TOWARD AN IDENTITY STRESS. Language and religious affiliations of an immigrant adolescent in Norway

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Abstract

This paper explores the usefulness of different languages in determining and shaping the notions of identity of a second-generation immigrant adolescent in Norway. This research is part of a doctoral study based on the sociolinguistic ethnographic method of inquiry on an Indian immigrant family. The verbal repertoire of the Norwegian informant includes many languages and each of the languages contributes to different meanings in the construction of the informant’s identity. The informant’s language practices are influenced by the language ideologies of his parents, who endeavor to maintain the culture and languages of their country of origin. One of the core issues for the family members is the perseverance of their religion and hence a religious identity is manifested in the narratives of the informant. Besides, a lack of adequate language competencies in parental languages and a desire to maintain the culture of origin in the family premises, the young adolescent shows signs of identity stress.

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