Experiences of Young Adult Muslim Second Generation Immigrants in Britain: Beyond Acculturation

Author: Mujeeba Ashraf

Supervisor: Stephen D. Reicher, PhD & Ken Mavor, PhD
Degree: PhD
Year: 2016
University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan

This research is an attempt to understand the living experiences of young adult Muslim SGIs, in Britain. This research advocates understanding their living experiences from the perspective of social identity approach which discusses multiple dimensions of identity, unlike acculturation theory which focuses on a mono dimension of identity. This research introduced a multiple social identity model for Muslim SGIs. Contrary to the previous literature, the first study, the interview study, revealed that they explained their conflicts with their non-Muslim British peers and with their parents on the basis of non-shared identity. With their non- Muslim British peers they shared cultural (national) identity, therefore, they explained their conflicts in terms of different religious values (practices); with their parents they shared religious identity, therefore they explained their conflicts in terms of different cultural (ethnic) values and practices. They argued that their parents practice various cultural practices in the name of Islam, and Muslim SGIs distinguished Islam from their parents’ culture, and identified with the former, not the latter, and attributed their conflicts to their parents’ cultural values. In addition, they explained that their religious identity enables them to deal with conflicts with peers and parents. The second study, the focus group, successfully validated the findings of the first study, and it broadened the understanding of the fact that SGIs and their parents both explained their religion in their own cultural context. Their religious (Muslim) identity also promotes their relationships with their non-Muslim British peers and parents, which contributes positively towards their British identity, and more specifically they define themselves as British Muslims. In the third study, the survey study, the hypotheses were developed on the bases of the qualitative studies. It was expected and found that British and Muslim identities were positively correlated; they had non-significant identity differences with the Muslim identity and significant identity difference with British and ethnic identities from their parents. Ethnic identity difference from their parents was the only found predictor of their attribution of their conflicts to their parents’ cultural values.

Keywords: Young Adult Muslim, Second Generation Immigrants, Acculturation.
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Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email: chairperson@appsy.pu.edu.pk, Phone: 92-42-9231245

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