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'My language, my people': Language and ethnic identity among British-born South Asians

Jaspal, R and Coyle, A (2010) 'My language, my people': Language and ethnic identity among British-born South Asians South Asian Diaspora, 2 (2). 201 - 218. ISSN 1943-8192

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Abstract

This study explores how a group of second generation Asians (SGA) understood and defined language, focusing upon the role they perceived language to have played in their identity. Twelve SGA were interviewed and the data were subjected to qualitative thematic analysis. Four superordinate themes are reported, entitled 'Mother tongue and self', 'A sense of ownership and affiliation', 'Negotiating linguistic identities in social space' and 'The quest for a positive linguistic identity'. Participants generally expressed a desire to maintain continuity of self-definition as Asian, primarily through the maintenance of the heritage language (HL). An imperfect knowledge of the HL was said to have a negative impact upon psychological well-being. There were ambivalent responses to the perception of language norms, and various strategies were reported for dealing with dilemmatic situations and identity threat arising from bilingualism. Recommendations are offered for interventions that might aid the 'management' of bilingualism among SGA.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published as Jaspal R, Coyle A (2010). 'My language, my people': Language and ethnic identity among British-born South Asians. South Asian Diaspora 2(2):201-218. Available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rsad20/2/2
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethnic identity; language; bilingualism; British Asians; qualitative; social psychology
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Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2012 13:44
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 19:29
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/577003

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