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Title: Lived experiences of biracial women with Pakistani and White parents : an interpretative phenomenological analysis of identity
Author: Mannan, Humaira
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 6850
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2018
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Counselling psychology has a commitment both to understanding and working with difference and to promoting social justice for socially marginalised groups. Biracial people are one such group and therefore a focus for social justice work in counselling psychology. Even though identity is a significant theme in psychological research, the identities of biracial people, and the intersecting identities of biracial women in particular, have not been of significant concern both in the field of counselling psychology and the wider discipline of psychology. Research has been mostly limited to stage models of biracial identity development (e.g. Kich, 1992; Kerwin & Poterotto, 1995, Poston, 1990); explorations of the lived experiences of biracial women are less common in psychology. Qualitative research within women’s studies has explored the lived experiences of biracial women and has identified the salience of physical appearance, a desire for belonging and acceptance and a shifting sense of identity are all significant components of the experiences of this group of women (e.g. Hall, 2004; Root, 1997). In order to further promote understanding of, and give voice to, the unique experiences and identities of biracial women, this research explored the lived experiences of women with Pakistani fathers and White mothers, a group yet to be explored in the feminist qualitative literature. Semi-structured interviews with eight women were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three super-ordinate themes were identified: (1) The multiple meanings and experiences of Whiteness; 2) The role of parents in biracial identity negotiation; and 3) Conceptualisations of dual heritage and what it means to belong. The findings illustrate the multiple, complex and contradictory meanings of Whiteness for the women, which provided an important context for the women making sense of, and living out, their biracial identities. The important role of parents in the women’s identity negotiations, and particularly how their parents’ capacity, or lack thereof, to support them in making sense of and living out a biracial identity is highlighted. The unique way in which women made sense of their dual heritage and what ‘belongingness’ meant to them is illustrated. The implications of the knowledge gained for counselling psychologists’ effective practice with biracial women are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Couns.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: biracial women