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  • 1.
    Ahmadi, Babak
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology.
    How Second Generation Iranians Understand Their National and Ethnic Identity?: A comparative study of the impact of the host society- the case of Sweden and the United States.2013Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to examine the impact of the social characteristics of the host society on the second generation Iranians’ understanding of their national and ethnic identities. In this regard I have studied how the second generation Iranians in Sweden identify themselves with Iranian society, with the Iranian ethnic group in Sweden and/or with Swedish society and then compared the second generation Iranians in Sweden and those in the Unites States to try to make clear the impact of the host society on the second generation Iranians’ understanding of their ethnic and national identities.

    Educational attainment is regarded as a cornerstone in the identity construction of second generation Iranians (Hartman, 2009; Bozorgmehr and Douglas, 2010; Shavarini, 2004). The literatures, which is based mainly on the studies conducted in the Unites States among second generation Iranians, indicates several factors being important for such an attainment. I have examined whether these factors also are important for the second generation Iranians in Sweden; this in order to more concretely show the impact of the social characteristics of the host society on the second generation Iranians' understanding of their identities.

    For gathering the data in Sweden I used semi-structured e-mail interviews with fifteen young people of Iranian background (defined as individuals with both parents born in Iran).

    When comparing my study with those in the United States, I could not find the identity tensions and identity crisis reported by the research on second generation Iranians in the United States among the same generation in Sweden. The comparison between the two groups concerning the educational attainment strengthens the hypothesis that the social characteristics of the society where the second generation Iranians live in, has an import impact on their understanding of their ethnic identity.

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