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ERIC Number: ED403049
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Development of the Identity in the Cultural Context.
Kronqvist, Eeva-Liisa
A central element in the socialization process of human beings is the development and transformation of personality. Two main theories contrast personality as an internal, subjective entity and as an entity that exists only in relation to others. This research project, adopting the second approach, investigated the formation of identity in young people living in bicultural families. It focused on two main points: to which culture did the adolescents primarily orient themselves, and with which parent did they identify. Subjects were 109 teenagers living in Germany of whom one parent (usually the mother) was Finnish. Interviews and a questionnaire revealed three cultural orientations: German, Finnish, and German-Finnish. The majority of adolescents considered themselves German, with the German-Finnish combination a close second. Only 20 percent considered themselves Finnish. Factors such as the language they used, which lifestyle they preferred, and which country they focused on when making future plans were relevant factors in distinguishing between the groups. In the second area of focus, parents were found to be the most important factor in identity formation. Mothers represented a traditional model and orientation toward Finnish culture; fathers represented German lifestyle and orientation. Most subjects wanted to distance themselves from both, preferring to live "between" cultures. No problems with identity conflict were apparent, however. (Contains 16 references.) (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A