Dialectics of Ethnic Identity

Blume, Libby Balter, Iren Assar, Leena Hadied, and Lee Ann De Reus

The meaning of racial/ethnic identity is complicated for transnational immigrant families who often maintain family ties in two very different cultures. This poster summarizes identity themes from the pilot interviews of two mother-daughter pairs of Middle Eastern ethnicity. Using dialectical methods, qualitative data are juxtaposed to reveal three conflictual themes with respect to racial/ethnic identity formation as well as co-constructed assumptions, meanings, and practices in families and ethnic communities. Underlying tensions, ambiguities, and contextual choices are discussed with respect to nationality and White racial/ethnic identity formation. Implications for our ongoing research project are suggested.