“Our souls are there, we are returning someday” – Young Palestinians in Sweden reflecting on ethnicity as an aspect of identity

University essay from Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle

Abstract: This thesis examines how Palestinian ethnicity is negotiated and embodied in different contexts by young people with Palestinian background in Sweden. It is based on semi-structured interviews and uses Social Identity and Self Categorization theory. A main result is that the Palestinian ethnicity of the respondents play an essential role for their identity building, regardless of context. While being “Palestinian” is fore-fronted by all the interviewees as central to their identities, they ascribe somewhat different meanings to the concept of Palestinian-ness - what actually makes them “feel Palestinian” or can claim a Palestinian identity. Further, the interviewees’ perception of how Palestinian-ness is generally regarded in different contexts matter. Lastly, their notion of Palestinian ethnicity is strongly connected to the Palestinian territory and the historical-political situation and conflict with Israel. Together, these themes show the complexity of identity and ethnicity, however, the interviewees relation to their Palestinian background is solid.

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