Ethnic identity and wellbeing in the lives of third-generation British Bangladeshi adults: Finding a ‘sense of belonging’

Lizette Nolte, Hannah Wright, Jacqueline Gratton, Romena Toki, Tamid Rahman

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Abstract

This study investigated third generation Bangladeshi adults’ experiences of ethnic identity (EI) and sense of wellbeing. British citizens from racially minoritised backgrounds, such as British Bangladeshis, face numerous challenges related to cultural adjustment, discrimination, and exclusion that can impact wellbeing. Strong EI has been shown to increase psychological wellbeing in minority ethnic populations. Fifteen participants who identified as third-generation British Bangladeshi adults were engaged in semi-structured interviews to explore their experiences of EI and wellbeing. Thematic analysis of the data conceptualised three main themes, namely, ‘Oh my God, I’m different’: Being made to feel like an outsider in Britain; ‘You’re a coconut’: Being made to feel like an outsider within the British Bangladeshi community; and ‘A proper sense of belonging’ through ethnic identity. The findings point towards the role that EI can play in later generation immigrants’ sense of self and wellbeing. Implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalPsychotherapy and Politics International
Volume20
Issue number1 & 2 (2022)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • British Bangladeshi
  • Ethnic Identity
  • Culture
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Discrimination
  • Islamophobia

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