Reconciling social norms with personal interests: indigenous styles of identity formation among Pakistani youth

Hassan, Bushra, Vignoles, Vivian L and Schwartz, Seth J (2018) Reconciling social norms with personal interests: indigenous styles of identity formation among Pakistani youth. Emerging Adulthood. ISSN 2167-6968

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Abstract

Research on identity formation has been conducted mostly in Western contexts. We extend and complement such research by exploring qualitatively the strategies and styles of identity formation employed by emerging adults in Pakistan. Whereas Western theories of identity formation often provide a negative view of normative orientation as “blind obedience” without exploring alternatives, our thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 12 Pakistani emerging adults suggests a much more complex interplay between personal interests and normative influences on identity formation. Participants described various ways of reconciling normative expectations (parental, religious, and cultural) with their personal interests, preferences, and explorations, when deciding about their careers, relationships, and values. In Pakistani culture, normative influences seem to play a more positive and flexible role in identity formation than is suggested by previous Western research.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: identity; culture; thematic analysis; normative orientation; Pakistan; indigenous psychologies
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Ellena Adams
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2018 11:07
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2018 15:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/72892

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