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Samtal, identiteter och positionering :Ungdomars interaktion i en mångkulturell miljö

by Engblom, Charlotte, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis concerns how identity among young people (aged 16-19) living in a multicultural area in Stockholm is made relevant. The aim is to analyse the identities that arise in situated interaction between young people and their peer group and with other people in their everyday life. The material consists of arranged four-party conversations, interviews and audio tapes made by the young people themselves of everyday activities at school and during their leisure time. In the study, identity is perceived as being made relevant thorough dialogue. Identity is also seen as a strategic and flexible tool available to the individual for positioning him- or herself in a particular situation and for expressing solidarity and distance on the micro level. A topic analysis of the arranged four-party conversations shows that the young people proceed following a global structure of topics, making it possible to discern a super topic for each conversation. The types of topics chosen show similarities and can be presented as ethnicity-related, school-related and related to the setting of the recording. The preoccupation with ethnicity-related topics is partly seen as a response to the investigation itself, making double positioning necessary for the participants. An analysis of the pronoun vi 'we' is aimed at making visible the groups that the young people include themselves in and their positioning vis-à-vis each other. The situationally inclusive 'we' and the situationally in- and exclusive 'we' are used to regulate and modify conversations. The extended inclusive 'we' makes categorisations like classmate, Swede and immigrant relevant. An analysis of the ethnifications shows that ethnic identities are closely connected to the micro level and arise in contrast to or in comparison with other participants or groups outside the conversations. Ethnic identities and school-related identities are often resisted in the material. Resistance is seen as an interactional way of levelling the unequal relations that categorisation produces. It is also considered a reflection of their shared reality being just as important as the differences generated by categorisation. An intra-individual study of three young people in different everyday situations provides evidence that ethnic identities are flexible, context-sensitive and made relevant depending to a large degree on the participants at the situation at hand.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Languages and linguistics; Scandinavian languages; Swedish language; HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Languages and linguistics; Scandinavian languages; interaction; identity; ethnification; multicultural environment; positioning; young people; Swedish

ISBN:91-22-02075-6

Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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