Research Focus : Developmental and (cross-)cultural psychology over the lifespan with a special focus on identity development in multicultural and multilingual contexts. How do people living within culturally diverse societies, experience this meeting of cultures?
Elke Murdock is a Research Scientist at the Institute of Lifespan Development, Family & Culture (LDFC) within the Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS) , at the University of Luxembourg (UL). Within her research area of living with diversity, both within individuals (identity construal) and within multicultural and multilingual societies, she focuses on three different, yet interlinked, research topics:
Attitudes towards multiculturalism, especially from the perspective of the host society. This also touches on the development of national identities and supra-national identities such as European identity or the identification with all humanity (IWAH), and their relationship with each other.
Biculturalism – coming from or belonging to more than one culture. A better understanding of biculturalism, the techniques bicultural individuals employ to negotiate and resolve cultural differences within themselves and with others can contribute to an improved understanding of intercultural relations.
Human development occurs in environments that are nested and change over time. Individuals are embedded in families, and these in turn in cultural contexts. Therefore, intergenerational value transmission processes and factors influencing these are also central to her research.
Elke Murdock joined the UL in 2010 as an FNR–funded PhD student. Her PhD thesis on “ Multiculturalism within the Luxembourg Context ” was voted best PhD thesis the Humanities Faculty in 2014. She then joined the Institute for Research on Generations and the Family as a postdoctoral researcher, working on the project Intergeneration Relations in the Light of Migration and Aging (IRMA, PI Prof. I. Albert). Dr Murdock obtained a CORE Junior Track Grant from the FNR. Her project Subjective Well-being and Identity Construal in a Changing World (SWITCH) (2017 – 2021).
Dr Murdock’s book Multiculturalism, Identity and Difference. Experiences of Culture Contact was published in the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series in 2016. => image of book
Prior to (re-)joining the world of academia, Elke Murdock worked in strategic development and planning in the Financial Services Industry. From 1990 to 2002 she was employed by an Edinburgh based Life Assurance company and participated in joint venture projects in Sweden, Germany, Luxembourg, and Italy. Prior to joining the UL she worked in Investor Communications in Luxembourg.
Her academic training started at the University of the Saarland (Germany) where she studied psychology. Her diploma thesis focused on cultural identity: Kulturelle Identität – eine Konzeptanalyse im interdisziplinären Raum. An Erasmus stipend took her to the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK) and a Fulbright scholarship to Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA (USA) where she earned a BA and an MSc degree (Thesis: An analysis of the cross-cultural content of introductory psychology textbooks ). She also holds an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School (Thesis: The Bundesbank from an Anglo-German Perspective ).