Journal Article

Bracing for and Embracing Difference in America's Majority Minority Metropolis: Bangladeshi Immigrant Children Coming of Age in New York City

Mohammed Faridul Alam

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 43, issue 4, pages 631-650
Published in print June 2013 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr201
Bracing for and Embracing Difference in America's Majority Minority Metropolis: Bangladeshi Immigrant Children Coming of Age in New York City

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This grounded theory study explores the acculturation patterns of Bangladeshi second-generation immigrants in New York City, who immigrated with parents before the age of ten (G-1.5) or were born in the USA (G-2.0). In-depth interviews with thirty-three informants were triangulated with observations of parent–child interactions and concerned parents' perspectives shared with the researcher. The findings are presented in four analytical categories: crossroads of acculturation between parents and children; gendered socialisation of children in patriarchal value system; Big Apple at the centre stage of transformation; and construction and negotiation of post-immigrant identities. These frameworks reveal how the informants renounce their parents' ethnocentricity by redefining native country affiliation and what the acculturated girls reconfigure to rewrite the norms of patriarchy and arranged marriage. Their unfolding narratives instantiate that the children of immigrants reinvent the burgeoning diversity of the context of reception by bracing for and embracing differences commensurate with how the majority minority city constantly transforms them. It is intended to generate a beginning of understanding among social work practitioners and researchers of how intergenerational dynamics, together with gender and identity roles, play out as parents and children in an underserved South Asian community try to make sense of their lived experiences as new immigrants.

Keywords: acculturation; gendered socialization; grounded-theory; post-immigrant identities

Journal Article.  6116 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Work

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