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Title: Identities of employed ethnic minority women
Author: Ross, Sujatha P.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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This study is an attempt to see the ways in which employed, ethnic minority women discursively construct their identities and the pragmatic functions the respective identities serve for them. The empirical framework within which the above study has been undertaken derives from a combination of conversation analysis and discourse analysis. The women who participated in the study came from four ethnic minority groups: African, Indian, Pakistani and Chinese. The thesis addresses three main themes. First, the thesis begins by critically reviewing theoretical frameworks such as social identity theory, acculturation and assimilation approaches, and black identity formation theory. These tend to understand minority identity in terms of its relationship to the dominant (white) community. It is argued that this fails to account for the way in which ethnic minorities themselves give meaning to their identities. The present study, by seeing identities as discursively constructed, addresses the above issue and gives subjective voice to the women who contributed as participants. Second, the thesis moves on to discuss whether the women see belonging to a minority group and aspects of minority culture as indicators of ethnic identity. Empirical analyses of the women's accounts are used to show that the women resist being limited by the categorisations imposed on them by minority group membership and minority group culture. Instead, the women can be seen to discursively construct what it is to belong to a minority group and to be involved in a minority culture. In the process, the women create particular identities and resist ascription of other identities. In doing so, the issue of agency is brought out. Third, the thesis moves beyond ethnicity to consider other aspects of the women's lives such as employment. Traditionally, research in the area of employment which focuses on career development has claimed that employment choice is related to type of person. Recent research has tended to place more emphasis on showing the effects of race, class and gender. In the present study, when women talked of work and identity, they can be seen to reject the notion that work is always associated with being a particular type of person. In formulating these rejections, the women can be seen to draw on a number of personal circumstances.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available