I think it’s possible to be bicultural, yet monolingual, and still experience an unconscious personality shift when moving between the two cultures.

Are you a different person when you speak a different language?

People who are bicultural and speak two languages may actually shift their personalities when they switch from one language to another, according to new research in the Journal of Consumer Research.

“Language can be a cue that activates different culture-specific frames,” write David Luna (Baruch College), Torsten Ringberg, and Laura A. Peracchio (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).

The authors studied groups of Hispanic women, all of whom were bilingual, but with varying degrees of cultural identification. They found significant levels of “frame-shifting” (changes in self perception) in bicultural participants-those who participate in both Latino and Anglo culture. While frame-shifting has been studied before, the new research found that biculturals switched frames more quickly and easily than bilingual monoculturals.

The authors found that the women classified themselves as more assertive when they spoke Spanish than when they spoke English. They also had significantly different perceptions of women in ads when the ads were in Spanish versus English. “In the Spanish-language sessions, informants perceived females as more self-sufficient and extroverted,” write the authors.

In one of the studies, a group of bilingual U.S. Hispanic women viewed ads that featured women in different scenarios. The participants saw the ads in one language (English or Spanish) and then, six months later, they viewed the same ads in the other language. Their perceptions of themselves and the women in the ads shifted depending on the language. “One respondent, for example, saw an ad’s main character as a risk-taking, independent woman in the Spanish version of the ad, but as a hopeless, lonely, confused woman in the English version,” write the authors.

The shift in perception seems to happen unconsciously, and may have broad implications for consumer behavior and political choices among biculturals.

David Luna, Torsten Ringberg, and Laura A. Peracchio. “One Individual, Two Identities: Frame-Switching Among Biculturals” Journal of Consumer Research: August 2008.


how do you think?


This is so ridiculous I don’t even know what to say about it.  Other than, I’m actually glad he said it because I know he isn’t alone in holding this backwards, racist belief.  That’s how he thinks like everyone else, actually.  Well, not everyone thank God, but you know…  Most people wouldn’t admit it though.  Or maybe it’s so subconscious that they aren’t aware of it.  Either way, or whatever, it’s so perverse!!

Manuel Miranda: Latinos are ‘not like African-Americans. We think just like everybody else.’

Manuel Miranda, who was busted for hacking into the files of Senate Democrats while he served as an aide to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), is leading the conservative charge against Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court. At a Heritage Foundation lunch for conservative bloggers today, Miranda discussed how conservatives could attack Sotomayor’s qualifications without alienating the Latino community. Miranda, who is Latino himself, argued that Latinos had concerns similar to those of “everyone else,” but then appeared to suggest that African-Americans somehow think differently from other people. Latinos are “not like African-Americans. We think just like everybody else”:

Hispanic polls, Hispanic surveys, indicate that Hispanics think just like everyone else. We’re not like African-Americans. We think just like everybody else. When I was on the leader’s staff, someone called me once and asked me: ‘What’s Senator Frist’s Hispanic agenda?’ I said, ‘low taxes, better education, more jobs … what are you talking about?’ And that’s how Hispanics are. This is an opportunity to educate them on all of our issues and they will resonate in the way that they resonate with everyone else.



no wonder i loved wonder woman


Legend has it that I became the youngest fan of Wonder Woman when at the age of 24 hours my eyes were glued to the tv in the hospital room whenever Diana, Princess of the Amazon appeared.  I must have known she was a kindred biracial spirit.  Only I didn’t know she was biracial until my 31st birthday when I was taken to see Lynda Carter’s cabaret show at Feinstein’s at the Regency in NYC.  It was great!  She talked about her Mexican mom.  She sang.  Really well.  I loved it! Cornel West was there. He loved it too.


Carter was born Linda Jean Córdova Carter in Phoenix, Arizona. Her father, Colby Carter is an Irish American, and her mother, Juana Córdova, is of Mexican ancestry.

wonder woman in mirrors

wonder woman

HOLLYWOOD (By Sandra Marquez) August 23, 2007 — 

Born to a Mexican-American mother and an Anglo father in Miami, Arizona, Linda Jean Córdova Carter grew up to become one of America’s most iconic figures: Wonder Woman. In many ways, the actress who became known as Lynda Carter on the hit 1970s entertainment series was a mirror. To young Latinas in the know—such as Constance Marie of The George López Show — she was a role model. Many others had no idea that Carter was Mexican American. But she became a universal figure for her portrayal of Wonder Woman as an everyday woman with superhuman powers….

Tell me about your family history.

My mother grew up in a place called Globe, Arizona. My grandmother came to Arizona when she was a baby. They emigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico. Probably my best memories of childhood were in Globe. My grandmother would make her big stack of tortillas and we’d make menudo and it was all about eating.

Did you grow up hearing Spanish?

My father did not speak Spanish, so we didn’t grow up with it on a daily basis, but around my mother’s family I pretty much understood everything.

Raquel Welch has spoken about how, growing up, her Bolivian father would not speak Spanish in the home because he was afraid that she would be discriminated against. Did you ever experience that growing up?

No, but my mother I think did. If anything, I experienced a reverse discrimination in that I am not really Hispanic because my last name is Carter, and because I don’t look it. That I am not really Hispanic because I don’t talk about it 24/7 and my skin is not dark enough.

In your lifetime and career, have you seen a change in how Hispanics are regarded and the roles that are available?

People are surprised when they learn that I am half Latina even though all through my career from the very, very first, I spoke of it. And I speak of it proudly.

Constance Marie of The George López Show keeps a poster of you in her dressing room. She says you are her hero.

I know, I signed a poster for her. She was doing Good Morning America and they surprised her by having me call her. It was just wonderful to have had a positive effect on a person who has gone on to do such wonderful things. And she is so sweet. The one thing about Latinas, there is passion in our lives. We love passionately.