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Title: Storying selves in turbulent times : exploring four young Somali men's experiences of identity and belonging through self-representing narratives
Author: Abdi, Muna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 2469
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is concerned with gaining critical insights into the ways in which identities are constructed, challenged and negotiated, through the self-representing narratives of four young Somali men. The research draws upon a critical approach to narrative research in which the participants share and analyse their own stories. A participatory research approach was adopted, in which the young men were invited to create self-representing artefacts that were not only data within themselves but also acted as tools to facilitate reflective conversations. These artefacts and reflective conversations created the narratives that are discussed in this thesis. Storying and counter-storying are used to critically reflect on these narratives and the socio-political context in which they are framed. The narratives in this thesis explore the impact of race performativity, the racialisation of religious practices, and the impact of historical and cultural dislocation on the construction of self and identity. Each of the young men reflect on the fragmented nature of their identities and their turbulent experiences of (not) belonging. One of the major themes across all of the narratives is how the experiences of race and racism shape the spaces the young men occupy and the stories they have chosen to share. The understandings that emerge from this enquiry illustrate the relationality and complexity of stories and the ways in which these stories are framed within spaces of Whiteness. Critical theories such as postcolonial theory, critical race theory and Black feminist theory formed a bank of theoretical resources that were drawn upon throughout the thesis to offer different analytical lenses without imposes interpretations on the narratives. The research addresses contemporary and popular issues around Blackness, diasporic identities, nationalism, Islamaphobia and gender performativity. The thesis does not intend to present a collective identity or shared narratives, but to provide a space for silenced and marginalised stories to be heard, and to offer an alternative way of doing ethical research that seeks to respect and honour marginalised and silenced stories. The thesis also shows evidence of a personal and academic journey, through reflexive accounts and makes explicit the tensions of attempting to do decolonising work within a colonising space.
Supervisor: Billington, T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available