Resilient Resistance: Understanding the Construction of Positive Ethnocultural Identity in Visible Minority Youth

  • Author / Creator
    Shen, Elizabeth D
  • Visible minority youth face racism daily at micro, mezzo and macro-levels and yet there is a gap in academic research that examines how these students can combat racism, as they experience it at the micro-level, in order to develop pride toward their minority culture and race. As such, this dissertation explores how visible minority youth, who are living within a dominant culture environment where all levels of racism exist to encourage their assimilation, are able to express positive ethnocultural identity. In doing so, this dissertation seeks to answer the question of: How do visible minority youth build positive personal ethnocultural identity? with the corresponding question of: How do visible minority students externally express ethnocultural identity? Using case study methodology within two schools in the province of Alberta, visible minority adolescent students were interviewed and data were analyzed to gain insight into the various strategies that junior high school (grades 7, 8 and 9) students use to express their ethnocultural identity. I learned that students build ethnocultural identity by: 1. seeking and embracing cultural knowledge; 2. accepting feelings of difference; 3. dealing with stereotypes and racism; and 4.) bridging cultures and race. Using Rozas and Miller’s (2009) web of resistance as a conceptual framework assisted to break the strategies used by the students in each story line down into a dichotomy of internal and external strategies, which represented the students need to consider and personalize the events they experienced in order to enact resilient resistance against racism and develop positive personal ethnocultural identity with or without conscious understanding of micro, mezzo and macro-levels of racism. This study highlights the importance of student experience, deliberation and agency in the construction of positive ethnocultural identity in visible minority youth.

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  • Graduation date
    Spring 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
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