A Charles Darwin University researcher will present research in Japan next week about how third and fourth generation South Asian youth living in the West view their cultural identity.
The Northern Institute Senior Research Fellow Dr Serena Hussain will present her paper entitled “South Asian Youth: Understanding trans-national hybrid connectedness and avoiding alienation within national identity discourse” at the 2013 Asian Conference for the Arts and Humanities.
Dr Hussain said the research investigated whether British youths of South Asian descent felt as though they had a link to their countries of heritage.
“A key finding from this study surrounds attitudes towards non-British born recent immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh,” Dr Hussain said.
“It has been argued that these communities have failed to integrate into a common national identity, however, we found that young Britons of Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent had formed hybrid cultural identities.
“These communities have already gone through a process of Westernisation, however, cultural indicators from their countries of heritage, such as clothing and language were demonstrated despite many never having visited these countries.
“Ethnic identities remain strong, yet identification with Asia as a physical location is weaker than expected, which raises questions about how these youth form their hybrid cultural identities.”
A key recommendation arising from the research was the focus of Western government interest in how South Asian youth now position themselves in a global context in relation to their countries of heritage.
The 2013 Asian Conference for the Arts and Humanities will take place from 4 to 7 April in Osaka, Japan.