoacei, M. Your intercultural marriage. A guide to a healthy, happy relationship.


Binational marriages in Europe

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Interpersonalne stosunki międzykulturowe

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