Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 20 Issue 4 (July/August 2010), Pages 249-332

The dialogical self in a cultural contact zone: Exploring the perceived ‘cultural correction’ function of schooling (pages 275-287)


This paper discusses a qualitative study that explores the impact the development of a cultural contact zone has upon identity processes in the Dialogical Self. The analysis draws upon interviews with Irish nationals, immigrants and asylum seekers in a new cultural contact zone. The findings illustrate uncertainty experienced as a result of immigration, suggesting that the development of the contact zone caused cultural discontinuity. The individuals' uncertainty for their cultural identities' future viability demanded the development of identity strategies to maintain continuity with their perceived cultural future, where they were faced with cultural others. Identity repositionings and a strategy to maintain continuity will be explored in the current paper. The Irish and asylum seeker participants' unprompted focus on schooling will be explored as a continuity strategy. The participants constructed schooling as a tool for the ‘cultural correction’ of migrant children and a means for the assimilation of migrants into the Irish community. The paper discusses the function of this strategy for the two groups, and the theoretical integration of cultural level processes in the theory of the Dialogical Self. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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