A question of balance: Exploring the acculturation, integration and adaptation of Muslim immigrant youth
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The paper addresses criticisms of contemporary acculturation research by adopting a mixed method approach (open-ended survey responses, interviews, focus groups and projective techniques) to the study of the acculturation experiences of Muslim youth in New Zealand. The research explores: 1) the meaning, definition and achievement of success; 2) the process of negotiating multiple social identities; and 3) the graphic representation of identity. Thematic analysis indicated that young Muslims aspire to achieve success in personal, social, material and religious domains and that they seek to balance potentially competing demands from family, friends, the Muslim community and the wider society. At the same time they aspire to balance multiple identities, retaining religious and cultural elements in the definition of self while endeavoring to integrate into the wider society. The process of achieving this balance is characterized by three strategies: alternating orientations, blending orientations and minimizing differences. The findings are discussed in relation to advancing our understanding of integration as an acculturation option, and the community-based policy implications for multicultural societies are considered.
© The Author(s) 2011. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.
Psychology not elsewhere classified