Immigrant Arab Adolescents in Ethnic Enclaves: Physical and Phenomenological Contexts of Identity Negotiation.

Cultural diversity & ethnic minority psychology

PubMedID: 25150820

Kumar R, Seay N, Karabenick SA. Immigrant Arab Adolescents in Ethnic Enclaves: Physical and Phenomenological Contexts of Identity Negotiation. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2014;.
Ecologically embedded social identity theories were used to examine the risk and protective factors associated with the identity negotiation and adjustment of recent immigrant Arab (IA) adolescents to the United States residing in ethnic enclaves. Yemeni, Lebanese, and Iraqi 8th-graders (n = 45) from 4 ethnic enclave schools participated in focus-group interviews. In-depth analyses of interviews revealed that living in an ethnic enclave enhanced IA adolescents' feelings of belonging to the community. However, the new immigrant status coupled with country of origin determined the permeability of intergroup boundaries with well-established Arab and Arab American peers. Their identity negotiations and social identity salience (national, religious, and pan-Arab) were informed by transitional experiences from home to host country and the prevailing political and cultural tensions between the two, recognition of national hierarchy within the Arab community, perceptions of discrimination by the larger society, changed educational aspirations consequent to immigration, and current physical (school and community) and phenomenological contexts. Findings suggest that current theoretical perspectives should be extended to incorporate phenomenological representations of past spaces and places not currently occupied to understand adolescents' multifaceted identity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).