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Title: Adolescent accounts of growing up as mixed race in London
Author: Meechan, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 6109
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2010
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The Mixed race population is the fastest growing ethnic group in Britain, the majority of whom are under 16 years of age. There has been a split between older research that offers a pathologised view of Mixed heritage suggesting psychological problems and maladjustment and more recent research that gives a picture of high self esteem and resilience factors. However, little research has focused on how young people themselves make sense of their experiences. This study adopted a Grounded Theory methodology; nine Mixed race adolescents aged between 12-16 were interviewed about their experiences of growing up as Mixed race. From the analysis, the theoretical categories of: Being Colour(ed), Being Seen, Being Schooled and Finding Places were identified. From this a model of Positions-ing was developed: participants' positions-ings of themselves reflected fluidity and multiplicity, and this contrasted strongly with an externalised world view which attempted to fix them in static positions. Participants adopted eventual neutral positionings in relation to their Mixed status which indicated something of the impasse between societal attempts to position them and their own attempts to choose positionsings. Participants valued their Mixed status and the difficulties they encountered also informed their views' of themselves as strong and sociable. Clinical Psychologists need to work with young people and their families to help support conceptualisations of themselves which value plurality and multiplicity. Future work should focus on the Mixed (White/Asian) group due to the paucity of research on this group and the combination of racial, cultural and religious differences which may become increasingly important in a post September 11th world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available