Ways in which the cultural identities of mixed heritage individuals are maintained in mixed ethnicity stepfamilies

Ayo, Yvonne (2017) Ways in which the cultural identities of mixed heritage individuals are maintained in mixed ethnicity stepfamilies. DSysPsych thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of East London. Full text available

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There has been an increasing amount of research into mixed heritage individuals, both adults and adolescents. More recently, some research has emerged on mixed heritage families, but there is hardly any research on mixed ethnicity stepfamilies. As a systemic clinician of mixed heritage, my research interest has stemmed from my personal experience of living in a stepfamily with visible differences, where my fathers Nigerian culture was not discussed. In my clinical job, work with families from culturally mixed backgrounds and have developed a keen interest in their experiences of maintaining the different cultures. I used discourse analysis to examine the various ways in which stepfamilies talked about their differences. Five stepfamilies were recruited. The biological parents (all mothers) and their partners and children participated in the study. The study revealed considerable variation in the talking and maintenance of cultural heritages within the stepfamilies, but four main findings emerged. In some stepfamilies, there was little or no talking, whilst in others, talking about the process of becoming a stepfamily occurred. The stepfamilies had various experiences of living with their visible differences, which included ideas of not having any differences or minimising differences. The extended family's role also played an important part that changed over time. The biological fathers 'presence' was particularly significant to the children, most of whom maintained contact with their fathers. The study has revealed stepfamily life's complexities and the numerous ways in which the mixed heritage children/stepchildren navigated the different households to maintain their cultural heritages.

Item Type: Thesis (DSysPsych)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of East London in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy. Click on 'Organisation' in the Related URLs below to see other titles and abstracts of doctoral systemic and family therapy research carried out on the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy at the Tavistock.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Discourse Analysis
Subjects: Families > Families - Psychology
Race and Culture > Culture and Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1838

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