“I am a Swede born in Bosnia with roots from Montenegro” - Communication and identity development for second generation immigrants in Sweden – a pilot study

University essay from IT-universitetet i Göteborg/Tillämpad informationsteknologi

Abstract: This paper represents a study regarding identity and communication of secondgeneration immigrants in Sweden. The mediated kind of communication used by theinformants, their common social activities and their self-perceived identity were theaspects explored in order to establish the stage of integration into the majority. The studyis based on the four stages minority group identity development theory: unexaminedidentity, conformity, resistance and separatism, integration. In this paper secondgeneration immigrants are referred to as the minority. The hypothesis formulated at thebeginning of this study was that second generation immigrants resist the majority byforming their own group with own culture, different from the native Swedish one.The research was conducted through ten structured interviews, some of them enrichedwith additional information provided by answering spontaneous auxiliary questions,according to each informant’s case. The study revealed integration of the target groupinto the majority and the typical means of communication mentioned by the informantsoutlined a type of youth culture rather than a non-Swedish culture. Therefore in this casecommunication reinforces identity and facilitates integration, contrary to the formulatedhypothesis. Second generation immigrants have a clear image of their mixed identity, oftheir minority group and of the majority group, typical for the integration stage.The study concludes that the aspects of communication studied affect positively thedevelopment of identity for second generation immigrants and help their integration intothe majority.

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