Objects are not just a thing – (re)negotiating identity through using material objects within the Kurdish diaspora in the UK

Journal article


Mahmud, C. 2024. Objects are not just a thing – (re)negotiating identity through using material objects within the Kurdish diaspora in the UK. Applied Linguistics Review. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2024-0055
AuthorsMahmud, C.
Abstract

Material belongings have a significant impact on shaping one’s identity, and they play a crucial role as identity markers and valuable instruments for negotiating distinctions among diverse communities, especially for those who experience migration. This research focuses on a specific group of Iraqi Kurdish migrants living in the UK, exploring how they navigate and mould their cultural identity through their cherished possessions. Utilizing a multimodal approach, data collection involved narrative interviews and visual ethnography methods, such as photo voice. The dataset underwent a systematic thematic analysis following Braun and Clarke’s methodology, leading to an objective and cohesive thematic presentation. The findings underscore the significance of material culture for Iraqi-Kurdish participants in this study. These respondents held deep emotional connections to material objects, linking the landscapes of their past lives to their present experiences in the UK. By cherishing and preserving these possessions, they established a discursive “third space” to express emotions and negotiate their complex “in-between” identities. This term describes a state of dilemma wherein individuals grapple with conflicting senses of identity due to exposure to and affiliation with two distinct cultures. Specifically, it applies to participants who simultaneously value and embrace both their Kurdish culture and identity, as well as their British culture and identity.

KeywordsKurdish material culture; Identity; Third space; Memory object; Narrative
Year2024
JournalApplied Linguistics Review
PublisherDe Gruyter
ISSN1868-6303
1868-6311
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2024-0055
Official URLhttps://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/applirev-2024-0055/html
Publication dates
Online08 Apr 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Mar 2024
Deposited22 Apr 2024
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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