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Title: A quantitative and qualitative exploration of the processes associated with ethnic identification
Author: Karlsen, Saffron Isabella
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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Ethnic identity formation requires the consolidation of external and internal processes. While there may be some definitional consistency across ethnicities, regardless of the external audience who this audience is and their attitudes towards 'us' have a critical influence on our sense of ourselves. People may decide the basis of their ethnic affiliation and how to present this identity to the outside world. But such choices are externally structured. The reaction of 'others' to 'us' (racist stereotyping, for example) will affect how we see and choose to present ourselves and the salience which our ethnicity holds in our lives. The thesis uses data from a quantitative and qualitative follow-up of (ethnic minority and majority) respondents to the Health Survey for England: which employed a nationally representative sample of Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, Caribbean, Irish and white British people. Principal components analyses identified dimensions of ethnic identity for the different ethnic groups explored. Qualitative content analyses were then undertaken to explore dimensions of identity discussed in the follow-up interviews. Four underlying dimensions of ethnic identity were determined quantitatively: related to participating in customs or holding beliefs which could be considered traditional to your ethnic group attitudes towards the cultural assimilation of minority groups into the 'cultural majority' in Britain participating in ethnically-specific communities and membership of a racialised group. These findings suggested inter-ethnic similarity, but intra-ethnic diversity, in the ethnic identification processes employed. The qualitative analyses provided further illumination, particularly into the role of label definition and choice and the processes underlying them. The findings allow important insight into the motivations underlying people's ethnic definitions, including the importance of the 'other' in (internal) identity definition and the role that the perceptions and treatment of people from (white and non-white) ethnic minority groups by members of the 'ethnic majority' may have on people's self-identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available