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Exploring an individual's experience of becoming bicultural Baines, Anil

Abstract

A second generation South Asian can be faced with contrasting and conflicting cultures which can impact the formation of a healthy ethnic identity. The present study investigated what facilitated and hindered a South Asian's adolescent experience of becoming bicultural. Flanagan's (1954) Critical Incident Technique was used in interviewing 8 adult participants, including 5 females and 3 males, aged 20 to 26 years of age. The results identified 88 critical incidents, forming 10 helping categories and 4 hindering categories. The 10 Helping categories were: (1) Cross Cultural Friendships, (2) Speaking both Punjabi and English, (3) Personal Attributes, (4) Shared Experiences with Peers in the 'Same Boat', (5) Family Support and Influence, (6) Involvement in Recreational, Cultural and Religious Community Activities, (7) Visiting India, (8) High School Experience, (9) University Education and (10) Acceptance of Parent's and / or Grandparent's Views. The Hindering Categories were: (1) Parental and / or Familial Expectations, (2) Media Influence / Societal Expectations, (3) Personal Conflict of Cultural Values and (4) Experiencing Racism. The categories were found to be reliable and valid through procedures such as exhaustiveness, independent raters, co-researcher's cross checking, participation rate and theoretical agreement. The resulting categories provide a list of comprehensive factors that can facilitate and hinder an individual's process towards developing a bicultural identity. The findings are discussed in relation to implications for counselling theory and practice, and future research.

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