Multiple Identities: Migrants, Ethnicity, and Membership

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Table of Contents. Cover pp. Title Page pp. Copyright Page, Dedication pp. Contents pp. Acknowledgments pp.


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Part 1: Orientations pp. Many Multiplicities: Identity in an Age of Movement pp. Ethnic Identities and Transnational Subjectivities pp. Part 2: The Complexities of Identities pp. Identity Dilemmas of Kashubians and Polish Tatars pp. It is also noteworthy that depression and satisfaction with migration were significantly and negatively associated with each other only among first generation immigrants.

Despite the absence of mediation, among first generation immigrants, national identity was significantly and positively associated with both satisfaction with migration and depression, and religious identity was significantly and negatively associated with satisfaction with migration. Finally, among the first and second generation immigrants, the covariance between ethnic and religious identity was significant and positive, whereas the other covariances among ethnic, national, and religious identity were not significant, with the exception of the one between ethnic and national identity among the first generation.

The present study aimed to test a mediational model in which perceived discrimination was hypothesized to affect psychological adjustment directly and through the mediation of multiple dimensions of identity processes, comparing first and second generation Muslim immigrants. The findings show clear differences between first and second generation immigrants and only give support to the posited mediational model for second generation immigrants. Second generation immigrants who perceived high levels of discrimination seemed to have weakened national identity perception and increased religious identification, as previously suggested Fleischmann et al.

Hence, national and religious identities are likely to mediate the effect of discrimination on satisfaction with migration but not on depression. Direct links between discrimination and both depression and satisfaction with migration decision were also found for both generations. In particular, second generation immigrants who felt discriminated against were more depressed, and participants in both generations who felt discriminated against were less satisfied with their decision to immigrate. Considering both indirect and direct paths, we found that the percentage of variance in psychological well-being explained by both discrimination and identity was higher and significant for second generation and lower for first generation immigrants.

Negotiating Multiple Identities: Interview with Tabish Khair

As suggested by Heim and colleagues , discrimination seems to be a stronger obstacle for second generation immigrants than for first generations, making integration into the new society more difficult. Indeed, although we did not directly test the climate of suspicion in Italy, we can speculate that analogously with other stigmatized ethnic minorities. The experience of being discriminated against within the countries where they were born or grew up may be more challenging for second generation Muslim youth than for first generation people. Firstly, second generation individuals would have greater exposure to discrimination experiences than first-generation individuals as a result of having more opportunities to interact in socialization contexts school and workplaces, with peers and adults, such as teachers.

On the contrary, second generation youth are deeply engaged in developmental processes of identity construction, which lead to more conflicts between external and family pressures, making them more vulnerable to external pressure Stuart et al.

Lastly, as suggested by Liu and Suyemoto , whereas first generation adults born outside the host country attribute discrimination experiences to their immigrant status, second generation individuals but also 1. Thus, the second generation is likely to attribute their negative experience in the host society to societal barriers and systemic rejection, and they are less optimistic and more disillusioned about the future than the first generation Wiley et al.

Direct effects have also been found between discrimination and identity processes, but only for second generation immigrants. In fact, among the second generation, discrimination is positively associated with ethnic and religious identities and negatively associated with national identity.

Hence, when they feel discriminated against, they tend to have both intensified links with their religious and ethnic systems of reference and a weakened link with the mainstream culture. These findings are in line with several European studies regarding young Muslims living in Europe Berry et al. As expected, discrimination seems to produce defensive behaviour and strengthen bonds with the ethnic and religious in-group Fleischmann et al. However, Verkuyten suggested distinguishing two different processes: in fact, a weak national identity could reflect a low level of identification with the host group that is, people resisted identifying themselves with the mainstream culture or a national de-identification from the host group that is, people do not want to belong to the host society.

Finally, direct links have been found between identity dimensions and the two aspects of well-being that were investigated. National identity is the only aspect of identity that is significantly linked with better psychological well-being for second generation and partially for first generation immigrants, whereas ethnic and religious identities were not.

In particular, when second generation Muslims identify themselves as Italian, they are satisfied about their migration decision. For first generation Muslims, high national identity seems to generate ambivalent feelings: high satisfaction with migration but also higher levels of depression and anxiety. This may be seen as a counterintuitive finding, and more research is needed to understand which moderating variables could explain this link. Cultural pressures seem to be especially consistent for young Muslim women who are caught between loyalty to heritage cultural orientations and attraction to Western gender models, placing them in a more vulnerable position within Western contexts conducive to ambivalent outcomes on well-being.

Another explanation could be related to the extent to which first generation Muslims are satisfied with their decision, while contextual circumstances—and perhaps the limited recognition as nationals that they receive from others—might cause a sense of otherness, and thus causing them anxiety or making them feel depressed. Future studies could shed light on this issue and show which speculation is more adequate. Overall, these findings confirm previous studies about Muslim immigrants in Europe, particularly those on second generation immigrants, in which national identity was generally found to be positively connected to psycho-social well-being Heim et al.

Conversely, our study failed to confirm the buffering role played by ethnic and religious identity on well-being Heim et al. In fact, no significant association between ethnic identity and the two indices of well-being depression and satisfaction with migration decision was found for either first or second generation immigrants. Rather, a negative link between religious identity and satisfaction with migration was found among both generations: the more important the religious dimension was for them, the more dissatisfied they were with their choice to leave their country of origin and to live in another context.

Finally, it is interesting to note that ethnic and religious identity dimensions are strongly positively intertwined for first- and, even more, for second generation immigrants. However, unlike European studies, in which national and religious identities are negatively correlated or incompatible orientations Heim et al.

In other words, our data suggest that ethnic and religious identities highly overlap and are not perceived as being incompatible with national identity. Three aspects distinguishing Italy from other European countries in which those issues were investigated could explain those differences. Religiosity and the role of religion in social and political domains could be perceived as an element of proximity between Muslims and Catholics. Second, the history of Muslim immigration is more recent in Italy than in other European countries, and their density is lower.

Third, Italy has been less directly affected by Muslim terrorism, at least until now, keeping antagonism between the autochthon and Muslim communities lower than in other parts of Europe. As pointed out by Vedder and colleagues , little is known about post-resettlement factors associated with acculturation processes and adaptation. The study presents some limitations. The first issue concerns the cross-sectional nature of the design, thus limiting the possibilities for testing causal links among variables. Longitudinal research will be important in future studies to establish directional influences Phinney, The second limitation concerns the choice and recruitment of participants.

Sampling biases derived from the participant recruitment a convenience sample, based on voluntary participation from a population living in the highly urbanized northern part of Italy may reduce the representativeness of the Italian social reality and the demographic context.

Multiple Identities

Furthermore, Muslims constitute a very heterogeneous group of people: the label Muslim used for selecting participants does not capture the diversity of national origins among immigrant Muslims living in Italy, and our data did not allow us to explore the role played by the context of origin on acculturation processes Phinney et al. Moreover, the small sample of second generation participants in the current study did not allow us to explore gender differences. Finally, additional limitations to note concern the instruments used to assess the main constructs investigated in the current study.

Perceived discrimination, identity, and well-being are multidimensional constructs. Notably, it would be useful in future studies about Muslims to consider perceived ethnic group discrimination e. Furthermore, we need to consider the multidimensionality of the concept and measurement of identity dimensions. Each of the identity dimensions explored in the current study ethnic, national, and religious identity includes different aspects and operationalizations e. Lastly, we only considered the psychological well-being of Muslims, whereas researchers recommend investigating several aspects of well-being.

Multiple Identities: Migrants, Ethnicity, and Membership

No indicators of socio-cultural well-being e. Notwithstanding these limitations, the present study is the first in Italy to underline the negative role played by perceived discrimination among second generation Muslims. Complex relationships among perceived discrimination, identity dimensions, and well-being have been shown, mainly for second-generation Muslims and less for first generation Muslims. In line with previously cited European literature, the former seem to face more challenging tasks in facing discrimination and reconciling multiple identity dimensions. Future studies need to further explore these issues to understand and support integration processes among Muslim generations in the face of increasing discrimination.

Her main issues of research are: critical family transition and resiliency processes, migration and acculturation processes, first and second generation Muslims living in Italy. Her main issues of research are: interpersonal relationships, methodology of research with a specific interest in dyadic data analyses; validation of quantitative and qualitative instruments to assess family relationships and individual well-being.

His main issues of research are: psychosocial integration of first and second generation of immigrants; Muslim migration and adaptation in Italian context.

Theoretical perspectives on ancestry and identity

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Fler böcker av Paul Spickard

Journal List Eur J Psychol v. Eur J Psychol. Published online Mar Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Apr 11; Accepted Aug Copyright notice.