‘I am… who I am…’: Exploring ethnic options for ethnic minorities: a typology

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Abstract

Do minorities have ethnic options? Answering to the call of sociologist Song to acknowledge and study the ethnic options of minorities, this paper explores the ethnic identities of higher educated Moroccan and Turkish Dutch. Clearly, social mobility does not shield individuals from exclusion, but this exclusion does not leave individuals powerless. In-depth interviews reveal a range of discursive responses to unwanted external labelling; which is a persistent mechanism of exclusion. The typology of identity responses that is developed in this paper (to contest, convince, conceal, and conform the imposed identity) directs attention to the interactive nature of identification. This typology highlights individual agency as used to negotiate belonging in various ways, and at the same time acknowledges the coercive power of the social context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Perspectives
Publication statusSubmitted - 2017

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