Language and perceptions of identity threat

Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519 and Coyle, A., 2009. Language and perceptions of identity threat. Psychology & Society, 2 (2), pp. 150-167. ISSN 2041-5893

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This study explores how a group of British South Asians (BSA) understood, defined and evaluated languages associated with their ethnic and religious identities, focusing upon the role of language in the negotiation and construction of these identities and particularly upon strategies employed for coping with identity threat. Twelve BSA were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Transcripts were subjected to qualitative thematic analysis. Participants’ accounts were explored through the interpretive lens of identity process theory. Four superordinate themes are reported: “Maintaining a sense of distinctiveness through language use”, “Exclusion of others and personal claims of belonging”, “Deriving a sense of self-esteem from the knowledge of one’s threatening position” and “Two identities, two languages. Searching for psychological coherence”. While identity principles may be cross-culturally universal, coping strategies are fluid and dynamic. Individuals will act strategically to minimise identity threat. Some of the coping strategies manifested by participants are discussed.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Psychology & Society
Creators: Jaspal, R. and Coyle, A.
Publisher: Psychology & Society
Date: November 2009
Volume: 2
Number: 2
ISSN: 2041-5893
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 21 Apr 2020 10:22
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 10:22
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