Ways in which the Cultural Identities of Mixed Heritage Individuals are Maintained in Mixed Ethnic Stepfamilies

Prof Doc Thesis

Ayo, Y. 2015. Ways in which the Cultural Identities of Mixed Heritage Individuals are Maintained in Mixed Ethnic Stepfamilies. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Social Sciences https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.7139
AuthorsAyo, Y.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

There has been an increasing amount of research into mixed heritage
individuals, both adults and adolescents. More recently, some research
has emerged on mixed heritage families, but there is hardly any
research on mixed ethnicity stepfamilies. As a systemic clinician of
mixed heritage, my research interest has stemmed from my personal
experience of living in a stepfamily with visible differences, where my
fathers Nigerian culture was not discussed. In my clinical job, work with
families from culturally mixed backgrounds and have developed a keen
interest in their experiences of maintaining the different cultures. I used
discourse analysis to examine the various ways in which stepfamilies
talked about their differences. Five stepfamilies were recruited. The
biological parents (all mothers) and their partners and children participated in the study. The study revealed considerable variation in
the talking and maintenance of cultural heritages within the stepfamilies,
but four main findings emerged. In some stepfamilies, there was little or
no talking, whilst in others, talking about the process of becoming a
stepfamily occurred. The stepfamilies had various experiences of living
with their visible differences, which included ideas of not having any
differences or minimising differences. The extended family's role also
played an important part that changed over time. The biological fathers
'presence' was particularly significant to the children, most of whom
maintained contact with their fathers. The study has revealed stepfamily
life's complexities and the numerous ways in which the mixed heritage
children/stepchildren navigated the different households to maintain their
cultural heritages.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.7139
Publication dates
PrintOct 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Mar 2018
Publisher's version
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