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White British; dual heritage; British Muslim: young Britons' conceptualisation of identity and citizenship

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This paper examines young British people's conceptualisation of identity and citizenship. Data were gathered through a questionnaire survey from 442 young male and female citizens of majority and minority ethnic origins, aged 14-24 years and at different stages of education, employment and non-employment. This was followed up by in-depth interviews with a stratified sample of 40 participants. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, and by closely examining the two key concepts of identity and citizenship, the paper analyses the ways in which young Britons perceive their multiple identities and citizenship status. The research shows that education and career are the major priorities of these young people. They have clear notions of identity and citizenship and most are comfortable with their own identities and feelings of citizenship. However, some of those who are from a minority ethnic background have doubts about being viewed as British citizens because of racial harassment or stereotyping, particularly in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in the West. The research has implications for pedagogy, education policy, community cohesion and social justice.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Education, University of Wolverhampton, UK

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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