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Identity formation of Cypriot Turkish, Kurdish and Turkish young people in London in a transnational context

Simsek, Dogus (2012). Identity formation of Cypriot Turkish, Kurdish and Turkish young people in London in a transnational context. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This thesis explores the identity formation of three Turkish speaking social groups – Cypriot Turkish, Kurdish and Turkish (CKT) – living in London in a transnational context. The thesis aims to explore how CKT youths negotiate their identity by looking at their everyday experiences. The everyday experiences of CKT youth are observed through their discourses and interpretations of different interactions. By analysing these interactions, this thesis aims to fill some of the gaps in the literature on transnationalism.

The theoretical framework of this thesis is based mainly on Giddens’ theory of identity formation and Faist’s concept of transnational social space. By focusing on the concepts of identity and transnational social space, the thesis examines how the experiences, perceptions and social relations of CKT youth are formed by negotiation and dialogue with the country of origin, host culture and individual attachments. Giddens helps us to conceive identity in a dynamic way and as an outcome of the interaction between structural dimensions, social relations and the self. In this thesis, these structural, social and individual dimensions are operationalised through the analysis of CKT youth interaction with their family, community organisations, school contexts, neighbourhood environments and transnational medias. The concept of transnational social space is used to characterise the identity formation occurring across the borders of nation-states and brought into a single social space.

The empirical data are based on 45 semi-structured interviews with CKT youth, 16 semi-structured interviews with first generation CKT migrants, one focus group and participatory observation at five community meetings, as well as several social events organised by CKT youth.

The thesis concludes that the choices young people make in terms of their ways of life, the sorts of interactions they have, and their social and cultural preferences frame their positioning within society. Their experiences are diverse and transformative, formed through their interactions with various social and structural aspects surrounding them.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
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