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Being British vs being American: Identification among second-generation adults of Nigerian descent in the US and UK

Authors: Imoagene, Onoso
Keywords: Nigerian;African;second generation;identity;multiculturalism
Issue Date: 3-Jan-2012
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Imoagene, Onoso. 2012. “Being British vs. Being American: Identification among Second Generation Adults of Nigerian Descent in the US and UK.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 35 (12): 2153-2173.
Abstract: This paper explores the important roles national identity and legacies of the past play in shaping the meanings second-generation adults of Nigerian descent attach to being British or American. Whether a country's national identity is inclusive or exclusive of immigrants, and whether its national myths have emotive appeal also affects the sense of welcome and belonging that the second generation feel. Comparing the USA and the UK, I find that although the USA has taken a laissez-faire approach to multiculturalism, its national identity has strong emotive appeal and is accepted by the majority of the second generation. The UK is a contrary case; despite its official policy of multiculturalism, it has not seen widespread articulation of shared national sentiments and myths among its second generation. From careful analyses, it is clear that multicultural policies are not making a big difference.
Rights: CC BY-NC-ND
Appears in Collections:Onoso Imoagene’s Collection

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