Negotiating social belonging: A case study of second-generation Kurds in London

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This qualitative study aims to contribute to our understanding of how second-generation immigrants negotiate their multiple identities, and construct their feelings of belonging. We focus on second-generation ethnic Kurds, a stateless ethnic group with a complex political and social history, who have seldom been investigated in a UK context. Drawing on data from interviews with fourteen Kurds living in the UK, this paper outlines the tensions in Kurds’ lived experiences of Kurdish and British identity; in particular, experiences of feeling ‘othered’ and how this manifests in relation to their identities. We found that Kurds most commonly dealt with some of the tensions they experienced from not belonging or feeling like an ‘other’ by constructing new identities with more permeable boundaries of belonging; in this study, this was achieved through a ‘place-based’ identity. In sum, this paper offers a novel contribution to discourses of belonging, by demonstrating how the nuances of belonging and its lived complexities manifest in the experiences of UK based second-generation Kurds, and the resultant strategies that they adopt to navigate tensions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1098
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number6
Early online date7 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

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