“The chance to look, to examine, to explore”: A qualitative study of intercultural contact and cultural identity exploration for Muslim immigrants

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Balanovic, Jovana
Stuart, Jaimee
Ward, Colleen
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2020
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The current investigation sought to better understand the role individuals play in navigating their own cultural identity development during the process of acculturation. To this end, a qualitative methodology was used to examine how a specific group of individuals negotiate identity changes in the face of intercultural contact. In-depth interviews concerning processes of identity management and development were conducted with a sample of 11 Muslim women (8 Malay and 3 Saudi Arabian) permanently residing in New Zealand. Using applied thematic analysis, emergent themes were identified, and these were then analyzed using the concepts of “self-awareness” and “agency” to understand and structure how these individuals perceive and position themselves throughout their acculturation experiences. Findings showed that participants’ typical descriptions of intercultural encounters reflected active processes of both negotiating and managing cultural perspectives, with participants often citing acculturation as initiating questioning of identity positions. Furthermore, the findings showed an interplay between awareness of one’s cultural worldview and the degree of perceived agency felt in directing the relationship between culture and the construction of identity. This study highlights the importance of considering the active role individuals play in developing and defining their cultural identities during the process of acculturation. (APA PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

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International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation

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9

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1

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Sociology

Cultural Studies

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Balanovic, J; Stuart, J; Ward, C, “The chance to look, to examine, to explore”: A qualitative study of intercultural contact and cultural identity exploration for Muslim immigrants., International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, 9 (1), pp. 36-47

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