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Title: Language, literacy and identity practices influencing acculturation in immigrant/migrant Nepalese families : an ethnographic study
Author: Boivin, Nettie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 8366
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is an ethnographic study which investigates the practices of language maintenance and ethnic identity affiliation for immigrant/migrant Nepalese families with primary to middle school children in the United Kingdom. The thesis investigates the connection between two larger fields of research; language maintenance and ethnic identity affiliation. Previously, research investigated one area or the other. After initial interviews with the family members it was determined from investigation into past exposure and present participation in the various practices of both ethnic identity and language maintenance that deeper investigation needed to occur. Finally, it was determined that in the prior research none had examined differences between family members and reasons for these variations. The thesis presents an ethnographic comparative case study analysis of three Nepalese families using a three-tiered macro, micro, and internal theoretical framework in conjunction with a newly redefined acculturation continuum. Observation, which was participatory, occurred in various contexts during a nine month period. In conjunction with these observation sessions, semi-structured interviews regarding present participation in language maintenance and ethnic identity practices, and historical narrative interviews investigating prior exposure to home country, ethnic, cultural, and social literacy practices occurred. In addition, data analysis from the observations used a language maintenance practice checklist based on three types of practices (social language, social literacy, and peripheral ritualised practices) thus discovering whether shifts or loss occurred in families. This analysis revealed a newly termed practice of peripheral ritualised practices. Furthermore, observations discovered that it was not only exposure to home country experience and ethnic customs which play a significant role in shaping social and ethnic identity construction but more informatively the age of exposure. Consequently, the researcher was able to examine not only shifts from children via pre-adolescences to teens, but to assess differences between siblings, an area that had previously not been researched. Finally, the study noted that for children, pre-adolescence and adolescences there is a balance between globalised practices and ethnic practices which need further future investigation.
Supervisor: Szczepek Reed, Beatrice ; Taylor, Florentina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available