Now And Then - Life Trajectories, Family Relationships and Diasporic Identities: A follow-up Study of Young Adults

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportBogForskning

Abstract

Short version:  

The book explores the issues of family relationships; between different generations and among the intimate partners. In addition, the issues of identity are analyzed in the context of late modernity and movements across the borders.

Now and Then is a journey across time and space which addresses the present and the past for the young adults, some Danish and some ethnic minority (South-Asian originating from India and Pakistan). The social psychological study follows-up the young adults (now around 30 years of age), who were originally studied in the mid-nineties. Furthermore, the ethnic minority youth’s relationships to their ‘country of residence’ as well as ‘the country of origin’ are explored.

The results challenge the existing static concepts about the intergenerational relationships and diasporic identities as they highlight dynamic balances between individualism and interconnectedness through the life-course as well as movement back and forth between multiple locations.

Full Version 

This study is based on a postdoctoral research project, a longitudinal study of youth, some Danish and some ethnic minority, with South Asian background as India and Pakistan are their countries of origin. These young adults, around 30 years old now, were earlier studied in mid- nineties under the original research project “Youth Relationships, Ethnicity and Psychosocial Intervention” (Singla, 2004b).

The study throws light on the life trajectories of these young adults within the social psychological theoretical framework combining positioning theory with the life course perspective, in which focus is on the interplay between the young adults as active agents and the structural aspects. Furthermore, conceptualisations about ethnic identity and diaspora as social strategies for maintenance of relation with the country of origin, psychological consciousness as well as cultural consumption are used to analyse the South Asian young adults’ diasporic identities.

The qualitative method in-depth interviews/ life mode interview aiming to anchor life transitions and events in contexts has been used. New interviews have been conducted within a multilingual framework according to the young adults’ preference - in their mother tongue (Punjabi, Urdu), Danish or English in a variety of settings. The data has been analysed at various levels involving meaning condensation and categorisation of the narratives.

The results of the young adult’s life trajectories about family relations – both vertical as well as horizontal depict initial and current generational conflicts, reduction and resolution as well as patterns of familial ambivalence and interdependence in various domains of their everyday life. Similarly, extra-familial relationships indicate complex changes with the life course and formation of ties across the ethnic borders on basis of commonalities of activities and interest related to opportunities structures such as exposure to multiethnic environment, cosmopolitan/supportive environment.

The second part pertains to the diasporic identity processes for the South Asians and indicates the young adults’ reinterpretation of the self, other and home in different ways as they move back and forth between multiple locations. The diasporic processes decline the direct relation between the geographical locations and identity, whereas the spatial analyses show that the young adults are maintaining, creating relations and attachments across the borders, in varying extents from yearly visits to no visit to the country of origin. In spite of these variations, diasporic consciousness is a part of their identity, connecting them to the ancestral countries as well as the Scandinavian welfare society, which have turned increasingly restrictive in migration policies in the past years. Paradoxically most young adults feel at home mostly here but also there, as they have hardly addressed the myth of return in their life trajectories now and in the future. Finally, there are perspectives for future research, such as follow up in after 5 and 10 years and studying young adults’ experiences of psychosocial intervention to present some suggestions for psychological services.

This study is based on a postdoctoral research project, a longitudinal study of youth, some Danish and some ethnic minority, with South Asian background as India and Pakistan are their countries of origin. These young adults, around 30 years old now, were earlier studied in mid- nineties under the original research project “Youth Relationships, Ethnicity and Psychosocial Intervention” (Singla, 2004b).

The study throws light on the life trajectories of these young adults within the social psychological theoretical framework combining positioning theory with the life course perspective, in which focus is on the interplay between the young adults as active agents and the structural aspects. Furthermore, conceptualisations about ethnic identity and diaspora as social strategies for maintenance of relation with the country of origin, psychological consciousness as well as cultural consumption are used to analyse the South Asian young adults’ diasporic identities.

The qualitative method in-depth interviews/ life mode interview aiming to anchor life transitions and events in contexts has been used. New interviews have been conducted within a multilingual framework according to the young adults’ preference - in their mother tongue (Punjabi, Urdu), Danish or English in a variety of settings. The data has been analysed at various levels involving meaning condensation and categorisation of the narratives.

The results of the young adult’s life trajectories about family relations – both vertical as well as horizontal depict initial and current generational conflicts, reduction and resolution as well as patterns of familial ambivalence and interdependence in various domains of their everyday life. Similarly, extra-familial relationships indicate complex changes with the life course and formation of ties across the ethnic borders on basis of commonalities of activities and interest related to opportunities structures such as exposure to multiethnic environment, cosmopolitan/supportive environment.

The second part pertains to the diasporic identity processes for the South Asians and indicates the young adults’ reinterpretation of the self, other and home in different ways as they move back and forth between multiple locations. The diasporic processes decline the direct relation between the geographical locations and identity, whereas the spatial analyses show that the young adults are maintaining, creating relations and attachments across the borders, in varying extents from yearly visits to no visit to the country of origin. In spite of these variations, diasporic consciousness is a part of their identity, connecting them to the ancestral countries as well as the Scandinavian welfare society, which have turned increasingly restrictive in migration policies in the past years. Paradoxically most young adults feel at home mostly here but also there, as they have hardly addressed the myth of return in their life trajectories now and in the future. Finally, there are perspectives for future research, such as follow up in after 5 and 10 years and studying young adults’ experiences of psychosocial intervention to present some suggestions for psychological services.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Udgivelses stedKøbenhavn
ForlagKøbenhavns Universitet
Antal sider212
ISBN (Trykt)978-87-91621-19-2
StatusUdgivet - 2008
NavnKøbenhavnerstudier i tosprogethed
Nummer46
ISSN0901-9731

Citer dette