Subtractive identity

Nan M. Sussman

in Return Migration and Identity

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028832
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207370 | DOI:
Subtractive identity

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This chapter describes the remigrant experience through an examination of the subtractive identity profile. The Cultural Identity Model suggests that one common response to cultural transition is adaptation and a shift in identity away from one's home culture attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. It explains that the “subtractive” identity profile is adopted by individuals who experience the shift most saliently once they return to their homeland and endure great psychological distress. Emotionally, subtractive identity is characterized by depression, anxiety, and displacement. Cognitively, those with a subtractive profile perceive themselves as dissimilar from their compatriots in their essential values, beliefs, interpretations of others' behavior, and self-definition; they frequently experience isolation and bewilderment.

Keywords: remigrant experience; subtractive identity profile; Cultural Identity Model; psychological distress

Chapter.  6495 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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