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Title: "Who am I and where do I belong?" : an exploratory study of the construction of identities of people from mixed heritage backgrounds in Britain
Author: Hosany, Zara
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 0075
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2016
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There are many historical and social discourses related to people from mixed heritage backgrounds and their experiences. These have mainly focused on ‘race’, excluding other aspects of mixed heritage such as ethnicity, culture, nationality, language and faith. Dominant discourses and prevailing psychological theories have constructed this group as marginal and with identity difficulties. Despite being the fastest upcoming minority ethnic group, mixed heritage identities remains underdeveloped in Britain, in terms of clinical work and psychological research. In particular, broader aspects of the mixed heritage experience outside of skin colour have not yet been thoroughly examined. Nationality was seen as an important representation of these wider aspects, however there has been little focus on the impact of having parents from different countries on mixed heritage individuals. This study is a qualitative exploration of the construction of identities of people from mixed heritage backgrounds in Britain. Ten participants (age 18-32) with parents from different birth countries were interviewed about, their mixed identities and experiences growing up in Britain, and how they define themselves. The results were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four main themes were identified: “Best of Both Worlds”, ‘Facing Exclusion’, ‘Belonging’ ‘The Importance of Heritage Language’. The key factors that were important to them were: cultural knowledge; heritage languages; grandparents; non-visual aspects of identity; needing all aspects of identity to feel complete; and the ability to self-define. Lastly, an evaluation of the study and possible implications of the findings are presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral