'Sometimes I feel more Moroccan than Dutch': Identity and belonging in second-generation Iranian-Dutch women

H. Ghorashi, L. Kianmanesh Rad

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Purpose – With political tensions surrounding migrants in post-9/11 Western societies, scholarship on second-generation immigrants has surged. This study explores the narratives of second-generation Iranian-Dutch women, a previously unstudied group, in relation to their positionality regarding identity and belonging.

Methodology/Approach – By combining focus group discussions with in-depth individual interviews, we explored the narratives of 13 second-generation Iranian-Dutch women. Our focus was on their senses of belonging, cultural identities and lived experiences as they navigated between Dutch society and their parents’ complicated heritage, against the backdrop of the post-9/11 world.

Findings – Although these women are perfectly ‘integrated’, they are still frequently approached and labelled as ‘foreigners’ in society, which negatively impacts their sense of belonging in Dutch society. However, our participants navigated contradicting parental and societal expectations, finding new ways to belong and fashioning cultural identities in multiplicity.

Originality/Value of the Paper – To our knowledge, the specific experiences of second-generation Iranian-Dutch migrants have received no scholarly attention. Our findings further the understanding on relevant second-generation themes such as the immigrant bargain, solidarity between different ethnic minority groups, and new ways of belonging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContested Belonging
Subtitle of host publicationSpaces, Practices, Biographies
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781787432062
ISBN (Print)9781787432079
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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