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"It’s only other people who make me feel black": acculturation, identity and agency in a multicultural community

Howarth, Caroline, Wagner, Wolfgang, Magnusson, Nicola and Sammut, Gordon (2014) "It’s only other people who make me feel black": acculturation, identity and agency in a multicultural community. Political Psychology, 35 (1). pp. 81-95. ISSN 0162-895X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/pops.12020


This paper explores identity work and acculturation work in the lives of British mixed-heritage children and adults. Children, teenagers and parents with mixed-heritage participated in a community arts project that invited them to deliberate, construct and reconstruct their cultural identities and cultural relations. We found that acculturation, cultural and raced identities are constructed through a series of oppositional themes: cultural maintenance versus cultural contact; identity as inclusion versus identity as exclusion; institutionalised ideologies versus agency. The findings point towards an understanding of acculturation as a dynamic, situated and multifaceted process: acculturation in movement. To investigate this, we argue that acculturation research needs to develop a more dynamic and situated approach to the study of identity, representation and culture. The paper concludes with a discussion on the need for political psychologists to develop methods attuned to the tensions and politics of acculturation that are capable of highlighting the possibilities for resistance and social change.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 International Society of Political Psychology
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2012 08:15
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 19:39

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