Shifting Identities and Intergenerational Conflict

Alex Stepick, Carol Dutton Stepick, Emmanuel Eugene, Deborah Teed and Yves Labissiere

in Ethnicities

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780520230118
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927513 | DOI:
Shifting Identities and Intergenerational Conflict

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This chapter discusses the great importance of cultural dissonance between Haitian youth and Haitian adults, between Haitian youth and school personnel, and between Haitian youth and other southern Florida youth, to Haitian students. Haitian students consider the cultural dissonance as more important than their grades, test scores, and, for some, even going on to college. The chapter explains that Haitians, along with West Indians, perceived discrimination far more than other CILS students. They were more likely to claim they did not know their native language, although ethnographic data indicate they did indeed understand and speak Haitian Creole. Haitian youth in southern Florida are undergoing powerful transformations. They move toward adopting less-assimilated labels, their behavior reflects more Americanization, particularly African American styles. The educational achievements of Haitian youth indicate that a few of them are likely to remain aware of their Haitian heritage.

Keywords: Haitian; Miami; cultural dissonance; southern Florida; Haitian Creole; Americanization; African American styles; educational achievements

Chapter.  13353 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Migration Studies

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