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Negotiating Social Identity: The Multiplicity of Ethnic Identity among Young Immigrant Women in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2008 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to describe social identity work among young immigrant women of Middle Eastern descent living in Sweden. Focus is on the multiplicity and complexity of ethnic identity and social belonging. The paper reports the results from qualitative group interviews with young women between the ages of 16-18. With a social identity approach, aspects of identification on the intergroup level are brought to the fore and the empirical material is analyzed accordingly. The main themes detected are: negotiating practices of identity work, ambivalent emotions towards belongingness, generational and cultural conflicts in everyday life and visual symbols as determinants of inclusion/exclusion. Moreover, the concept of female sexuality in relation to shame and respectability bears heavy importance in this context which is located in a collectivistic cultural realm. However, these values do not apply to Swedish individualism. Consequently, the interviewees must balance between these norm systems. Additional significant features in the everyday lives of the interviewees are border-crossing along ethnic lines and the sensitive issue of ‘becoming Swedicized’. The present results offer a starting-point for subsequent qualitative research on the life experiences of young women in immigrant families of Middle Eastern origin.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
social identity, negotiating practices, young immigrant women, Sweden
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-86586OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-86586DiVA: diva2:126455
Paper presented at The 5th ETMU-days & The 7th Youth research-days Conference 'Generations in flux - International Interdisciplinary Conference on Ethnicity, Integration, and Family Ties', Helsinki, Finland, October 23-24, 2008Available from: 2008-11-19 Created: 2008-11-17 Last updated: 2010-11-17Bibliographically approved

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Haghverdian, Serine
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