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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exploring identity-as-narrative in the school narratives of Iranian university students in British Columbia, Canada Amini, Negar


Based upon semi-structured interviews with 11 university students from Iran between 18 to 24 years of age at universities in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, this research addressed a gap in the literature by documenting the narratives of participants’ school experiences in Iran and Canada. In addition, this research explored the construction of identities as the narratives we tell other people and confirmed by what others tell about us (Sfard & Prusak, 2005). Two main research questions guided this study: What narratives do participants tell of their school experiences? What narratives do participants tell of their actual and designated identities? The data was analyzed and interpreted following Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis and informed by sociocultural theory (Wertsch, 1985). Five themes were identified: Ritual practices in establishing the school context and constructing identities; English language as a cultural tool in mediating identities; social relationships in shaping identities; and actual and designated identities. This study contributes to the literature by examining the educational experiences of Iranian immigrants to Canada. Implications for schools, along with limitations and suggestions for future research, are addressed in the conclusion.  

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