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Building a dual identity as an immigrant in the UK: Eritreans’ search for freedom and a sense of balance

Building a dual identity as an immigrant in the UK: Eritreans’ search for freedom and a sense of balance

Ali, Safa, Ogden, Jane and Birtel, Michèle D. ORCID: 0000-0002-2383-9197 (2017) Building a dual identity as an immigrant in the UK: Eritreans’ search for freedom and a sense of balance. Ethnic and Racial Studies. pp. 1-18. ISSN 0141-9870 (Print), 1466-4356 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2017.1384555)

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Abstract

This study explored the experiences of newly arrived and settled Eritrean immigrants currently in the UK. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with ten newly arrived (less than one year) and ten settled (more than seven years) participants, recruited through an Eritrean café and using snowball sampling. Thematic analysis identified three themes: (1) Wanting freedom, expectations of the UK and the desire for safety, (2) Integration and becoming part of the British community, (3) Personal development, which involved growth and aspirations. Transcending these themes was the notion of balance, and the co-existence of past and present. It is argued that Eritreans in the UK wish to become part of British community whilst at the same time remembering and celebrating their Eritrean culture. This is explained within the context of a dual identity and it is argued that rather than being a hindrance, a dual rather than single identity facilitates the process of integration.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Identity, Eritrean, Culture, Immigrants, Qualitative, Integration
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Applied Psychology Research Group
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2017 14:14
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/17921

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