Multiculturalism and inter-group dynamics: Language Culture and Identity of Turkish Speaking Youth in the UK

Tozun Issa

London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

WS140: Multilingualism and identities across Contexts: Turkish-speaking Youth in Europe

Contrary to common assumptions, Turkish speaking communities in the UK is not a homogenous group. It is made up of Mainland Turks, Turkish Cypriots and Turkish speaking Kurds from Turkey. These groups differ in their social,cultural, educational and political aspirations. The patterns of code- switching/borrowing used within variations of Turkish reflect such diversity.Previous studies into the communities revealed different educational and social experiences (Institute of Education, 1999; Griffiths, 2002; Issa, 2005). The study focuses on second/ third generation Turkish, Cypriot and Kurdish Youth (16-19) attending community supplementary schools. Each group, consisting of 6-8 students from three different schools is matched by age, gender and length of time in the British education system. Semi structured interviews are conducted to determine students’ views on cultural, social, political and their educational aspirations.

The results are categorised according to emerging themes: schooling and educational aspirations, bilingualism, social,/cultural /religious/political experiences, inter-group dynamics, intra-group relations.

Overall findings are evaluated in relation to the participants' construction of their multiple identities.

Session: Workshop (part 2)
Multilingualism and identities across Contexts: Turkish-speaking Youth in Europe
Friday, April 4, 2008, 13:45-15:15
room: 07