Multiple Voices, Multiple Identities

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042473/00001

Material Information

Title: Multiple Voices, Multiple Identities An Examination of Identity Construction Among Four Anglophone Caribbean Adolescents
Physical Description: 1 online resource (245 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Bryan, Kisha C
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: adolescence -- caribbean -- choice -- construction -- identities -- immigrants -- language -- spaces -- third
Teaching and Learning -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Curriculum and Instruction (ISC) thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: Research is plentiful on identity development in both non-English speaking immigrant and native groups. However, we know a lot less about how Anglophone Caribbean adolescents construct, describe, and express their linguistic, racial, and cultural identities in the context of school. This study investigated identity construction among Anglophone Caribbean adolescents and the ways in which schooling has shaped their experiences. The two research questions that guided this study were 1) how do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents describe and construct their identities and 2) how do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents' perceive that their schooling experiences have shaped their identities? Qualitative research methods were used to answer the research questions. While several themes emerged in the individual cases, findings from the cross participant analysis suggest that participants: 1) constructed "third space" identities characterized by multiplicity and multidimensionality, intersecting and shaping each other; 2) displayed a lack of linguistic indicators of hybridity suggesting a disjuncture between lived experiences and the ways they discussed their identities; 3) viewed space as an important consideration in the limitation and/or expansion of valued identity options; 4) suggested that identity saliency is influenced by the demographic profile of the communities in which participants resided, their peer groups in schools, and the extracurricular activities in which they were involved; 5) viewed schools are producers of deficit discourses; 6) viewed schools as avenues for identity affirmation; and 7) used language choice as a way to index their various identities. This study confirms previous research on the benefits of constructivist and poststructuralist understandings of identity as opposed to frameworks based on structuralism. It provides implications for teacher education and professional development settings where discourses regarding identity construction must include "third spaces" if the identities of all students are to be affirmed. Four areas for further research with identity construction in this population are highlighted: 1) gender differences in identity development 2) The role of familial socialization 3) The role of religion and its influence and 4) participants views of the purposes of U.S. American schooling in regards to identity construction.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Kisha C Bryan.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: De Jong, Ester J.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0042473:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042473/00001

Material Information

Title: Multiple Voices, Multiple Identities An Examination of Identity Construction Among Four Anglophone Caribbean Adolescents
Physical Description: 1 online resource (245 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Bryan, Kisha C
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: adolescence -- caribbean -- choice -- construction -- identities -- immigrants -- language -- spaces -- third
Teaching and Learning -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Curriculum and Instruction (ISC) thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: Research is plentiful on identity development in both non-English speaking immigrant and native groups. However, we know a lot less about how Anglophone Caribbean adolescents construct, describe, and express their linguistic, racial, and cultural identities in the context of school. This study investigated identity construction among Anglophone Caribbean adolescents and the ways in which schooling has shaped their experiences. The two research questions that guided this study were 1) how do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents describe and construct their identities and 2) how do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents' perceive that their schooling experiences have shaped their identities? Qualitative research methods were used to answer the research questions. While several themes emerged in the individual cases, findings from the cross participant analysis suggest that participants: 1) constructed "third space" identities characterized by multiplicity and multidimensionality, intersecting and shaping each other; 2) displayed a lack of linguistic indicators of hybridity suggesting a disjuncture between lived experiences and the ways they discussed their identities; 3) viewed space as an important consideration in the limitation and/or expansion of valued identity options; 4) suggested that identity saliency is influenced by the demographic profile of the communities in which participants resided, their peer groups in schools, and the extracurricular activities in which they were involved; 5) viewed schools are producers of deficit discourses; 6) viewed schools as avenues for identity affirmation; and 7) used language choice as a way to index their various identities. This study confirms previous research on the benefits of constructivist and poststructuralist understandings of identity as opposed to frameworks based on structuralism. It provides implications for teacher education and professional development settings where discourses regarding identity construction must include "third spaces" if the identities of all students are to be affirmed. Four areas for further research with identity construction in this population are highlighted: 1) gender differences in identity development 2) The role of familial socialization 3) The role of religion and its influence and 4) participants views of the purposes of U.S. American schooling in regards to identity construction.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Kisha C Bryan.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: De Jong, Ester J.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0042473:00001

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2 2012 Kisha C. Bryan


3 To Rya nn Olivia, the light of my life and my inspiration


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This journey w ould have not been possible without the grace and mercy that God continues to provide me. There are many people to whom I am indebted for the strength, love, and support that they have given me throughout this process. I am extremely appreciative of my dis sertation committee members, Dr. Ester de Jong, Dr. Maria Coady, Dr. Mirka Koro Ljungberg, and Dr. Ronald Kephart. My dissertation chair, Ester de Jong, has facilitated my growth as both a teacher and scholar. Dr. de Jong believed in me and encouraged me even when I began to actions good, bad, or indifferent. She read draft after draft (even while on sabbatical and over holidays), providing insightful comments so that I mi ght improve this work. My other committee members have also influenced my life and work in ways too numerous to describe. My interactions with Dr. Coady, Dr. Mirka, and Dr. Kephart have taught me a great deal about pedagogy, research methodology, and the importance of collaboration. Through them, I have also learned that it is possible to successfully balance family and career. I would like to thank my friends and colleagues who were there to listen, who understood my challenges along the way, and who a pplauded my successes. Dr. Katherin Garland, Dr. Sophie Maxis, Dr. Sandra Hancock, and the future Dr. Jyrece McClendon were always only a phone call away when I needed words of encouragement from peers who could relate. Their friendship during this process was invaluable. I thank my family who individually knew the best ways to support me especially Jeanetta Bryan, Donna Bryan Gardner, and Glenda Bryan Smith, who never once


5 my cousins, aunts, uncles, sister, niece, nephew, and understand the sacrifices that she too has made to make my goals a possibility. Finally, I would like to thank Elise, Kendall, Nicole, and DeAndre for participating in this study. They allowed me into their homes and lives, shared their opinions, interests, and life altering experiences with me and allowed me to give them voice through this work. They became my teachers and for this I will be forever grateful.


6 TABLE OF CONTE NTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 10 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 Anglophone Caribbean Immigrants in the United States ................................ ........ 14 Caribbean Immigration ................................ ................................ ............................ 15 Language, Education, and Identity in the Caribbean ................................ .............. 17 Language, Education, and Identity in U.S. Schools ................................ ................ 20 Problem Statement ................................ ................................ ................................ 23 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 24 Questions Guiding the Study ................................ ................................ .................. 24 Value of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 24 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 28 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 28 Notions of Identity Based on Structuralism ................................ ............................. 29 Stru ................................ ................................ .. 30 Identity Models Based on Developmental Theory ................................ ............ 30 Identity Models Based on Acculturation T heory ................................ ............... 31 Strengths and Criticisms of Notions of Identity Based on Structuralism ................. 34 Notions of Identity Based on Constructivism ................................ ........................... 38 Constructivist Definitions of Identity ................................ ................................ ........ 39 Identity Theories Based on Constructivism ................................ ............................. 40 Strengths and Criticisms of Notions of Identity based on Constructivism ............... 43 Notions of Identity Based on Post Structuralism ................................ ..................... 44 Post Structural Definitions of Identity ................................ ............................... 45 Identities as Multiple ................................ ................................ ......................... 45 Identities as Dynamic ................................ ................................ ....................... 47 Identities as Hybrid ................................ ................................ ........................... 49 Strengths of Poststructuralist Notions of Identity ................................ .................... 51 Identity Construction Processes ................................ ................................ ............. 51 Language Theory ................................ ................................ ............................. 52 Language and Power in Identity Construction ................................ .................. 53 Acts of Identity ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 55


7 Constructing identities in the Context of School ................................ ...................... 58 Language, Cult ure, and Identities at School ................................ ..................... 59 Language Varieties in the Classroom ................................ ............................... 61 Anglophone Caribbean Immigrants and Identity Constructio n ................................ 63 Concluding Remarks ................................ ................................ .............................. 65 3 RESEARCH APPROACH ................................ ................................ ....................... 71 Questions Guid ing the Study ................................ ................................ .................. 71 Constructivism ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 71 The Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 72 Elise ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 73 Kendall ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 74 Nicole ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 74 DeAndre ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 75 Setting ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 75 Access and Entry ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 76 Data Collection Procedures ................................ ................................ .................... 77 Research Instruments ................................ ................................ ............................. 77 Background Questionnaires ................................ ................................ ............. 77 Interviews ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 78 Photo Elicitation ................................ ................................ ............................... 80 Email Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 83 ................................ ................................ ....... 84 Data Analysis Procedures ................................ ................................ ....................... 84 Establishing Validity ................................ ................................ ................................ 88 Data Triangulation ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 89 Member Checking ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 90 Researcher Subjectivity ................................ ................................ .......................... 91 My Identity as a Black Perso n ................................ ................................ .......... 91 My Experiences with Anglophone Caribbean Students ................................ .... 92 Journaling ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 92 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 92 4 ELISE ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 101 Constructing a Jamerican Identity ................................ ................................ ......... 101 ................................ ................................ ......................... 105 Embracing a Student Identity ................................ ................................ ................ 108 Discourses of School ................................ ................................ ............................ 110 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 111 5 KENDALL ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 114 Multiple Identities: Being Different, Being Unique ................................ ................. 114 Being a Virgin Islander ................................ ................................ .......................... 117


8 West Indies Kids ................................ ................................ ............................. 118 Annual Culture Night ................................ ................................ ...................... 119 Being African American ................................ ................................ ........................ 120 Athletic Expectations of African American Peers ................................ ............ 122 Embracing an Identity Through Rastafarianism ................................ .............. 123 Perceived Discrimination ................................ ................................ ...................... 125 The Curriculum and Faculty Demographics ................................ ................... 125 The Athletic Program ................................ ................................ ...................... 126 Self Segregation at School ................................ ................................ ............. 127 Sum mary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 129 6 NICOLE ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 132 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 132 Being Christian ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 132 Being More or Less Black ................................ ................................ ..................... 134 Being Jamaican ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 137 Negotiating Identitie s ................................ ................................ ............................ 138 Negotiating Identities in the Context of School ................................ ..................... 140 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 146 7 DEANDRE ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 151 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 151 Being Black Bahamian ................................ ................................ .......................... 151 Co nstructing the Other Half ................................ ................................ .................. 154 Speaking Like Everybody Else ................................ ................................ ............. 156 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 158 8 A VIEW ACROSS ................................ ................................ ................................ 163 Similarities Among Participants ................................ ................................ ............ 163 Multiple Identity Options ................................ ................................ ................. 163 Identities as Relational and Role Related ................................ ....................... 165 Identity Construction Within the School Context ................................ ................... 168 Language Choice and Use as Acts of Identity ................................ ...................... 171 Constructing Caribbean identities ................................ ................................ ... 171 Constructing U.S. American Identities ................................ ............................ 173 ................................ ........................... 175 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 178 9 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 180 Describing Identities: Constructing the Self in/as a Third Space ........................... 181 ltidimensional ................................ 181 ................................ ................................ .... 182 Situationality of Identity Options ................................ ................................ ..... 186 Identity Construction in School: Dominant Discourses ................................ .......... 190


9 Schools as Producers of Discourses of Deficiency and Tolerance ................. 190 Discourses, Identity Options, and Identity Choices ................................ ........ 193 Language as an Indicator of Identity within the Context of School ................. 197 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 202 10 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 208 Summary of Findings ................................ ................................ ............................ 208 Implications for Scholars ................................ ................................ ....................... 209 Implications for Educators ................................ ................................ ..................... 210 Considerations for Future Research ................................ ................................ ..... 211 APPENDIX A PARTICIPANT ASSENT FORM ................................ ................................ ........... 214 B PARENTAL CONSENT FORM ................................ ................................ ............. 215 C DEMOGRA PHIC QUESTIONNAIRE ................................ ................................ .... 216 D INTERVIEW PROTOCOL 1 ................................ ................................ .................. 217 E INTERVIEW PROTOCOL 2 ................................ ................................ .................. 218 F INTERVIEW PROTOCOL 3 ................................ ................................ .................. 219 G EMAIL QUESTIONS ................................ ................................ ............................. 220 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 221 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 245


10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1 1 Legal immigrants moving to New York City from 1982 to 1991 from most to le ast ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 26 1 2 Florida's English language learners by Caribbean country of birth (2007 2008) ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 27 2 1 Selected Models of Identity Deve lopment ................................ .......................... 67 2 2 Berry's Model of Acculturation ................................ ................................ ............ 69 2 3 Sample Typology Models based on Acculturation theory ................................ ... 69 2 4 identities. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 70 3 1 Alignment of Data Collection Methods and Research Quest ions ....................... 95 3 2 Data Collected ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 96 3 3 Building Rapport during the Interview Process ................................ ................... 97 3 4 ................................ .................... 98 3 5 Example of Themes Originating from Open Codes ................................ ............ 99 3 6 Sample Code Sheet for I Statements ................................ ............................... 100 8 1 ................................ ................................ ........ 179


11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 Map of the Caribbean ................................ ................................ ........................ 26 2 1 Jones & McEwen's (2000) Multidimensional Model ................................ ............ 69 3 1 Participant Profi les ................................ ................................ .............................. 95 4 1 ................................ ................................ ............. 112 4 2 ................................ ................................ ............. 112 4 3 ................................ ................................ ............. 113 5 1 Flag of the U.S. Virgin Islands ...................... 131 5 2 ......................... 131 5 3 PowerPoint Slide # 3 ................................ ................... 131 6 1 Ima ge of black Jesus PowerPoint Slide # 1 ................................ ................... 149 6 2 Nicole and her mother PowerPoint Slide # 2 ................................ ................. 149 6 3 Nicole and her grandmother PowerPoint Slide # 4 ................................ ........ 150 6 4 PowerPoint # 6 ................................ ............ 150 7 1 The Bahamian Flag PowerPoint Slide # 1 0 ................................ ................... 160 7 2 PowerPoint Slide # 9 ................... 160 7 3 PowerPo int Slide # 7 ................... 160 7 4 DeAndre Excerpt 2 (Email Question # 3). ................................ ...................... 161 7 5 ................................ ........ 161 7 6 PowerPoint Slide # 13 ................................ 162 9 1 Model for identity construction in specific contexts ................................ ........... 207


12 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy MULTIPLE VOICES, MULTIPLE IDENTITIES: AN EXAMI NATION OF IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION AMONG FOUR ANGLOPHONE CARIBBEAN ADOLESCENTS By Kisha C. Bryan May 2012 Chair: Ester J. de Jong Major: Curriculum and Instruction Research is plentiful on identity development in both non English speaking immigrant and na tive groups. However, we know a lot less about how Anglophone Caribbean adolescents construct, describe, and express their linguistic, racial, and cultural identities in the context of school. This study investigated identity construction among Anglophone Caribbean adolescents and the ways in which schooling has shaped their experiences. The two research questions that guided this study were 1) h ow do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents describe and construct their identities and 2) h ow do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents' perceive that their schooling experiences have shaped their identities? Qualitative research methods were used to answer the research questions. While several themes emerged in the individual cases, findings from the cross participant analysi by multiplicity and multidimensionality, intersecting and shaping each other; 2) displayed a lack of linguistic indicators of hybridity suggesting a disjuncture between live d experiences and the ways they discussed their identities; 3) viewed space as an important consideration in the limitation and/or expansion of valued identity options; 4)


13 suggested that identity saliency is influenced by the demographic profile of the com munities in which participants resided, their peer groups in schools, and the extracurricular activities in which they were involved; 5) viewed schools are producers of deficit discourses; 6) viewed schools as avenues for identity affirmation; and 7) used language choice as a way to index their various identities. This study confirms previous research on the benefits of constructivist and poststructuralist understandings of identity as opposed to frameworks based on structuralism. It provides implications for teacher education and professional development settings where discourses regarding identity construction must include Four areas for further research with identity construction in thi s population are highlighted: 1) gender differences in identity development; 2) The role of familial purposes of U.S. American schooling in regards to identity cons truction.


14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Anglophone Caribbean Immigrants in the United States Post 1965 immigration has brought an unprecedented number of Anglophone Caribbean immigrants to the United States. These immigrants are even more diverse in terms of ra ce, ethnicity, culture (including language variety religion, and traditions) and socioeconomic characteristics than their predecessors. This influx has added a significant dynamic to the American Black population, w hich historically, has maintained the sm allest proportion of immigration in the 20 th century (Rong & Fitchett, 2008). The Black immigrant population has grown rapidly in the past four decades especially since 1991. There were over 254,000 foreign born Black people in the United States in 1970, accounting for 1% of the overall Black population. By 2005, more than 2.7 million Black immigrants resided in the United States. Foreign born Black s and their children now account for almost 8% of the entire U.S. Black population (U.S. Bureau of the Censu s, 200 9 ). The majority of these immigrants come from the islands of the Caribbean where English is the official language and is spoken alongside Creole English varieties. The Anglophone Caribbean consists of the following islands: Anguilla, Antigua and Ba rbuda, Bay Islands, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos, a nd the U.S. Virgin Islands ( Figure 1 1 ). These Anglophone Caribbean immigrants make up less than 1% of the overall foreign born population. Carib b ean natives have immigrated to United States from more than 15 nations and territories. With a population of over 700,000, Jamaicans are the larg est Caribbean


15 immigrant group followed by about a half million Haitians. Trinidadians make up the third largest group with a population of approximately 200,000. Of the 2.8 million Carib bean born immigrants, 90% settle in the New York City or Miami metro areas (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 200 9 ). Caribbean immigr ants claim one of four native languages (Dutch, English, French, and Spanish) and several creolized varieties based on these languages. In 2000, over 90,000 school age children reported being born in an officially English speaking Caribbean country. Like the overall Caribbean immigration trend, Jamaicans made up over half of that student population, with more than 55,000 students indicating it as their homeland (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 200 9 ). Cari bbean Immigration There have been two major waves of immigration from the Caribbean to the United States (McGill, 2005; Nero, 2001) The Hart Cellar Immigr ation Reform Act of 1965 was a major catalyst that drew the first wave of Caribbean natives here Th i s Act abandoned the national origins quota s ystem that favored Europeans and led to the immigration of people from the Caribbean who were previously subjected to very small quotas (Frum, 2000) Prior to 1965, English speaking Caribbean natives had been inc luded in the 120,000 ceiling for the Western Hemisphere, which included South America, North America and the Caribbean. Congress had established a quota of 20,000 immigrants per country. An important aspect of the legislation was the encouragement of fami ly reunification whereby immigrants could sponsor close relatives at home to come to the United States A s the number of immigrants started to grow, the number of people in the Caribbean who were eligible to sponsor relatives also increased


16 The number of e migrants leaving the Caribbean grew significantly in the decades following the passage of the Hart Cellar Immigr ation Reform Act of 1965. A ccording to Kasintz B speaking Caribbean and an other 6,000 to 8,000 fro m Haiti were entering the United States annually in Nero 2001, p. 8). These immigrants were primarily from middle and upper class socioeconomic backgrounds. Job opportunities in the United States served as a pull factor especially for those who were proficient in Standard American English and could afford to migrate, since the unemployment rate in the Caribbean was high. A second wave of immigration to the United States in the 1980s was prompted by economic stagnation a nd political instability in the Caribbean During this time, unprecedented numbers of Caribbean natives were forced to flee their homelands Those who came to the United States during this period were predominantly poor and English Creole speakers who had limited proficiency in Standard English Guyanese and Jamaicans were foremost among them New York City was the primary destination of this second wave of Caribbean immigrants ( Table 1 1). The statistics show that of the nearly 900,000 new legal immigran ts in N ew York City between 1982 and 1991, the four Anglophone Caribbean countries together account ed for a total of 183,633 legal immigrants, or approximately 20 % of that population. At the time, these statistics translated directly to public school and c ollege enrollment in the New York City area. Between 1989 and 1992, 10,000 Jamaican students enrolled in public schools there followed by 7,000 Guyanese students (Nero, 2001; Rivera Batiz, 1994).


17 Florida is the second largest settlement area for Caribbean immigrants. In 2003 the American Community Survey show ed that nearly 600,000 Floridians reported Caribbean ancestry in 2003, up from about 100,000 from three years earlier. Following the national trend, Jamaicans comprise the largest number of Caribbean i mmigrants living in Florida. According to the 2009 American Community Survey 255,520 Florid ians claim Jamaican ancestry. T he vast majority of these (68 % ) reported speaking language s other than English at home and 48,177 (22%) were of school age. T he prec ise number of Anglophone Caribbean students being served pub lic schools is difficult to determine since data is not collected specifically about this Table 1 2 represents a subset of data related to foreign born English language learners (ELL s) that districts are required to report. Students from the Caribbe an make up less than 1% of E LL population. Home language surveys, completed by parents or guardians upon school enrollment, indicated that 575 P K Grade 12 students had Jamaican Creole, Jama ican Patois, or Jamaican Patwa spoken in their homes (Florida Department of Education, 2010). Although all three are often considered the same dialect of the same language, respondents spelled them in a variety of ways when completing the home language su rvey. Language, Education, and Identity in the Caribbean Anglophone Caribbean countries contain historically complex ethnolinguistic (i.e. ethnic and linguistic) contexts due to a long history of slavery and colonization. Prior to the arrival of the Spanis h in the late 1400s, various Native American groups populated due in part to deaths of natives from diseases brought by the Spanish explorers. By the early ignificant British presence throughout the Caribbean. In the


18 hundreds of years to follow, the various countries of the Caribbean would be colonized and re colonized by the Spanish, French, and Dutch (Higman, 2012; Rogonzinski, 2000). English Creole and man y other Creole languages (e.g., Haitian Creole, Papiamento) were the direct result of colonization and linguistic contact between the natives and colonial powers. In an attempt to prevent insurrections, British slave masters banned the use of ethnic langua ges by slaves and indentured servants who were brought from Africa to work on sugar plantations This resulted in an English Creole which became the native language of th e Caribbean people who lived under British rule (Nero, 2006). The language itself can be described on a continuum where at the one end it is very similar to British or American English yet in its most creolized form it is not mutually intelligible to speakers of other varieties of English. While the evolution of the English variations s poken in the Caribbean is similar to that o f African American Vernacular English (AAVE) spoken by a large number of African Americans in the United States the context and subsequent development was very different. AAVE developed in a country where the maj ority of the population continue d to speak a variety of English valued by the dominant culture. As a result, AAVE is believed to have undergone significant de creolization so that it has converged with S tandard American English. In contrast, Caribbean Eng lish Creole has not undergone this process as rapidly because of the relative lack of access to a population that both speaks and has a loyalty to British English. Like AAVE, the distinct language variety of the Caribbean people is symbolic of their distin ct culture and identity a s it helps to distance them from the culture of their former colonizers.


19 While m any of the present day Anglophone Caribbean countries are more racially homogeneous than the United States they are also characterized by linguistic a nd economic stratification From the post emancipation period until the present day, the social status of a citizen in the Anglophone Caribbean countries was not always based on skin color. R ather it was based on ed or deviated from S tandard British English (SBE) (Nero, 2001). In the Anglophone Caribbean, the high status of SBE has been reinforced by education system s that use SBE solely for instruction and often devalue Cre ole English. SBE was promoted in the coun governance ; however, the immediate pre and post independence periods were marked by the widespread use and acceptance of Creole English in most domains as it was an affirmation of Caribbean identity and a rejection of colonial domin ation (Christie, 1983; Nero, 2001). During this same time period, the majority of Creole English dominant speakers began to gain access to schooling beyond the primary level as part of the restructuring of the education system. This restructuring included the relaxation of admission standards that were based on language proficiency in SBE and socioeconomic status. The new goal was to provide post primary education for all students regardless of these factors (Devonish, 1986). Providing educational acces s became policy because the developing Caribbean nations needed to build a productive work force The language of instruction continued to be SBE, the language of the minority elite and Creole English continued to be stigmatized and associated with low ra cial, social, political, and economic status (Nero, 2001; Winer, 1993). Knowing little, if any SBE, put students at a disadvantage


20 academically and caused them to be viewed as less capable. T o counteract this, Caribbean natives who spoke Creole English cla imed proficiency in SBE and denounced their native language in public domains. Even today, s ounding British continues to be the basis upon which a social hierarchy in the Caribbean has been constr ucted (Bailey & Maynor 1987; Fasold, 1981; Rickford, 1999; Trudgill, 2000). Having a British accent places individuals higher in the social hierarchy. Language, Education, and Identity in U.S. Schools Anglophone Caribbean students are a unique group when they enter the U S education system. Even though they are c onsidered immigrants, they do not match the traditional characteristics typically associated with immigrants, in particular the lack of English proficiency. In addition, Anglophone Caribbean students come to the United States with significant knowledge of the English language. At the same time many are categorized as African American by schools which ignores the linguistic cultural and historical differences that exist between the two groups (Nero, 2005; Pratt Johnson, 1993; Waters, 2000) Research has examined how Anglophone Caribbean immigrants are vulnerable to misidentification due to their language variety an d immigrant status Because of the racialization processes in the U nited States that identify people with certain physical characteristics as African American, Anglophone Caribbean immigrants with these characteristics are incorrectly classified as African American In her study of Jamaican Creole English speaking students in New York City public schools, Pratt Johnson (1993 ) found that upon en tering school, these students we re not provided the opportunity to linguistically self identify and when they d id self identify as native speakers of English, school personnel often challenged them. She noted that they were


21 usually faced with one of three possibilit ies: (a) they we re classifi ed as ELLs when their language seemed decidedly creolized ; (b) they we re identified as n ative English speakers when they were from English dominant speaking countries ; or (c) they were classified as disabled and assigne d to special education classes in hopes that the smaller class size and slower pace w ould solve their obvious students fell outside of the native speaker/non native speaker paradigm, they were often misidentified in terms of their native language, were diagnosed as having learning disabilities, or were (mis)identified as an African American native English speaker. This identity transformation of Chinese and Ja maican im migrant teens. They observed that Jamaican teens in particular, were never questioned regarding their ethnic and linguistic identities and were assumed to be African American, despite linguistic indicators of their Caribbean heritage. When Anglophone Car ibbean students come to the United States, they not only face language barriers, but they often encounter ideologies regarding race and racism. In the U nited States race plays a major role in regards to identification and perceptions of success and failu re. Institutional racism is evident in the incorporation of institutional policies, practices, attitudes and values that work to disadvantage students of color This can include ( a ) differential allocation of resources and tracking practices that consign many students of color to low tracks with less experienced teachers (DeCuir, 2004; Duhon, 2002; Kershaw, 1992; McAllister & Irvine, 2002; Weisglass, 2006) ; ( b ) the unquestioned acceptance by the institution of white middle class values ( as reflected, for e xample, in the scarcity of authors of color in many secondary schools' English


22 curricula)and ( c ) schools' passive stance in the face of prejudiced behavior that interferes with students' learning or well being An example would be failure to address haras sment or teasing, or meeting it with punishment instead of attempting to build communication and understanding) (Banks, 1993; Delpit, 2002; Ladson Billings 1995 ; Loewen, 1995; Motha, 2006) Students from the Caribbean are accustomed to social hierarchies that are based on language and class more so than race Therefore transitioning to a society where physical character istics cause assumptions about status can be difficult (Rong & Brown, 2002, 2001). In the Caribbean, racism and colonialism are seen as st ruggles with powers that are geographically far away, whereas in the U nited States, African Americans view racism as a fight against local power structures. Moreover what Black bbean and United S tates Alexander (1977) report ed that middle class Jamaicans in Kingston use d a five category system of categorization, which consists of the designations white, fair, brown, dark, and Black Waters (1999) con cluded that for light skinned, middle class Ca Black arrive on U.S. soil. They may have been accustomed to only being labeled (and judged) on the basis of their socioeconomic s tatus and language use in their home countries. Rong & Fitchett (2008) maintain that African Americans often see themselves as a Black race and emphasize their Black ness with a pride and power that is derived from triumphs over a lengthy and brutal racial history of resisting discrimination in the Unite d States. However, Caribbean natives have no such point of reference and prefer to emphasize their identification with national origins and socioeconomic status. This is


23 because their socialization takes place in a more favorable climate of the Caribbean w here they have always been a racial majority and have had less direct contact with people of other races. In short, t he legacy of colonization that Anglophone Caribbean immigrant s bring with them when they enter the United States and in particular the A merican school system potentially challenges traditional definitions of both what it means to be Black and immigrant in the United States. Anglophone Caribbean immigrants are a unique population in that they fall outside of existing research frames. They are Black immigrant, and English speaking. Because the vast majority of Anglophone C aribbean immigrants are English speaking, they do not have the same experiences as immigrant ELLs Because they are immigrants, they do not have the same experiences as A frican Americans. Although they share characteristics with both immigrants and African Americans, they defy both cat egories, being in a class all their own. Problem Statement Although a growing population, few studies hav e considered how adolescents from C aribbean English speaking backgrounds who reside in less urban cities in the United States negotiate their ethnic, linguistic, and racial identities within the structure of traditional identity definitions and ideologies that dominate U.S. society and scho ols. It is important that we begin to understand the ways in which these adolescents describe their identities and the contexts in which they construct and negotiate their identities. Furthermore, it is important to know and understand the role(s) that sch ools play in influencing identity construction within this population so that their experiences are acknowledged and their unique identity and educational needs might be considered as they are served in the U.S. American school system.


24 Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study is to examine the construction of self ascribed identities of Anglophone Caribbean adolescents and their perceptions of how their schooling experiences have shaped their identities. Questions Guiding the Study The study was guide d by the following questions: 1. How do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents describe and construct their identities? 2. How do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents' perceive that their schooling experiences have shaped these identities? Value of the Study The value of this study is twofold. First, it contributes to the knowledge base regarding Anglophone Caribbean adolescents and identity construction in the context of U.S. society, particularly schools. Many of the other studies on Caribbean immigrants either focus on adults or do not consider the role of schools in identity construction. Secondly, the study focuses on giving voice to the participants regarding their identities. Kincheloe (2005) suggests that s ince adolescents construct and are constructed by their worl ds, it is important to explore thei r perspectives Nieto (2000) states b y listening to students, we can learn how they experience school, how social and educational structures affect their learning, and what we can do to provide high quality education fo I was unable to find any studies that gave voice to Caribbean immigrant youth who reside in less urban areas of the United States. Finally, identity has been theorized in many ways, but typically either from a racial perspective (Cross, 1991 ; Helms, 1986; Poston, 1990) or an immigrant perspective (Berry, 1983, 2003; Sue & Sue1971; Waters, 1999). Anglophone Caribbean


25 adolescents represent the intersection between these two broad categories. It is hoped that an examination of identity (constru ction) through Anglophone Caribbean examine the ways in which we think and talk about identity and identity construction


26 Figure 1 1. Map of the Caribbea n. (Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:CaribbeanIslands.png Last accessed November 2011 ). Table 1 1. Legal immigrants moving to New York City from 1982 to 1991 from most to least Country of Origin Immigrants Dominican Republic 151,712 Jamaica* 87,112 China 79,841 Guyana* 67,729 Haiti 48,518 Soviet Union 36,593 Colombia 26,834 India 24,938 Korea 24,361 Ecuador 22,857 Philippines 19,791 Hong Kong 13,737 Poland 12,712 Honduras 11,381 Britain 11,054 Israel 10,073 Peru 9,920 Pakistan 9,803 El Salvador 9,689 Barbados* 9,450 Bangladesh 8,695 Ireland 7,321 Trinidad & Tobago* 19,342 Total 898,213 Anglophone countries : Source: New York City Department of Planning (1993 )


27 Table 1 2. Florida's English language learners by Caribbean country of birth (2007 2008) Country of b irth Number of students Percent of all ELLs Antigua & Barbuda 4 < 1 Bahamas 137 < 1 British Virgin Islands 1 < 1 Dominica 5 6 < 1 Grenada 1 < 1 Jamaica 1 34 < 1 St. Lucia 8 < 1 Trinidad & Tobago 8 < 1 Turks & Caicos 8 < 1 U.S. Virgin Islands 76 < 1 West Indies 6 < 1 TOTAL 439 < 1 Source: Florida Department of Education, Office of Achievement through English Language Acquisition (2 0 10 )


28 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This chapter provides a synthesis of the literature on identity and identity construction. It begins with definitions of identity that have been used in the literature across disciplines. These definitions others. The second section considers identity construction from three broad theoretical perspectives: structuralism, constructivism and post structuralism. The review then turns to identity construction and th e role(s) of school s to include language and culture. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the implications developed from the literature regarding identify construction of Anglophone Caribbean adolescents within the context of U.S. American s chools, and the theoretical perspective on which this study was designed. Individual and Social Dimensions of Identity There are many different ways that identity has been defined and conceptualized. This is primarily due to its interdisciplinary nature an d changing views of language, identity, and the relationship between the two of identity from various articles (p. 4): t distinguished in their social relations with other individuals and Identiti specific understandings and


29 epresentations of political actors 1996, p. 453). Several different epistemological perspectives are evident in the above conceptualizations of identity. Apart from these variations, t wo main themes penetrate (social identity). This is important because it helps us to un derstand agency and the importance of others in identity construction. Notions of identity based on structuralism, constructivism, and post structuralism are discussed further. N otions of I dentity Based on Structuralism S tr ucturalism is predominantly asso ciated with the linguistic research of Ferdinand de Saussure (1966) Claude Levi Strauss anthropology. The str ucturalist approach to culture and identity based on Levi Strauss (1976) work has long dominated scholarsh ip on language, identity, and identity construction In essence, structuralism suggests strict categories, linear formations, hidden rules and binary oppositions to describe identities and other aspects of culture For structuralists, language and identit y exist in a one to one relationship. T he linguistic system guarantees the meaning of signs (the word and its meaning) and it assumes that each linguistic community has its own set of signifying practices that give value to the signs in a language. S tructu ralists conceive of signs as having idealized meanings, and linguistic communities as being relativ ely homogeneous and consensual. In this conception, language is understood as a relatively fixed, n eutral, medium of communication (Norton, 2010). In this se ction, I discuss how structuralist insights shape


30 our definitions of identity and provide example s of identity models grounded in a structuralist approach (developmental and acculturation theories). Structuralists Definitions of Identity Given a structura list perspective, i dentity is defined as something that is linear (i.e. developed in a particular order) and relatively fixed (i.e. stays the same). identity as an end product that can be described in terms of categories with de fined boundaries. For example, structuralism suggests that people have a primary racial, ethnic, linguistic, and/or gender identity. As suggested in the developmental and acculturation literature, researchers within this tradition define the process of ide ntity development as a predictable process consisting of stages through which individuals are assumed to navigate on their way to an achieved, structured identity When applied to multilingual settings, researchers working within this paradigm have tradit ionally viewed identity in essentialist ways. That is, they believe that there is a set of characteristics or properties, all of which any persons who identify a certain way must have, as well as a one to one correspondence between ethnicity and language ( Giles & Byrne, 1982; Kim, 1996). That is, individuals are classified (or asked to classify themselves) as either native or non native speakers of different languages and they are expected to identify with one national ethnicity and language over others. I dentity Models Based on Developmental Theory Table 2 1 outlines five of the most widely cited stage models for identity development within a structuralist framework. With the exception of Erikson (1968), t hese models conceptualize identity as developmental in terms of the stages. They also view identity as one dimensional because they focus on a single aspect of identity


31 race, ethnicity, or language These models were often used to place or gauge a group for th e purposes of describing their identity and stage of identity development (Cross, 19 91; Helms, 1986, 1995; Phinney, 1992; Poston, 1990). from the others in at least two ways First, it does not specify a particular ethnic or racial group for whom this model is to be applied. I t is assumed to be applicable to all populations. Moreover, unlike the other models represented in Table 2 1, progression through the stages is dependen t on age an d not necessarily race and/or ethnicity. The models describe identity construction as a linear progression from one well defined stage to the next. The stages are expected to be predictable, well defined, and there are clear boundaries between o ne stage and the other. Finally, there is presumed to be a predictable outcome an ideal social, racial, or ethnic identity. Identity Models Based on Acculturation T heory Acculturation theory is another example of a structuralist model of identity. Early m odels attempted to explain the changes that occur when cultural contact happens between minority or immigrant groups and the host group. M any contemporary acculturation models are in part based on the importance of an individual's relationship to the in gr oup her/his own culture, and the out group the host culture. Unlike models based on developmental theory, these models acknowledge the role of macrostructures, the overall organization of society in identity construction. They attempt to account for th e role of society in identity formation processes specifically for im migrants.


32 d model of acculturation (Berry 1980, 2003) is one of the most commonly used models based on acculturation theory. H e describes accultur ation as an overarching process of adjusting to a new culture that involves changes in identifications with one's cultural group and larger society. The majority of acculturation research from the late 1970s and early 1980s viewed individuals' orientations toward their cultural group and the larger society as two opposite ends of a continuum. According to this bipolar perspective, the extent of loss of one's ethnic culture is an indicator of one's level of acculturation into the larger society. Berry's (19 83, 2003) mo del of acculturation (Table 2 2 ) describes the acculturation process as an intergroup process that results in differing types of identities. In this model, immigrants and groups that accept the culture of the community into which they have migr ated, while continuing to accept their culture of origin, would fare best socially and psychologically (integration). Immigrants who accept the dominant culture while rejecting their heritage culture would lose touch with their roots (assimilation). These individuals or groups may fare well socially, but not psychologically. Weinreich (2009) suggests that psychological isolation from the host culture can occur when individuals reject major aspects of the dominant culture while continuing t o revere one's heritage culture group's rejection of both the dominant culture and their heritage culture would seem to leave the persons without any viable modes of interacting with members o f either the dominant or heritage culture and lead to marginalization. Berry (2003) revised his original model as current research on language and cultural maintenance suggest that immigrants and their American born children adopt


33 some values and customs o f the host culture while retaining significant elements of their own culture (Lee, 2002; Myers Scotton, 2006; Park & Sarkar, 2007; Tse, 2001). In an attempt to create a more multicultural model of acculturation, Berry included integration/biculturalism as a category. He defined this typology as one where people maintain the values and customs of their native culture while adopting the values and custom s of the host society so that they will be viewed as full participant s in the host society. Table 2 3 provi des a sample of the various typologies found in current research based on acculturation theory. While Berry is more conceptual, Waters (1999) and Sue & Sue (1971) are empirical works. Sue and Sue's (1971) research on Asian immigrants is one such typology. They categorize individuals based on their orientation towards a host culture and their desire for cultural maintenance. They found that individuals of Asian descent fall into one of three categories: traditionalists, marginalized, and Asian American. Trad itionalists who are typically foreign born, strongly accept parental cultural values and typically socialize only with members of their own ethnic group. A marginalized person rejects Asian values, wants to assimilate into American culture, and tends to s ocialize with Caucasian Americans. These individuals tend to have ethnic identity that is associated with Asian culture. Finally, Asian Americans achieve balance and pride in their ethnic identity by combining different aspects of traditional Asian values and Western influences. revealed three types/categories of identities: an American identity, an ethnic identity, and an immigrant identity. Of the 83 participants in her stud y, 42% embraced an American identity. Her study revealed that participants who considered themselves


34 American downplayed their Jamaican and Trinidadian heritages. Another 30% embraced a very strong ethnic identity that involved a considerable amount of dis tancing from Black Americans. Waters suggested that it was important for these their parents were not American. These participants tended to believe that there were st rong differences between Americans and West Indians and that West Indians were superior to American Black They did not f eel as much pressure to choose between identifying with and distancing from Black Americans, as did either the American identified or ethnic identified also neutral to ward American distinctions between Caribbean natives and Black Americans. Unlike the models based on structuralism, the typology models allow for multilingualism and biculturalism. Strengths and Criticisms of Notions of Identity Based on Structuralism Stru cturalist views of identity were influential in the quest by early scholars to define identity and to understand how one comes to achieve their identity. Although they have been critiqued regarding the ways in which they have conceptualized identity, devel opmental, acculturation, and typology models, all based on structuralism, have helped us to understand the psychological (mind, brain, personality) and to a certain extent, the social (external relationships, environment) aspects of identity development. T he individual stages in each of the developmental models have added to our knowledge of identity. For exa mple, Erikson (1968) has contributed to our knowledge of the role of adolescence in identity development. The


35 Biracial I dentity Development Model highlights the pressure that society and/or individuals place on biracial individuals to identify with one race or the other. These factors both developmental and external are often explored and taken into consideration in cont emporary research on identity and identity construction. While structuralism has provided a useful lens through which to view identity, it has not been without its critics. The development m odels have been criticized for describing identity development amo ng immigrants as linear, one dimensional, predictable, and static Contemporary research suggest s that such straight line models of acculturation fail to accurately characterize the various pathways adopted by tinos, and Caribbean immigrants. According to Portes & Zhou (1993) some immigrant groups follow the traditional straight line model and assimilate into the white middle class (e.g., light skinned Cubans i n Miami). Other groups, however assimilated but i n to an underclass which has resulted in a less prosperous path for them (e.g., Haitians in Miami). Moreover, contemporary research suggests that it is possible to attain upward mobility in a tight knit immigrant community. Portes & Zhou termed this phenomen on segmented (or selective) assimilation. It is characterized by parents and children belonging to ethnic networks and institutions that have enough resources to offer support that is often unavailable outside the ethnic community. In this case, economic p rosperity and assimilation is achieved through ethnic homogeneity. way of life. Pu njabi students were encouraged by parents to select and adopt the most


36 beneficial aspects of the white majority population, such as speaking English, while continuing to stay true to their Punjab values (Gibson, 1988). The Punjabi example supports Glazer a identified can constitute a resource for achieving economic and social success (Alba & Nee, 2003; Bean & Steven, 2003; Glazer & Moynihan, 1963; Lee & Bean, 2007) and counters the structurali st assumption of linear, unidimensional paths. The research suggests additional paths. The acculturation models posit or predict that the more acculturated individuals achieve social stability and upward mobility while those who maintain their heritage are more likely to be less successful (Rudmin, 2009; Tardiff Williams & Fisher, 2009). However, in the case of Anglophone Caribbean immigrants in New York (Waters, 1999) and the Vietnamese population in Louisiana (Zhou & igrant identity often led to downward mobility. These findings directly challenge the dominant paradigm of straight line assimilation to upward mobility (Gordon, 1964). T he majority of t r aditional developmental models considers only a single construct (i.e ., race, ethnicity, or sexuality ) and analyzes its impact on identity development separately. They do not portray the intersections of various identity constructs (Jones, 1990; Kaufman & Johnson, 2004; Helms, 1986; Yeh & Huang, 1996). This conceptualizatio n is seen as problematic because each aspect of identity interacts with the other and each aspect needs to be considered when conceptualizing identity. For Third th ese models conceptualize the stages and types of identities as predictable and universal. In the developmental models, i dentity formation results from a


37 unidir ectional progression through various stages and is assumed to be the same for different groups an d individuals. The models do not account for or explain the contextual factors that can contribute to or promote progression from one stage to the next stage. They also do not acknowledge the possibility of an individual being in more than one stage at a t ime or skipping stages It is unclear how change from one stage to the next is to occur, as the mechanisms for change are not discussed in these models The acculturation models rely on the assumption that acculturation has universal regularities that are independent of immigrant histories, time, or geographic locat ion (Bhatia & Ram, 2009; Chirkov, 2009; Weinrich, 2009). This is problematic because other research has shown the e ffects of contextual factors (Ibrahim, 2009; Jones & McEwen, 2000; McKay & Wong 1996 ) .For instance, Ibrahim (2009) showed that for his French Black was directly linked to the relative ignorance of the cultural norms of t he host society. Fourth the developmental models that focus specifically on ethnic and racial identity begin s with the assumption that individuals are at a place where they lack an understanding of racial injustices or they harbor feeli ngs of ambivalence, confusion, or shame. models suggest that people begin with some level of identity conflict. In their critique of traditional identity development models, Mivil le (2 006) and Yeh & Huang (1996) looked at biracial individuals and Asians respectively and found that the biracial group did not view their racial identities as problematic as would be suggested by traditional


38 developmental models In fact, the ir finding s suggest that many biracial and multiracial Black /white color line. Finally, structuralism does not allow for the myriad of language choices that individuals make. They assume that language choice has a one to one correlation with ethnic and racial identity (Norton, 2010). Yet, studies such as Baumann (1996) have observed that cultural and linguistic phenomena do not form one to one correlations as people change their cultural, linguistic, and communal identif ication based on context ll suburb of London found that different things at different times, depending on who and w hat they are talking about. The membership of the cultural groups to which they refer changes depending on whether they are talking about music, community events, where they shop, or where they lived. Notions of Identity Based on Constructivism Constructiv ism reflects the view that our knowledge is constructed, in that it is contingent on convention, human perception, and social experience. In this viewpoint th e mind takes a central position in that cognitive processes such as emotional development and man agement, philosophical thinking and self efficacy are essential in the meaning making process (Jackson, 2001; Makaiau, 2010). C onstructivists believe that although individuals are often influenced by societal factors, they are not passive, but active in i dentity construction processes. Agency is an important concept in understanding constructivist notions of identity and the role of the individual in identity appropriate when considering individual identity. Human agency, Iden says is:


39 the realized capacity of people to act upon their world and not just know about or give personal or intersubjective significance to it. That capacity of the power of people to act purposive ly and reflectively, in more or less complex relationships, with one another to reiterate and remake the world in which they live, in circumstances where they may consider different courses of action possible and desirable (p. 23). Similarly, Bourdieu (197 ability to mold their own identities, even if they are within existing parameters. Researchers who subscribe to an agency framework suggests that individuals are not just subjected to the identities tha t others ascribe to them, but they have the knowledge and experiences to react and to a certain extent, choose the identities that they construct and project. Constructivist Definitions of Identity In the cognitive tradition of Berzonsky (1988, 1990, 1993) Kelly (1955), Epstein (1973), Inhelder and Piaget (1958), identity is conceptualized as an implicit theory of oneself. They define this self organized system of personal constructs, assumptions, hypo theses, beliefs, schemas, and postulates relevant to the self interacting identities are the ideologies and beliefs that people hold as truth. Constructivists further suggest that identity provides a personal frame of reference for self relevant information, solving problems, and making decisions. Identity in this epistemological perspective suggest s that human agency is central an d that identity is a process that cognitive strategies used to construct, maintain,


40 Identity Theories Based on Constructivism Identity theory, soci al identity theory, and identity control theory are three prominent theories of identity and identity construction that are based on constructivism. Substantial similarities and overlap amongst these theories have resulted in debates on whether or not thes e theories should be linked in fundamental ways (Hogg, Terry, & White, 1999 and Stets & Burke, 2000). However, for the purposes of this review, I discuss them separately while highlighting differences, as well as the role of human agency in these theories. In identity theory, the core of an identity is the categorization of the self as an occupant of a role, and the incorporation, into the self, of the meanings and expectations associated with that role and its performance. Identity theorists argue that the self consists of a collection of identities, each of which occupies a particular role (Stryker, 1968; Stryker & Burke, 2000). Identities are constructed and can be defined as Individuals co nstruct three types of identities. On the first level, personal identities are constructed. Personal identities are the unique, biological, being that one is. On this level, individuals construct those aspects of themselves that are different from those ar ound them. These aspects allow them to perceive themselves and be perceived as a unique person. Another type of identity that people construct is role identities. Role identities define what it means to be in a role such as daughter, son, mother, father, o r teacher. Although role identities are relational, individuals make decisions to construct (or not) these roles for themselves. Finally, people construct their social identities. These identities define what it means to part of a group or a category, such as American. It assists in the construction of a sense of security and belonging. In sum, people construct many


41 identities and perceive themselves in different ways for each of the many persons they claim to be, roles they have, and groups and categories to which they belong. In identity theory, emphasis is placed on the cognitive processes of self verification and self efficacy. For example, contemporary studies on leadership role identity suggest that fied it negatively impacts self efficacy. When individuals are unable to negotiate leadership performances in a group t o match leadership identities, they become less satisfied and are less inclined to remain in the group (Riley & Burke, 1995). Likewise, Bu rke & Stets (1999) suggest that when different, yet interrelated and complementary spousal roles are successfully negotiated and verified, a strong emotional attachment to each other and a commitment to the marriage develops Identity control theory (ICT) grows out of identity theory (Stryker, 1994; Stryker & relationship between identities and behaviors within the context of the social structure within which the identiti es are embedded. Burke (2007) suggests several tenets of ICT daughter? What of meanings applied to the self that define who one is. Burke (2007) further suggests that each identity is viewed as a control system with four components. The set of meanings for a g holds the self meanings tied to roles. People act in ways to verify their identity standard.


42 individual be lieves he/she comes across in any given situation. The third component is differences that result from the perceptions and the identity standard. These components work together to control identities that are constructed. So, if there is a discrepancy between the identity standard and output, Burke (2007) suggests that there would be a change in behavior in order to reduce discrepancy. regarding gendered expectation s in Chinese adolescent immigrants suggested that there were both school and family/cultural identity expectations that were sometime conflicting. The female particip ants in the study, however, were sure to change behavior outside of school (i.e. at home) to subscribe to the gendered identity expectations of their Chinese parents. These expectations included a disregard for fashion, popularity, and an interest in boys. Social identity theory is another widely used constructivist framework. Although there is quite a bit of overlap with the previous two theories, its emphasis is on intergroup relations rathe r than role behavior. I ts primary aim is to link individual and g roup identities. Tajfel (1974) defines social ide concept which derives from his knowledge of his membership of a social (or groups) ny given social context, individuals tend to label themselves, allocate labels to others, and learn the value associated with membership in particular groups (West, 1992).


43 interaction s with others (McDermott, 2004). To explore this concept, Shih, Pittinsky & Ambady (1999) studied social identity and stereotype susceptibility with a group of Asian American female undergraduates. They did this by giving them a math test under three condi tions. A third of the students completed a questionnaire focused on their female identity before taking the test. Another third completed a pre test questionnaire that focused on their Asian identity. The control group filled out a gender and ethnicity ne utral questionnaire. Results show that, relative to controls, participants earned the highest test scores when the questionnaire emphasized their Asian identity and the lowest when it emphasized their female identity. Shih et al. (1999) conclude that the q associated with each identity, i.e., Asians possess excellent quantitative skills and women do not. Strengths and Criticisms of Notions of Identity B ased on Constructivism Const ructivist notions of identity, in one form or another (e.g. social constructivism), are apparent in recent contemporary research on identity construction. The strengths of this epistemological view are that it emphasizes that cognitive mechanisms are impor tant in the process of identity construction. In particular, individual agency is at the center of the creation of reality and id entity. This view highlights the role of cognition (or ph ilosophical thinking), which is not addressed in notions of identity b ased on structuralism. The strengths of t hese notions of identity are also considered their weaknesses. First, the most common critique of constructivist notions of identity is that the concept of identity is reduced to relativism, meaning that if there a re no absolute truths, it would be


44 impossible to make comparative judgments about statements regarding identities or other aspects of identity (e.g. beliefs, customs, and language).It would therefore be difficult to claim any type of truth even about conc rete or physical identity characteristics Second, the traditional view of identity as primarily a cognitive representation construction processes. Jackson (2001) sugg ests that by the time children reach third grade, the sense of wonder with which they entered kindergarten wonder out of which authentic thinking and thus thinking for oneself develops has begun to diminish. By sixth grade, it has practically disappear ed p. 459). Lipman (1991) suggests that the is regimented scheduling, uniform language, and decontextualized learning which disrupts the agency of individuals to the point where philo sophical thinking on their part is discouraged. This suggests that social contexts and relationships play important roles in identity construction processes. Not ions of Identity Based on Post S tructuralism Poststructuralism is primarily associated with the works of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Judith Butler, and Julia Kristeva. A post structuralist epistemology defies the rigid structures that are assumed in society. Identity is only one such structure. Poststructuralism suggests an int errogation of the binary oppositions that are often found in research based on a structuralist theoretical framework. In identity research, poststructuralists undermine the notion of an esse ntially stable self (identity) and instead, acknowledge i dentity a s a complex phenomenon that is multiple, fluid, dynamic, and shifts depending on interactions within social contexts There is not


45 a one to one correlation between identities and language or signs (words) and meanings within a community in a post st ructural ist theoretical framework. Instead, constructions are fluid, dynamic and always open to interpretation. In th is section, poststructuralist definitions of identity and identity models based on this framework are discussed Post S tructural Definitions of Ide ntity In identity research, poststructuralists undermine the notion of an esse ntially stable self (identity) and instead, acknowledge i dentity as a complex phenomenon that is multiple, fluid, dynamic, and shifts depending on interactions within social cont exts In th is section, poststructuralist definitions of identity and identity models based on this framework are discussed Poststructuralist theories move conceptualizations of identity beyond a search for universal and invar iant laws of humanity to a nua nced, multilev eled, and more complex framing of identity Poststructuralist approaches view identity as having less structure and be ing delimited or un bounded (Block, 2007 ; Derrida, 1983) They acknowledge the multifaceted, hybrid, and dynamic nature of ide ntities (Joseph, 2004; Minami & Ovando, 2004; Ricento, 2005; Sie bers, 2004; Weedon, 1987; 2004) Although they are all closely interconnected, for the purpose of analysis, these three concepts will be discussed separately below. I dentities as Multiple A p oststructuralist epistemology suggests that individuals construct multiple identities as they interact with different groups throughout their lifetime. gender, racial, ethnic and linguistic identities are all a part of who they are ( Ajayi, 2006; Ashmore et al 2004; Bailey, 2000; Dinkha et al 2008; Lee, 2003; Liang, 2006). McKay California


46 public high school showed that the participants constructed various identities to avoid alienation and to provide counter discourses to the ones produced in the context in sometimes contradictory, yet often multiple identities. For example, one o f the participants, Jessica Ho, constructed a musician identity to counteract those discourses that marginalized her because of her lack of English proficiency and her quiet demeanor. Her identity as an accomplished musician became more salient (i.e. visib le or apparent) in the context of the United States, because it was a testament to her worth despite her lack of proficiency in English. An example of a model that aims to reflect group identities from a more post structuralist perspective is Reynolds and Pope's Multidimensional Identity Model (MIM ) In the conceptualization of identity, one has a core identity that has dimensions related to race gender, religion, culture, and sexual orientation. Rey nolds and Pope's (1991) model addresses what multiple oppressions and possible ways that one can negotiate multiple oppressions. Oppressions are those identities that are often stigmatized, such as being female, Black and or homosexual. They use several case studies to provide examples of how individuals might deal with their multiple oppressions. In creating the MIM, Reynolds and Pope (1991) suggest four ways of identification for individuals belonging to more than one oppressed group. They make the argument that a Black female immigran t who speaks a language other than English or a non standard variety of English could simultaneously or selectively identify with four oppressions: racial minority, immigrant/ethnic minority, gender minority and linguistic minority.


47 Jones and McEwen's ( 2000) study built on and expanded MIM by highlighting the contextual factors that influence identity construction. Through in depth open ended interviewing t hey explored the self perceived identities and the multiple dimensions of identity of ten raciall y and ethnically diverse female college students who ranged in age from 20 to 24. The contextual influences that emerged as significant include d race, culture, gender, family, education and relationships with those different from oneself, and religion. Ba sed on the ir findings, Jon identity as a personal identity, somewhat protected from view (i.e. not always visible) portrays ide ntity dimensions as intersecting rings around a core, signifying how no one dimension can be understood singularly; they can only be understood in relation to other dimensions. Surrounding the core and identity dimensions is the context in which a person e xperiences her life, such as family, socio cultural conditions, and cur rent experiences ( Figure 2 1 ). Jones & McEwen (2000) model attempts to address many of the shortcomings of more structuralist models of identity. First, it can be used with any segment of the population Second, there is no pre determined or expected outcome regarding ide ntity construction. Third, this model portray s identity as multiple by highlighting its v arious dimensions and assuming that there is an intersection of these dimension s. The model also suggest s that there are macrostructures that influence identity, such as family background, sociocultural conditions, and current experiences. Identities as D ynamic Identities become more salient in specific contexts and change over time.


48 changes over time, an important difference with in the post structural view is that multiple identities are possible and there is no assumption of a one to one relationshi p between language and cultural identity. Jones & McEwen (2000) in their model, portray identity as dynamic (i.e. constantly changing) and more or less salient (i.e. visible and valued) across contexts. The concept of salience is important in identity co nstruction theory because the salience we attach to our identities influences how much effort we put into each role we have been socialized into (Burke & Reitzes 1981). According to Stryker (1968, 2000), the various identities that comprise the self exist in a context dependent hierarchy of salience, where the identities that are ranked highest are most likely to be invoked in a particular situation or context Likewise, with language choice in multilingual situations, the language that is ranked highest or has the most value in a particular context for/to the individual becomes more salient. These two examples illustrate how identities can become more or less salient depend ing upon the context. Ibrahim (2009) suggests that immigrant y outh identif y differ ently with race and immigrant status depending on context Ibrahim (2009) found that French Black identifying them by race in lieu of other ways). In the ir homogeneous societies. Their identification with Black ness was due to a desire to be a part of a group suggests that this i dentification with Black ness was groups and their relative ignorance of the cultural norms of t he host society.


49 James & Woll (2004) describe identity options for Black Deaf individuals in England. In their study, these individuals experienced loneliness as they were growing up in hearing families. As a result, they self identified as primarily Deaf in the context of their families. At the same time, they experienced racial discrimination at work an d in the larger white, Deaf community. In the latter contexts, they self identified as Deaf Black or Black Deaf, respectively. In her study of linguistic interaction in a dual language school, Fitts (2006) hanged over the course of their matriculation in a dual language program. She suggested that after 5 years in the dual designated native language, and some children had even swi tched their linguistic affiliation because their skills in their first language had become weaker than their second language. This study demonstrated how flexible identities are and how they change over time. Identities as H ybrid The emerging nature of ide ntity has been challenged by globalization and transnational migration. Transnational individuals live their lives simultaneously participating in social relations across borders. Transnational migration suggests a more or less permanent state of being bet ween one location and another (Stephen, 2005; 2007 a & b). Globalization and transnational migration has led poststructuralist philosophers to posit the notion of hybridity as an additional explanation of identity. The term hybridity originated from the li fe sciences to describe genetic and racial mixing. It was subsequently employed in linguistics and the social sciences in the nineteenth century. Homi Bhaba (1994) one of the major contributor s to discussions of the effects


50 of hybridity on culture and ide ntity defines hybridity the productivity of colonial power, shifting its forces and fixities; it is the name for the strategic reversal of the process of domination through disavowal ( that is the production of discriminatory identities tha directly challenges essentialist notions that emanated in conversations regarding culture and identity. In response to diverse contexts, Smith & Leavy (2008) suggest ntities emerge: when a false dichotomy fails to represent identity fully, when identities merge across bordered spaces to span the previously established boundaries, and when term to describe this hybridity, an identity space that enables the appearance of new and alternative identity options that transcends binarisms and develops inclusionary and multifaceted identity possibilities (Bhaba, 1994; Bhatt, 2008; Ba kh tin, 1981 ; Kanno, 2003). Hubinette (2004) suggests that Korean adoptees provide the perfect example of existence in the third space between Korean community, where adoptees are essentialized as Korean brethren, and a Western culture demanding assimilation and loyalty. This group he suggests transgresses categories of race (as the first Korean adoptees were mixed race), citizenship, language, religion, and culture. An other example of the relevance of third spaces to hybridity study of Japanese returnees. Her study revealed that once her participants moved back to their homeland they created identities that were not just a simple blending of


51 Japanese and American cultures, but their identities consisted of new characteristics that were unique to each of them. Similarly, James & Woll (2004) point to the emerging Black Deaf community and its creation of organizations, clubs, and its own communicative repertoire, a black variant of British sign language. Strength s of Poststructuralist Notions of I dentity Poststructuralism allows for the examination and explanation of identities as situated within larger socioeconomic, socio historical, and sociopolitical processes. Given the complexity of the world with migration globalization and other causes of population movement, poststructuralism allows for more variation, optionality, nuanced, and context sensitive ways of framing identity. P oststructuralist framewor ks of identity acknowledge the multiple, dynamic, and hyb rid nature of identity. This framework is well equipped to capture identities in postmodern societies where emphasis is often placed on the role of languages, power relations, and where dichotomies are discredited. Within societies, languages are not only markers of identity, but are used to index resistance, solidarity, and discrimination. Identity Construction Processes The previous sections addressed the different ways in which identity has been conceptualized. It highlighted some important concepts that describe both structuralist and poststructuralist notions of identity. In this section, the idea that identities are socially constructed or mediated between the individual and society is explored in more depth. First, socialization theory and language s ocialization is addressed. Next, the section concludes a discussion regarding language and power in identity construction and the ways in which languages and discourses are used as acts of identity.


52 Language Theory Socialization refers to how individuals a re assisted in becoming members of one or more social groups or communities. Grusec & Hastings (2008) suggest that the word way street. New members are active in the socialization proc ess and selective in what they accept from the course of life and can be accomplished with the assistance of a variety of individuals including parents, teachers, peers, a nd siblings as well as by schools/daycare, the (p. 2). For society or communities, inducting individual members into its moral norms, attitudes, values, motives, and social roles is the method by which that so cial and cultural continuity is attained ( Schecter & Bayley 2004). Socialization occurs through interaction. It is through this interaction that identities are constructed. Socialization processes and outcomes are influenced by cultural difference s in socialization practices Cheng & Kuo (2000) suggest the socialization process of ethnic identit ies in the children of immigrants consists of two integral, mutually influential parts. One part is the extent to which the family transmit s native or prima ry cultural and ethnic information as part of the development of the children's identity; the other part is the formation, expression, and interpretation of information made by the children themselves. In the former process, members of the social group, su ch as parents, family members or other kin, are considered active agents in socializing children. They define and interpret the symbols, the meaning of their culture and other aspects of identity to their children, as well as provide social reinforcement t hrough reward and


53 punishment to shape children's behaviors. In the latter, children have agency and control over the construction of their identities. This process also applies to and occurs through language. As individuals are socialized into languages an d are taught the value or consequences of using particular languages, they are also being groomed to construct and negotiate identities. Individuals construct their identities through specific language practices ( Baquendo Lopez & Kattan 2008; di Lucca et al 2008; Field, 2001). This process or aspect of socialization termed language socialization through language and the process of getting socialized to While language plays a role in identity construction processes, it is also an important aspect of our identity that is often left out of most models of identity formation As Weedon (1997) notes, it is through language that a person negotiates a sense of self within and across a range of sites at different points in time, and it is through language that a person gains access to or is denied access to powerful social networks that give learners the opportunity to speak. For example, multilingual children are often socialized through several languages or language varieties. Luykx (2002) suggest s that bilingual Aymara Spanish speaking children are socialized at very young ages to discern which contexts are appropriate for the exclusive use of one language or another. They also learned how, when and with whom one may mix and alternate languages. The use of particular languages in particular contexts also indexes identities for that specific context. Language and P ower in Identity Construction While we are socialized through language, we also understand the value placed on certain linguistic codes. As Bourdieu (1977) notes, the value ascribed to speech


54 cannot be understood apart from the person who speaks, and the person who speaks cannot be understood apart from larger networks of social relationships. Every time we speak, we are negotiating and renegotiating our sense of self in relation to the larger social world, and reorganizing that relationship across time and space. Our gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, among other characteristics, is all implicated in th ese negotiation s of identit ies Hence, our language choices are sometimes based on value that others have bestowed upon it. Foucault (1979, 1980) suggests that language, social relationships, ideology, and power sho uld be addressed layer by layer when examining identity construction. One should consider how language use and choices privilege or disprivilege specific sign systems; what sort of relationships a piece of language is seeking to enact with others; and what are the beliefs (or messages) that a piece of language or language choices discomfort in using Jamaican Creole in a number of U.S. contexts because of its perceived ne gative attributes. For Foucault, discourse or the language(s) that one speaks and power is inseparable. Foucault believes that discourse produces power effects. That is, t o display their linguistic, social, and cultural capital. He argues that human thought and behavior are understood as discursive practices, constituted in and through the structures and uses of language. Gee (1996) and Norton (2001) also emphasize the role of discourses, but they go


55 language, social context, relationships, and self perception /identity. By Discourse, Gee believing, speaking, and often reading and writing that are accepted as instantiations of cific groups of people (p. 8). He further knowing In other words, Discourses are not just linguistic; they go beyond language itself into ways of thinking, behaving, a nd relating to others. Gee also points out that Discourses always entail the ideologies behind them. By ideology, Gee means the tacit This intimate connection between language and social relationships is the essence of Discourse. Gee notes that a variety of social contexts and social relationships within those discourse producing contexts can lead to mult iple identities. Acts of Identity Language is one of the ways in which individuals are socialized. As alluded to in the previous section, Discourses are not neutral. Since Discourse includes language s and Harr (1990) suggest that positioning is the locating of oneself within a conversational structure. Agency and choice are critical in positioning. That is, individuals respond to how they are positioned by others and they respond by using linguistic and other tactics to position themselves. How one decides to position oneself or how one is positioned by others in certain


56 to others. There are two examples of interactionist frameworks in which positioning and power relations are created through discourse. First, Bucholtz & Hall (2005) provide a framework of identity construction as discursive and illustrates how power relations re enacted through discourse. To them, identities are relational and are shaped through interaction and expressed in discourse. That is, we use language and interaction to indicate our identities and relationships with others. T hey propose that i ndividuals co construct identities and expr ess these identities through interaction using four tactics of intersubjectivity t o ally themselves with or distance themselves from specific social groups or individuals These tactics are Adequation refers to the ways an individual may emphasize similarities in order to align herself/himself with a social group to which she/he may not otherwise be able to claim membershi p or distinguishing tactics are those discursive moves that serve to create distance between an individual and a specific social group Authentication speakers demonstrate or prove that they are indigenous members of a particul ar group. T actics of denaturalization come into play when an individual (the listener) makes inaccurate assumptions about the particular linguistic ability of another (the speaker) based on physical appearance or name. In these instances, individuals may correct others on the pronunciation of names, may refuse to use a particular linguistic variety, or may surprise their audience with their linguistic abilities. The final pair considers the structural and institutional aspects of


57 ways in which identities are dismissed, censored, or simply ignored. Second, LePage &Tabouret Kelle r (1985) and Nero (2005) conceptualize language use and choice in varying cont exts as 'acts of identity' or ways of performing who we are. They suggest that l anguage use reveals both individual identity and our sense of social and ethnic solidarity and dif ference with a specific group. In her book English with an Accent Lippi Green (1997) suggests that when people reject an accent, they are rejecting the identity of the person speaking with the accent because in many cases, his or her race, ethnic heritage national origin, regional affiliation, or economic class is intertwined with language. that language choice and use is quite complicated. To identify as African American, but emb race Standard American English and be a monolingual speaker of it, is to reject African American culture. However, be unable to speak SAE by young adulthood would cause one to be viewed as uneducated and of a lower socioeconomic class by those of the same ethnicity as well as the general population. Speakers of AAVE have to negotiate their identities as to be legitimized by their African American peers as an authentic (and powerful) member of the group, while also being perceived as educated. There are a n umber of other studies within the second language acquisition literature that suggests that code switching is an exploratory choice when one wants or needs to construct and present specific identities (Bosire, 2006; Liang, 2006; Myers Scotton, 2000; Ruan, 2003). So code switching becomes a strategy of performing an identity.


58 students sued multiple dialects of both English and Spanish to construct identities that were appropriate for t he context in which they lived and went to school. Bosire (2006) suggest that urban Kenyan adolescents construct an urban, hip, sophisticated identity through the use of Sheng, a mixture of several Kenyan languages and English. Meyers Scotton (1986) sugges ted that Puerto Rican Spanish English bilinguals in New York City can be contrasted with French (1985) study that indicates code switching as unmarked amongst bilingual Puerto Ricans in New York City. In fa ct, these individuals regularly code switched in informal situations with peers. In this context, In contrast, such code switching was rare amongst French English bilinguals in Ottawa. Pollack ( 1985) suggest that the difference was the result of each group interactions with peers. Becoming identified as a bilingual is positively evaluated by the Puerto Ricans when speaking to ethnic group peers. This is not the case with the French partici pants. They speak English and also use English for switching as a marked choice when speaking with ethnic group peers. But the dual identities symbolized by overall switching between French and English are not positively evaluated for peer interaction. Co nstructing I dentities in the Context of S chool The purpose of this section is to provide an overview of identity construction in the context of U.S. American schools and the role of schools as a socializing agent. In this section, language and culture in t he school setting is addressed and a brief overview of the response to language varieties in the classroom is provided. This section concludes with a brief overview of the literature on Anglophone Caribbean students and identity construction.


59 Language, C ul ture and Identities at S chool Schools are key sites for socialization, including language socialization. R esearch has pointed out that schools play a legitimizing role in identity construction as they condone particular cultural and/or linguistic practice s while ignoring others. The identities of m inority and immigrant are often denigrated at school through overt and covert educational policies and practices which undervalue their languages and ways of life (DeCuir & Dixson, 2004; Kanno, 2003 ; Masten et al ., 1990; McKay & Wong, 1996 ; Norton, 1995, 1997, 2 000; Skapoulli, 2004; Th ompson, 2006 ; Valenzuela, 1999; Villenas & Foley, 2002). Institutional racism is evident in the incorporation of institutional policies, practices, attitudes and values that work to the disadvantage of students of color This can include (1) differential allocation of resources, or tracking practices that consign many students of color to low tracks with less experienced teachers, from which they can seldom escape (DeCuir, 2004; Duson 2002; Kershaw, 1992; McAllister &Irvine, 2002; Wigless, 2006) ; (2) the unquestioned acceptance by the institution of white middle class values (for example, the scarcity of authors of color in the English curricula of many secondary schools ) and (3) scho ols' passive stance in the face of prejudiced behavior that interferes with students' learning or well being (for example, not addressing harassment or teasing, or meeting it with punishment instead of attempting to build communication and understanding) ( Banks, 1993; Despite, 2002; Ladson Billings,1995; Loewe, 1995; Motha, 2006) The discourses in schools and by teachers have the power either affirm or disempower demonstrate how immigra nt, English Language Learners (ELLs) are positioned in the context of school. In their case study of four Chinese immigrant students, one of the


60 teacher participants, an ESL teacher, viewed any knowledge that students brought with them (including native l anguage literacy and school experiences) as irrelevant. Although he did allow the use of bilingual dictionaries during writing assignments, he made no Chinese. In his fr indeed infantile (p. 590) In this instance, the teacher did not legitimize or acknowledge The same holds true for the role of construction (Cummins, 1996). This point is supported by analyses of classroom discourse and interactions (Cazden, 2001; Hellerman, 2006; Hellerman and Cole, 2008; Markee, 2004; Miller, 2007). These studies indi cate that peer group discourses also students themselves relegate each other to inferior positions. Miller (2007) investigated three immigrant students from Laos, Tibet and China. The classroom interactions were videotaped once a month for over a year. Based on her data, she maintained that power students positioned the teacher as an aut hority figure as the interaction began, but as students began to see themselves as good language learners, they interacted with less proficient students to lower positio deployment of her linguistic knowledge resulted in a favorable position within the


61 classroom context, while the other student was r elegated to a less than favorable position. Recognition identities. In other words, how we are vie wed by others negatively, or positively, influences how we perceive and portray our own identities. Schools have the power to empower students by affirming their differences or they can marginalize them by delegitimizing their knowledge and experiences. La nguage Varieties in the Classroom More than forty years of scholarly attention to the intersection of language and education have resulted in a rich body of literature on the role of immigrant languages (Auerbach, 1995; Baker, 2011; Fishman & Garcia, 2011; Garcia, 2009; McKay & Wong, 1996; Norton, 2000; Park, 2005; Toohey, 2000) and vernacular language varieties in the classroom such as AAVE(Paugh, 2001; Rickford, Sweetland, &Rickford, 2004; Siegel, 1999, 2006, 2007; Silverstein, 1996) Researchers continu e to document the persistently negative perceptions and attitudes of teachers regarding these immigrant language s and English language varieties (Gay, 2 000; Heath, 1983; and Michaels, 1981). In examples from the AAVE literature, Gay (2000) found that teach ers praised the topic centered writings of white students, while reprimanding Black students for their topic associated styles of writing. Fordham (1999) found that African American adolescents sometimes use AAVE and slang as a way to resist what they see as a racist school establishment, adopting what Ogbu (1999) call s oppositional language


62 frames. Students felt that they were unfairly forced to use Standard English and abandon AAVE ; therefore they used AAVE to demonstrate their cultural pride. erceived rejection of their cultural identities through the rejection of their languages sometimes results in resistance. Non standard variety speaking student s may Lippi Green (1997) views this as standard language i de ology, or a bias toward an abstract, idealized homogeneous language, which is imposed and maintained by dominant institutions and which has as its model the written language, but which is drawn primarily from the spoken language of the upper middle class. This represents a belief in a standard, uniform way of speaking, which is thought to be a better way of communicating, and also that this is the normal way that language exists. The Skin that We Speak Ernie Smith, a ling uist and African American Vernacular English speaker describes the linguistic conundrum in which he found himself at school. He explains how he was confronted by the fact that his language was different from the expected linguistic behavior of the school a nd how that difference was perceived as a deficiency in need of correction. He states: teachers and other school officials often used such term ly destitute handicapped to describe the language behavior of my Black classmates and me. They suggested that our language differences were deficiencies that were related to physical and/or mental abnormalities (Smith 2 002, p. 17). For young African Americans, speaking Black English promotes cultural solidarity, authenticity, and legitimacy (Carter, 2005). But as Delpit (1995) points out, it also puts them at risk in school. Mainstream teachers often view students who sp eak African American Vernacular English as ignorant, they lower their expectations for them, and


63 they fail to provide appropriately engaging and challenging instruction (Carter, 2005). In addition, a teacher's suggestion that something is wrong with the st udent and her family takes a psychological toll and creates resistance to mainstream learning and teachers (Delpit, 2002). Anglophone Caribbean Immigrants and Identity Construction Few studies have considered issues of language socialization, identity, and schooling for Anglophone Caribbean immigrants. Table 2 4 summarizes relevant studies. It is interesting to note that most studies have focused on adult or college age students and only a few have included school age children. Moreover, they have primarily been interested in Anglophone Caribbean immigrants in urban settings and applied a qualitative design using a social constructivist framework. Together, these studies confirm the importance of viewing Anglophone Caribbean identities as multiple and hybrid (Foner, 1997; Nero 2005; Richards, 2008; Waters, 2001).Moreover, like other minority populations, Anglophone Caribbean individuals have often been marginalized, misidentified, and misplaced in (and out of) language education programs. Their language use v aries between Standard English varieties, AAVE and English Creole and reflects their identities in different contexts (Nero, 2005; Pratt Johnson, 1993). Foner (1997), for example, conceptualizes the formation of new (hybrid) identities among Jamaican immig immigrants do not become exactly like Americans, Black or white. Nor are they any longer just like Jamaicans in the home society. Instead, new meanings, ideologies, and patterns of behavior develop amon g them in response to the conditions and circumstances they encounter in the United States (p. 967). Waters (1999 2001 )


64 further suggests that many Black Caribbean immigrants taut their West Indian heritage, nationality, and socioeconomic status over race in order to succeed socially and economically. This identity choice occurs, according to her, because w hen Black Americans, but Black label of Black American, they gain the stereotypes and disadvantages that come along with this label in a racialized society such as the United States. In her study of West Indians in Brooklyn, Richards (2008) argue s that the growth and concentration of West Indian immigrants in certain boroughs and neighborhoods in New York City has facilitated the hybridization of the various Caribbean island cultures represented amongst second generation youth. Richards suggests that the youth who she interviewed are l them do not have accents, many of them like hip hop and rap, dress like African issues of race and racism in t heir Black America n peers as fellow Black s. Even so, the majority of students were clear on the fact that they are also culturally Haitian, Jamaican, or Trinidadian. She found that most of these students interacted primarily with other second generation West Indians in their neighborhoods, schools, and churches. This reinforced a shared feeling of being ethnically distinct. In fact, having foreign born parents and relatives from the Caribbean was a source of pride and prestige within these predominately West Indian peer groups. These two examples illustrate the complex nature of identities within this population.


65 Finally, the negotiat ion of race, language, and ethnicity is also related to language choices. W hen bidialectal (SAE/Cre ole) Caribbean adolescents use P atois or Creole English in specific situations they are enacting a specific identity ( LePage&Tabouret Keller, 1985). Gesslba uer (2003) found that African Caribbean adolescents in Britain use Creole as a symbol of Black identity. In the U.S. American context, Waters (1999) found that Black immigrants of Caribbean descent used Creole to highlight their immigrant status and distin guish themselves from Black Americ ans. Concluding Remarks The conceptual and empirical works on identity and identity construction in the context of the United States cited above deal with two major groups: bilingual immigrant populations (linguistic mino rity, immigrant) and African Americans (racial minority; non immigrant). There have also been a number of studies on African immigrants who have been categorized as racial and linguistic minorities. However, there is still a dearth of studies on the exper iences of English speaking, Caribbean students from their perspectives. In addition, few if any of these studies explore identity construction and negotiation outside of the larger metropolitan cities of the United States. While early empirical studies in the field tended to lean on essentialist notions of identity, more recent work has embraced the multiple, dynamic, and hybrid nature of a human agency and interaction thr ough language in conceptualizations of identity and identity construction processes. Many of these studies have also used school as a setting where in almost every instance; schools were sites of struggles or conflict for non mainstream students. Through a constructivist epistemological perspective, this study sought to explore how Anglophone Caribbean adolescents make meaning of,


66 construct, and negotiate their identities in the context of U.S. American schools in a more rural, less diverse context. As out lined in this literature review, there are many epistemological perspectives, de fined as a set of meanings applied to the self (Burke, 2007; Burke & Tully, 1977). This study takes the theoretical perspective th at identity construction involves cognitive processes by which individuals verify, and negotiate their personal, role related and social identities. 1. Context dependent i dentity standards, and perceptions thereof, are internalized for 2. Information is cognitively processed about whether (or not) beliefs, behaviors, (and appearance) meet the perc eived identity standards. This is often referred to as verification; 3. If individuals perceive identity standards to be consistent or congruent with the ir own the beliefs and behaviors are continued. However, if there are discrepancies or inconsistencies b etween the standards, beliefs, and behaviors, people negotiate, construct messages and adapt behaviors to counteract discrepancies and bring identities into alignment with identity standards. The above identity construction processes are ongoing and compli cated by a number of factors, most importantly those that are contextual. Changes in contexts (and therefore perceived identity standards) trigger these cognitive processes to be repeated and identities to be re constructed and negotiated again and again. It is also important to note that identity standards do not stay the same. Just as identities change across contexts and time, so do identity standards.


67 Table 2 1. Selected Models of Identity Development Psychosocial Development Model White Racial Iden tity Model Black Racial Identity Model Biracial Identity Model Ethnic Identity Development Model Erikson (1968) Helms (1986) Cross (1991) Poston (1990) Phinney (1992) Stage 1 Trust vs. mistrust need to develop a sense of trust (birth to18mths) Cont act Status oblivious to racism, lack an understanding of racism, have minimal experiences with Black people, and may profess to be color blind Pre encounter feelings of ambivalence and shame Personal identity individual feels pressured to choose one rac ial identity over another Diffusion foreclosure feelings of ambivalence regarding identity Stage 2 Autonomy vs. shame & doubt need to achieve personal control over physical skills (2 to3) Disintegration status believing one is nonracist, yet not wanti daughter to marry a minority group member Encounter feelings of anger and anxiety Choice of group categorization person identifies with one group moreso than the other Moratorium feelings of hostility and/or shame regarding identity Sta ge 3 Initiative vs. guilt need to assert power &control over environments (3 to 5) Reintegration status sense of entitlement to white privilege and feelings of superiority immersion feelings of rage and pride Enmeshment and denial feelings of guilt for i dentifying with one group over the other Identity Achievement feelings of pride and acceptance about identity Stage 4 Industry vs. inferiority need to cope with new social & academic demands (6 to 11) Pseudo independence The person begins to attempt an u nderstanding of racial, cultural, and sexual orientation differences Internalization secure and calm Appreciation of multiple identity and exploration of heritages Stage 5 Identity vs. role confusion need to develop a sense of self &personal identity (12 to18) immersion status There is an increasing willingness to truly confront own biases Internalization/ commitment feelings of resolution and empowerment Integration and valuing of multiracial identity


68 Table 2 1. Continued Psychosocia l Development Model White Racial Identity Model Black Racial Identity Model Biracial Identity Model Ethnic Identity Development Model Stage 6 Intimacy vs. isolation need to form important relationships (19 to 40) Autonomy status Increasing awarene ss of in perpetuating racism Stage 7 Generativity vs. isolation need to nurture things that will outlast them (40 to 65) Stage 8 Ego integrity vs. despair need to reflect on life (65 to death)


69 Table 2 2 Berry's Model of Acculturation Cultural Maintenance YES Cultural Maintenance NO Contact Participation YES Integration /biculturalism Assimilation Contact Participation NO Separation/ Segregation Marginalization Table 2 3 Sample Typol ogy Models based on Acculturation theory Berry (1980/2003) Waters (1999) Sue & Sue (1971) TYPES OF IDENTITIES Integr ated /( biculturalism) American Hyphenated American (e.g. Asian American) Assimilated ethnic marginalized separated/segregated immigrant traditionalist Marginalized Figure 2 1 Jones & McEwen's (2000) Multidimensional Model


70 Table 2 4. identities. Author(s) Participants Location Methodology Findings Foner (19 97) All immigrants, including Immigrant Caribbean families NY Conceptual Identities as hybrid Gesslbauer (2003) Afro Caribbean adolescents Britain Qualitative Inequalities in education; Language as symbolic LePage&Tabouret Keller (1983) We st Indian and British West Indian immigrants Various communities in the Caribbean and London Qualitative Language as acts of identity Nero (2001/2005) College level Guyanese and Jamaican students NYC Qualitative Mismatch between self ascribed linguistic identities and identities ascribed to them; complication of (language based) dichotomies Pratt Johnson (1993) Newly arrived K 12 students of Caribbean ancestry NYC Qualitative Misidentification and misplacement in language programs Richards (2008) Adult s and adolescents of Caribbean ancestry NYC Qualitative Hybridization of West Indian cultures Waters (1999/2001) Adults and adolescent girls of Caribbean ancestry NYC Qualitative Multiple identities; identity salience and negotiation; identity typology fo r West Indian immigrants


71 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH APPROACH The purpose of this study was to explore the self ascribed identities of Anglophone Caribbean adolescents and their perceptions of how their schooling experiences have shaped their identities. Qu estions Guiding the Study The study was guided by the following questions: How do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents describe and construct their identities? How do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents' perceive that their schooling experiences have shape d these identities? Constructivism go about the business of inquiry without being clear about just what paradigm informs and guides his or her research ain that a paradigm may be viewed as the belief system or worldview that guides the investigator, not only in choices of methods but in epistemologically fundamental ways. The paradigm which fundamentally informed and guided this inquiry was constructivism (Guba & Lincoln, 1994). Constructivists seek understandings of p henomena based upon individual values, beliefs, perspectives, experiences, and meaning knowledge, reality, and/or truth might be totally different from anot believe that knowledge and reality are created within the individual, but are influenced by social relationships and interactions. I approached this research on identity with the belief that:


72 while identities are constructed as a res ult of individual agency, social influences play an important role ; identities are dynamic, hybrid, and multidimensional; and identity(ies) is/ are constructed and enacted through language. C onstructivist researchers also which people live and work in order to understand as they influence perspectives (Creswell, 2003, p. 8). Thus, I was also interested in tity construction. I focused specifically on the schooling context because identity construction is more pronounced during adolescence, as teens are beginning to construct and reconstruct their identities based on the messages of peers and macrostructures such as schools. It is important to note that t & Lincoln, 1994). First, there were alternative ways of framing this research study. Both my epistemological stance and foreknowledge of the p henomenon under study influenced the research questions and protocol questions. Examples of th ose questions are : ways that you represent your culture of ___________ heritage are/were treated at your school Second, the data and findings are interpretable, so there may be various interpretations of the data. The Participants Among their identities, the four participants for this study self identify as fi rst generation Americans of Caribbean descent. They represent the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas). They are a representative population of females and males, as Waters (2001) and Rumbaut (1994) suggest gender shapes the


73 meanings attached to different types of ethnic self identity, including an American identity. A number of researchers have concluded that the boundaries between different types of identity are more fluid and permeable for girls than for boys and that the task of de veloping a racial and ethnic identity is bound up with issues of gender identity as well (Dion & Dion, 2001; Qin Hillard, 2003). Participants were selected through criterion sampling. In criterion sampling the researcher purposefully samples individuals o r sites based on membership in a subgroup that has the defining characteristics. The criteria used for this study were: Self identified first or second generation of English speaking Caribbean descent; Adolescents aged 13 to 19 All of the participants cur rently live and attend(ed) high school in Florida. The participants range between the ages of 17 and 19. I elected to study participants in this age range as opposed to younger children or mature adults because individuals in late adolescence through youn g adulthood are faced with a number of changes that affect their understanding of their group and individual identities. These changes include their maturing cognitive abilities, greater interactions outside of their communities and concerns with their app earance and social life (Phinney, 1989). Below is a brief description of each participant. Pseudonyms are used to ensure that their identities are protected. Elise Elise is a 17 year old b lack female who self identifies as Jamaican and American. slender and wears her hair in long, natural braids. Elise is extremely soft spoken and shy. She was born in South Florida Both of her parents were born in Jamaica. While her mother currently resides in Florida, her father lives in Jamaica. She


74 has a 20 year old sister who is very involved in the Jamaican Student Association at the college she attends. Elise is a senior at a high school in a predominately white community in Northeast Florida. She is an honor s student in the International Baccalaureate pro gram. She enjoys playing the piano and spending time with family. After high school, Elise plans to attend college to pursue a degree in the medical field so that she can travel the world to help others. Kendall Kendall is a 17 year old b lack male who iden slender, and has long, dark brown locks. Kendall was born in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. He and his mother moved to Florida when he was in was in 5 th grade. His parents were both born in the U.S. Virg in Islands. His mother is from St. Croix and his dad was born in St. Kitts. He lives with his mother and step father in Northeast Florida. His birth father, however, still lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He visits his biological father and his maternal g randparents often. Kendall has four sisters and one brother. Only one of his siblings, a younger sister, lives in the same household. Kendall is a scholar athlete and attends high school in a predominately white community in Northeast Florida. He is in the 11 th He enjoys poetry, specifically spoken word and playing soccer. He plans on attending college, whe re he wants to double major in business and p sychology. Nicole Nicole is a 19 year old b lack female has brown eyes, and long, Black natural hair. She was born in South Florida. Both of her parents were born in Jamaica. Her father still lives in Jamaica, but her mother lives in Florida where she teaches high school English. She has four sisters and three


75 brothers. Nicole has attended Florida schools throughout her elementary and secondary years. She is currently in her 2 nd year of college at a Florida college where she is an active member of the Caribbean Stu dent Association and the Jamaican Student Association. She also travels to Jamaica and the Caribbean quite often. Nicole enjoys writing and analyzing poetry and musical lyrics. She plans on pursuing the doctorate degree so that she can eventually teach at the university level in Jamaica. DeAndre DeAndre is a 19 year old b lack male who self identifies as Bahamian and United States for a short period of time while she was pr egnant and gave birth to him here. He was born in Northeast Florida. Both of his parents were born in the Bahamas where they currently reside. He is an only child. He attended elementary school, middle school and his first three years of high school in Fre eport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas. He moved to Northeast Florida to complete his senior year of high school. He is currently in his first year of college in a Historically Black College in Florida. DeAndre travels to the Bahamas during the summers and for the C hristmas and Thanksgiving holidays. He enjoys playing football and spending time with friends. DeAndre plans to pursue a career in architecture and construction after completing college. Setting This study took place in a medium sized, rural area in north eastern Florida. While Florida is the second largest settlement area for Caribbean immigrants (US Census, 2000), their population in northern Florida is quite small. The majority of Caribbean immigrants settle in southern Florida. The population in the nor thern part of the state has increased as families decide to move to less populated areas or move north for


76 better employment opportunities. As mentioned in the descriptions above, the immediate environment in which each of the participants lived and went t o school varied. Participants were allowed to choose the setting where data were collected. The interview sites varied from local p ublic libraries and restaurants Access and Entry The University of Florida contends that the disserta tion committee of the doctoral candidate must approve dissertation research. In addition, the researcher must obtain permission from the Institution Review Board (IRB), which can be done with the committee chairperson's permission prior to full dissertatio n committee approval To maintain compliance, I sought approval from my committee to conduct this study. I then submitted the required IRB approval application, which consisted of an overview of the proposed research and included copies of the participatio n invitation, consent form, and data collection documents, to the IRB office for review and approval by the board. Once IRB approval was obtained, I recruited potential participants through Caribbean American community and student associations. Emails wer e sent through the Caribbean Student Associ ation (CSA) listserv at one university and flyers were posted at another. Potential participants were identified and asked to participate on a strictly voluntary basis. While several people responded to my reques ts, only four completed all of the tasks required in order for me to complete the collection and information. Kendall was referred to me by a colleague who had just comple ted her dissertation study, which took place in his English class. Nicole, a member of the CSA, contacted me directly to volunteer for the study, and DeAndre responded to one of the flyers posted on his campus. The necessary informed consent forms were obt ained to


77 ensure research standards were followed, which included the guarantee that parti (Appendix A). Written permission was also obtained from the parents of those participants under the age of 18 (Appendix B). Data Collection Procedures Data collection for this study to ok place from January 2010 to April 2010 During this time, I collected data through g eneral background questionnaires, in depth, semi structured interviews, photo elic itation, and bi weekly q uestions/ prompts delivered via email. Table 3 1 shows the alignment of the research questions and data collection tools. Table 3 2 provides details regarding the data collection timeframe for each of the participants. While it was p roposed that the study w ould take place over a 12 week period, postponements, cancellations, recruitment issues and failure to submit documents on time resulted in the data collection phases being extended. Research Instruments Several research instruments were used to collect da ta for this s tudy. Upon collection, interview data were transcribed, and saved into electronic files. Transcribed interviews and other hard copies of data sources were labeled and placed into folders so that there would be both electronic and hard copies o f data. Background Q uestionnaire s Background questionnaires (Appendix C) allowed me to gather general demographic information about participants and their families. I used the background questionnaire to gauge the interests, hobbies, and talents of partic ipants The questionnaire consisted of 18 short answer questions. Each participant answered all of


78 the questions. These responses informed the interview protocols as the researcher believed necessary. I nterviews Carspecken (1996) states that there are many qualitative studies that aim to study the attitudes, beliefs, experiences, and perceptions of individuals through qualitati ve interviews alone. He states that the most effective way to use qualitative interviews with subjects is to get them to describe ev ents they remember taking part in: to begin at a concrete level where a specific action situation is recalled and then work toward articulations of interpretative schema that the subject applies in many diverse situati ons (1996, p. 39). The in depth inter view method is open ended and discovery oriented, having the goal of exploring participants' experiences, perceptions, feelings, and beliefs ( Carspecken, 1996; Holstein & Gubrium, 2003, Kvale, 1996; Rubin & R ubin, 2005). Many researchers believe that semi structured interviews are the ideal type of qualitative interview s. T he semi structured interview s allow a respondent the time and scope to talk about their views on a particular subject. T he focus of the interview however, is decided upon by the researc her as there may be areas that the researcher is interested in exploring in depth. Semi structured interviews also eliminate the problem of the research totally pre determining what will or will not be discussed in the interview. With few pre set questions involved, the interviewer is not pre judging what is and is not important information. I attempted to build rappor t with the participants by structuring the interview like a conversation. Additional, probing q uestions were asked when I felt it appropriat e to ask them. For example, if a participant was hesitant about qualifying his or her answer, I waited until further in the interview to revisit the question. Although I had i nterview


79 p rotocols ( Appendices D F), our conversation were not bound by them Sem i structured in depth interviewing allowed me various opportunities to create a positive rapport between the participants and myself. This was especially important since there was a significant age difference between th e participants and myself and ethnic and/or national affiliations differ ed Spradley (1979) breaks the rapport building process in to the following stages: My goal was to decrease any power structure that would compromise the validity of the interview process by establishing rapport and assis ting participants toward the participation stage. I established rapport by engaging in informal meetings with participants beforehand, allowing participants to lead conversations, and catering to the interests of participants in terms of preferred intervie w location (as long as it was conducive to interviewing). While there were many positive attri butes to using this method, it was not without its challenges I had to think of appropriate follow up questions during the interview process. Because the interv iews were not totally standardized, it was more difficu lt to generalize and find themes/motifs, as respondents were sometimes asked different follow up questions. When I found that a question was not asked or phrased the same way, I searched for additional instances or chunks of discourse to confirm the existence of a theme and I asked participants for follow up interviews. In order to avoid prescribing the content of the participant responses towards the researcher's point of view or perspective, Carspeck en (1996) advocates the use of lead off questions that would introduce the topic domain that the researcher would like the participant to address. The lead off questions were formulated as concretely as possible


80 (e.g. how would you describe yourself to som get to abstract issues or concepts, questions were posed to get participants to talk about concrete events and then generally with appropriate participant responses, the participant was facilitated towards generaliz ing som e of the background issues to her contexts of life (e.g. Can you tell me a time when an experience in school made you feel good to be ______________?). Each of the interviews lasted for no more than 30 minutes during each of three sessions. Each in terview was transcribed and filed by date. This data collection method resulted in 73 pages of transcribed interview data. There was an average of 16 total pages per participant. Photo E licitation Photo elicitation is a qualitative research method in which photographs are integrated into the interviewing process Photo elicitation was used to allow the participants to more clearly show their realities and perceptions visually. At the conclusion of the first semi structured interview (Appendix D), each parti cipant was asked to prepare for the next photo elicitation interview (Appendix E). Reflexive photography was used to gather photos. Reflexive photography is where participants take photographs or collect images in which the subjects are people, objects, or events that reflect the photographer in some way (Harper, 1987) Over the last century, the use of photographs for social science purposes has waxed and waned. It has gone from being popular to being ignored. However, in the past decade, there has been a considerable renewal of interest (Bank, 1995, 2001; Emmison & Smith, 2001; Rose 2001). In comparison with other data collection methods, relatively little has been written on using the visual medium as a method through which photographs can enhance the interview process.


81 In this study, photographs were used to e voke a response (Harper 1984) and extract information (Heisley & Levy, 1991) from participants. It has been used across disciplines and topic areas in order to determine ethnic identification (Gol d, 1986); understand behaviors (Wessels, 1985); work with young children and adolescents (Foster et al., 1999; Salmon, 2001); and talk about difficult, abstract concepts (Curry & Strauss, 1994; Bender et al., 2001). Douglas (1998) asked Black students to p resent their pictures of a predominately white university and he used them in subsequent interviews to gauge their experiences at these institutions. Ziller (1990) asked students from four nationalities to take pictures depicting what the U.S. meant to the m and then to talk about it. He found that their photographs were quite different from those taken by American born students. Participants reported this technique was more engaging and promoted deeper levels of reflexive thinking than interviews alone wou ld have done. Fang & Elwein (1990) and Wang (2 001) contend that photo elicitation has the potential to be us ed at any stage of the research, bridge psych ological and physical realities, allow the combinatio n of visual and verbal language, assist with build ing rapport, and provide a component of multi methods triangulation to improve rigor (Hurworth, 2003). Hurworth (2003) also contends that many participants prefer photo elicitation over conventional i nterviews. My purpose for using photo elicitation was two fold. First, I was aware that people generally enjoy talking about images that represent who they are. It provoked participants to talk considerably more than when they were in the other interview sessions. Participants were also more apt to answer fol low up questions that referred to images and not just their thoughts regarding abstract concepts such as identity.


82 Second, photo elicitation was a way to triangulate the data collected during the other interview sessions and email questions. During subsequ ent interviews, I was able to refer back to the images and photographs that participants provided to confirm motifs and ask follow up questions. Participants were provided detailed verbal and written directions (Appendix E) for this portion of the study. T hey were also provided one 35 mm, 24 exposure disposable camera. Three of the four decided that they would use their own cameras. Participants were specifically asked to photograph anything that represents their identities and or the expression of their id entities. They photographed symbols, people, events/occasions that depicted aspects of who they are. They were also given the option to bring in previously taken photos, use Internet images, or borrow pictures from family members or friends. Participants g athered 7 to 36 photographs/images over a two week period (in most instances). Once photographs were developed or uploaded by the participants, they were asked to design PowerPoint presentations and provide captions for their selected set of photographs an d/or images. Ther e were a total of 28 captions comprised of one to three sentences each. Samuels (2002) and Taylor (2002) highlight a few of the disadvantages of photo elicitation. They say that: Photos do not automatically elicit useful interviews; Photog raphing takes time and energy that participants may not be willing to spend; Participants may focus on or be apprehensive about the outcome or quality of the photos; and Some people do not see photographs as being able to capture their reality or to act as metaphors.


83 There were two major challenges in using photo elicitation for this study. First, participants sometimes took pictures that seemed irrelevant to the purpose of the study or they could not explain how particular images relate to their identitie s. Second, the quality and length of the photo elicitation interview was dependent upon the quality and quantity of the photos. If students had few photos, then there was less to talk about or if the photos did not relate to their identity, it was difficul t to redirect the conversation. Email Questions Electronic mail was a resourceful tool for collecting data as it provided unlimited accessibility, allowed for indirect, informal interaction that could possibly allev iate anxiety or stress that could occur with face to face contact. Like the photographs, it proved a useful source of data for triangulation to confirm and disconfirm motifs and themes. Participants were told to not worry about spelling and that they could use any language variety with which th ey were comfortable. Each of three questions was emailed to participants so that they might inform the interview protocols (Appendix G). They were asked to answer or respond to the following prompts and to email their responses to me within a two week time period: Email Question #1 List the various aspects of your identity in order of importance (most to least) and explain why it is important for you to acknowledge these identities. Email Question #2 I show pride in my ____________________ identity by ___ _________________. Email Question #3 Are there any teachers, principals, guidance counselors, or coaches that share your identity(es)? If so, in what ways do they share your identity(s)? How does your school support your identity? Participants were provide d Email Question #1 and the Demographic Questionnaire at the same time. Questions # 2 and # 3 where sent immediately after Interviews #1 and


84 #2, respectively. There were several instances when interviews had to be postponed due to questions not being submi tted in enough time for them to inform the interview protocol. For example, one participant decided that he would bring his responses with him to the actual interview. I accepted the questions at that time, but postponed the interview so that I would have enough time to analyze his response. The length of the written responses for the email questions varied. For Email self ascribed identities. Each participant generated a p aragraph (5 to 7 sentences) for Email Questions 2 and 3, respectively. ive Journal Keeping a reflective journal allowed for a level of reflexivity that was necessary for me to bracket my personal views on ethnicity, race, and identity. Reflexivity, in the form of journal keeping helped me to maintain personal integrity and an awareness of personal views versus that which was evidenced in the data. It also allowed me to onversations that either conflicted or confirmed findings or themes. Original notes were handwritten and conceptual notes, and next steps. An example is provided in Table 3 4 Data Analysis Procedures Thematic analysis was used as an analytical tool at the macro level. It is a method that is compatible with constructivist, objectivist, and subjectivist frameworks, and is widely used across different epistemologies as a foundat ion for discovering or constructing meaning. Like other analytic methods that include thematic analysis is a method for identifying, analyzing, and reporting patterns in data (Braun &


85 Clarke, 2006). It is an inductive and interpretive procedure th at illuminates the salient thematic analysis one can not only recognize how individuals make meaning of their experiences and identities, but also discover how meaning is mad e within socio historical constructs. I analyzed the interviews, PowerPoint /photograph captions, and email questions an inductive analysis procedure, is divided into five phases detailed below. First, I transcribed and familiarized myself with the transcribed data through repeated readings prior t o creating codes. I recorded thoughts and ideas as I transcribed and read the transcripts. I bracketed those thoughts and ideas for the time being. Second, I open coded across data sources based on meaning units, retaining some of the context with the code. The meaning units words as possible as opposed to always rephrasing those meaning units Som e meaning units potentially had multiple codes. The following are examples from the Relationships and connections with family Relationships and connections with U.S. American friends Time to be U.S. American Living a new life Identity Language Connections Misrecognition in schools Lack of affirmation in schools Next, I gathered the codes and began combining the open codes into larger codes or potential themes. Some codes became sub themes, or themes within a theme. For exa mple, Identity and Language Connections was a major theme for DeAndre. Under


86 that theme were three sub themes: Bahamian accent as a tool of distinction Bahamian accent as a liability and U.S. American accent results in U.S. American identity At this poi nt, I also searched for what I might have left out of the coding and thematic processes by reviewing each line in each of the data sources to see if they had been included initially ( Boyat zis, 1998) occurred as leading themes emerged. When a theme re emerged across data sets, I determined compatibility between them by asking whether th e themes reflect the same meaning across the data sources of their identities, their identity construction processes, and the role of school in these processes. These steps were repeated for each participant and resulted in a list of themes that were woven throughout at least two data sources The themes and examples from the interview transcripts were then matched with the most relevant research question as indicated in Table 3 5. Once th e individual coding, analysis, and theme production was done for each set of data (for each participant), I went back to the original codes for each participant, and analysis. As this was being done, I searched for general themes that emerged, patterns, and significant differences in the code for participants. For example, I made no te of


87 This process resulted in the four common themes outlined in chapter 8 and the subsequent discussion in chapter 9. statement analysis was used as the an alytical tool of choice for the micro level analysis of the data. Gee suggests that one of the ways that we can get to know how teenagers build different identities through language is to look at when they refer to themselves by speaking in the first perso Following Gee (2005), I categorized different I statements in terms of the type o that is, in terms of what sort of thing the participant says about her or himself. Gee distinguishes the following types of I state ments: a. Cognitive statements The participant talks about thinking and b. Affective statements The participant talks about desiring and liking c. State and Action statements The participa nt talks about his or her d. Ability and Constraint statements The participant talks about being my nd e. Achievement statements The participant talks about activities, MIT or Harvard ). (Gee, 2005, p. 141 142) A t the micr socially situated identities. To conduct the I statement analyses, I applied the following Sele ct a type of I statement to code. Create an I statement analysis worksheet.


88 Select examples of these I statements from the interview transcripts, email questions, and photo/image captions. Examine the results for preliminary themes/motifs and examine how/i f they answer the research questions. Repeat the process for different types of I statement. statement categories were adequate for the majority of the data, as I worked on my analysis I realized that another category of I statements was necessary. I called this category The participants used these type of I statements when recollecting how they had been Al ine by l ine analysis occurred and all I statements were categorized as such: The findings of both macro and micro level analyses are discussed in the subsequent chapters. Establishing Validity The trustworthiness, or credibility, of qualitative research fi Although there seems to be no agreed upon and Guba (1985) proposed four criteria for judging the soun dness of qualitative research and explicitly offered these as an alternative to more traditional quantitatively oriented criteria. They felt that their four criteria better reflected the underlying assumptions involved in much qualitative research. Those f our criteria are credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. The credibility criterion involves establishing that the results of qualitative research are credible or believable from the perspective of the participant in the research. S ince from this perspective, the purpose of qualitative research is to describe or understand


89 the phenomena of interest from the participant's eyes, the participants are the only ones who can legitimately judge the credibility of the results. Transferabilit y refers to the degree to which the results of qualitative research can be generalized or transferred to other contexts or settings. From a qualitative perspective transferability is primarily the responsibility of the one doing the generalizing. The qual itative researcher can enhance transferability by doing a thorough job of describing the research context and the assumptions that were central to the research. The person who wishes to "transfer" the results to a different context is then responsible for making the judgment of how sensible the transfer is. The idea of dependability, on the other hand, emphasizes the need for the researcher to account for the ever changing context within which research occurs. The research is responsible for describing the changes that occur in the setting and how these changes affected the way the research approached the study. Qualitative research tends to assume that each researcher brings a unique perspective to the study. Confirmability refers to the degree to which the results could be confirmed or corroborated by others. There are a number of strategies for enhancing confirmability. The researcher can document the procedures for checking and rechecking the data throughout the study (Trochim, 2006) For this study, vali dity was established through data triangulation, member checking, researcher subjectivity (Glesne, 2006; Merriam, 2001). Data Triangulation Researchers suggest collecting multiple sources and examples of data in order to triangulate data and confirm findi ngs (Glesne, 2006; Merriam, 2001; Stake, 1995). Triangulation in this study occurred in two ways. First, multiple sources of data were


90 collected and analyzed audio taped interviews, email questions, and photos/images with captions. Having multiple source s of data allowed me to confirm or disconfirm themes as well as provide counter examples. (2005) suggestions to ensure the validity in thematic analysis by using the following elements: Coverage all of the data were a nalyzed with consideration given to each theme Excerpts were not analyzed in isolation. Segments before and after were analyzed so as not to miss elements or to avoid analyzing context. Convergence Similar data (within the same narrative ) led to s imilar conclusions. For example al though data sources varied, themes regarding ethnicity were similar across interviews, email questions, and photo captions. Agreement There is some sort of agreement amongst peers working on th e same data set, or research and participants. This is similar to peer review and member checking, respectively. Whenever disagreements arose, varying perspectives were shared in the discussion chapter. Member Checking Member checking is a process in which the researcher asks one or more participants to check the accuracy of the account. This check involved taking the findings back to participants and asking them (in writing or an interview) ab out the accuracy of the report. To both insure the validity of m y findings and ensure that my statements, provide definitions, question interpretations, and add new information. This was done before the second and third interviews an d at the completion of each case. For example, d uring one of the member checking sessions, a participant told me style, to include the type of clothing he or she wears as well as their hairstyle, haircut, and make up. The same term was


91 used in a subsequent interview with another participant. He agreed with my revised interpretation of his use of the term. Researcher Subjectivity Another way to establish validity in qualitative studies is by acknowledging possible researcher biases and reflecting on my position as a researcher. Qualitative rese arch is interpretive in nature requiring the researcher to be self reflect ive and disclose prior experiences, assumptions, orientations, beliefs and values that may affect perspectives about the phenomenon under study and the interpretat ion of data (Seidman, 1998; 2006 ). Therefore, it is important that I acknowledge some identit ies and experiences that I have had to bracket during this study: my identity as a b lack person, my beliefs, and my experiences with Anglophone Caribbean students. I bracketed my biases by writing how I felt about the data collected or the participants. I would later revisit the entries to insure that my perspectives did not cloud my representation of the data. My I dentity as a Black P erson I am very conscious of my racial identity. If someone were to ask me to describe myself, I would probably identify mys elf first by race. For as long as I can remember, my parents have used race and racism as a way to motivate and encourage me to do well in grade school, complete high school, complete college, and further my education. They would tell me that a very low pe rcentage of b lack s ever finish high school. A smaller percentage earns a college degree, and an even smaller percentage earns advanced degrees. They would tell me that it was important to do well in school because the odds were already against me and that education was the great equalizer. My identity as a b lack person provided intuition about how some of the participants felt


92 about being treated different than non b lack peers; however, I was careful not to express my feelings and experiences in order influenced by my experiences. My Experiences with Anglophone Caribbean Students My years as both a teacher and a student afforded me many opp ortunities to interact with first and second generation Anglophone Caribbean students. As an ESOL teacher, many of these students were placed in my classroom despite the fact that they were English proficient. Although they stayed with me only a short time that is where I first learned t hat being or speaking differently can be viewed as being deficient or not proficient. As a language teacher and native speaker of a stigmatized dialect of English, I have some strong views regarding language and social stat us. Again, I was careful not to impose these experiences and feelings as I collected, analyzed, and interpreted the data. Journaling As ment ioned earlier in this chapter, a research journal was kept to record thoughts, personal reflections, comments, and or wonderings. This kept me aware of any biases during the process and gave me an outlet to express such Furthermore, the journal was used as a tool to refine the subsequent interviews and/or other forms of data collection. Limitations Limitations for thi s study cover four different areas. First, my perspective of of the study. Second, the participants were not representative of the Anglophone


93 Caribbean population in Florida or the United States These participants represent only three of the English speaking Caribbean nations. This was because the English speaking Caribbean population in the geographical area in which the study took place is quite small. Adolesce nts who claim Caribbean ethnicity were difficult to track because school districts generally categorized these students as African American or b lack Additionally, two of the participants were educated entirely in the United States, so they had no frame of reference in terms of the difference between education systems and experiences learning in a country other than the United States. Thus, the findings of the present study may not be generalizable to Anglophone Caribbean adolescents of different background s and contexts. study is grounded in self reported data, primarily the statements and stories of the participants, with little attempt to triangulate these data from a third p arty perspective due to the limited time for data collection and the complication of contacting third party participants. For example, I could have observed participants in their everyday settings. Considering that identity is constructed by positioning an d being positioned by others, I stories by integrating multiple perspectives. statement analysis were the primary methods of analyses used for this study. I acknowledge that it is quite possible that there are other methods of analysis that could highlight different


94 under standing the role of schools, power structures, the negotiation of identities, identity and second generation immigrants, or some other related phenomenon. In the next four chapters, I present the findings in such a way that each of the ity construction experiences is highlighted and their voices are heard. The themes and findings for each participant are confined to his or her chapter. I provide a view across the various perspectives in Chapter 8. This provides the reader with opportunit ies to view the similarities amongst the participants. A discussion of the findings is provided in Chapter 9, and Chapter 10 concludes with a summary of findings and implications for education and future research.


95 Participant Age Country of Birth Par Countries of Birth Ethnicities Languages Elise 17 Hollywood, FL Mother Jamaica Father Jamaica Jamaican American SAE Patois Kendall 17 St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Mother St. Croix, U.S.V.I. Father St. Kitts, U.S.V.I. St. Thomian Cruzan A frican American English AAVE Creole Nicole 19 Miami, Florida Mother Jamaica Father Jamaica Jamaican American Patois SAE DeAndre 19 Daytona Beach, FL Mother Bahamas Father Bahamas Bahamian ( Black ) American English Bahamian English Figure 3 1 Participant Profiles Table 3 1 Alignment of Data Collection Methods and Research Questions Research Questions Data Collection Tools How do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents construct their identities? How do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents perceive that aspects of their identities are shaped by their schooling experiences in the U.S.? Demographic Questionnaire* Semi structured interview #1 X Photo elicitation interview #2 X X Semi structured interview #3 X X Email Questions (written) X X Journal Demographic questionnaires provided background information that informed protocol. ** Journal was for reflexive note taking and to adjust interview protocol as necessary


96 Table 3 2. Data Collected Demographic Questionnaire Submitted Email Que stion #1 Submitted Interview #1 Email Question #2 Submitted Photo/Image Details Photo Elicitation Interview #2 Email Question #3 Submitted Interview #3 Participants Elise 01/20/10 Week 1 01/22/10 Week 1 02/6/10 Week 3 12:39 03/01/10 Week 7 36 photos total (collage style) 20 internet images 03/18/10 Week 9 15:01 03/19/10 Week 9 03/25/10 Week 11 22:28 Kendall 01/20/10 Week 1 01/24/10 Week 2 02/28/10 Week 2 15:43 03/05/10 Week 7 10 photos total 3 internet images 03/15/10 Week 9 19:49 04/01/10 Week 11 04/11/10 Week 13 15:00 Nicole 03/15/10 Week 1 03/15/10 Week 2 3/31/10 Week 3 10:10 4/15/10 Week 6 7 photos total 2 internet images 05/13/10 Week 7 15:09 04/28/10 Week 8 06/02/10 Week 13 18:11 DeAndre 01/15/10 Week 1 1/20/10 Week 2 01/25/10 Week 3 18:44 3/20/2010 Week 10 13 photos total 2 internet images 03/25/10 Week 11 14:42 03/28/10 Week 12 04/15/10 Week 15 24:22


97 Table 3 3 Building Rapport during the Interview Process (Spradley, 1979, pp. 78 83) Stage Characteristics & Procedures Apprehension st age There is always apprehension. Explain purpose and relax. Get informant talking. Descriptive questions Can you tell me about your childhood/family/school? Keeps informant talking. Exploration stage Participant tries to figure out what I want, explor es the interview and relationship; don't push at all in this stage no pressure to cooperate. Wait out any feelings of tension. Make repeated explanations, restate what participants say (don't reinterpret, just restate nonjudgmental), don't ask for meaning but ask questions to get more use of the term. Cooperation stage Participants and interviewer not worried anymore about making mistakes. More cooperation. Informant spontaneously corrects interviewer, help s toward the goal of the interviews. Participat ion stage Final stage, only sometimes reached. Participant realizes he/she is teaching interviewer. Heightened cooperation, full participation in project.


98 Table 3 Participant/ Interview # Date Raw Not es Conceptual Notes Next Steps Elise Interview #1 02/06/10 Dressed in Jamaican colors ( b lack green, & yellow). Wore Bob Marley/flag t shirt. Wore b lack and green beret with long dreaded braids. usually dress this way, but to celebrate it Seemed quite uncomfortable, almost confused when discussing race. Whispered whenever she used racial terms such as white and b lack seeming quite knowledgeable about issues/concepts. Jamaican vanity plate on car. Vanity plate, wearing colors and knowledge of as a way to self identify and/or have others identify her as Jamaican Categorization by race as improper, insignificant, or inappropriat e Consideration for int. #2, #3 and subsequent data analysis Kendall Interview #2 03/15/10 Constantly used the term niggas and these terms to refer to himself and peers of African descent and all Racial (der ogatory) terminology as inclusive and exclusive Continue to allow participants to speak freely.


99 Table 3 5. Example of Themes Originating from Open C odes Research Question 1: How do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents construct their identities? THEMES Valuing & maintaining the relationships and connections he has with others. is a factor as he constructs his identity Representing the other (American) Constructing and reconstructing identity through the use of a particular langua ge or accent. Email Question #1 indicates relationship with God, family members and those who look to him for advice is significant to identity construction. Acceptance comes through relationships with w (Email Question 2). Family and friends affirm his identity because he can them (D1/Lines 66 69) The concept of time is significant in that DeAndre refers to the amount of time that he has spent vs. the amount of time he has spent in the United States (D2/Lines 28 33). Space and time is significant as his discourse suggests that there are definite boundaries around his two nationalities. now on the other half of Question 2) repres ent the other half Question 2) is my USA represent that (D2/Lines 28 33) I got the chance to move to the next half of my nationality so that I can experience a (Email Question 2). Sometimes when I talk, I go from American to Bahamian and Bahamas (D2/Lines 34 46). have to tell them because they usually assumed I was from the Bahamas just by the way that I talked (D3/Lines 1 7) Like last sem like my language not talking like how I used to talk when I first came speak more like everybody else [American peers].(D1/Lines 58 60)

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100 Tabl e 3 6. Sample Code Sheet for I S tatements Transcript Code Line Numbe r Sample Text Comment E3 53 55 I feel that immigrants take the uhmm opportunities in America more Affective E3 76 78 things, Affective E3 124 126 and I felt bad Cognitive E3 128 129 I felt that they [African Amer.] were the only people I could relate to beca use there were only whites and b Affective/State & Action E1 20 I understand and occasionally speak in patois. C ognitive/Ability& Constraint E1 22 that [patois] another language. Cognitive E1 42 lack because of my skin tone. E1 42 43 I guess I consider myself b lack not the Afri can American. Cognitive/ State & Action

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101 CHAPTER 4 ELISE I felt lost. You know the lack, but I know I Elise A nalys construct ion. First, Elise constructed a Jamerican identity which helped her to maintain her role as a member of a Jamaican family and to build relationships with her American peers. Second, Elise at times contemplated negotiating her identity to fit in with other African Americans in North Florida and realized that b e ing b lack of North Florida was not Finally, Elise identity as a student seemed just as important as her other identi ties. These three themes are illustrated in detail below. Constructing a Jamerican Identity Elise was born in South Florida to Jamaica n immigrant parents While her mother currently resides in Florida, her father lives in Jamaica. Elise, her mother and si ster, moved from an urban community of Jamaicans and other West Indians to a suburban community where the majority of her neighbors were white Americans. Elise explained that where she had lived in South Florida, eve ryone was West Indian Therefore, she t oo identified as West Indian, specifically Jamaican. H was the catalyst that resulted in her rethink ing and reconstruct ing her Jamaican identity. When she first moved to North Florida, Elise pondered her identity in the context of her new ] kind of unsure what I [was]. I guess nationality is where you ar e born, I was born in America but I

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102 guess I have Jamaican blood, so see s 17). Shortly after the move to North Flo rida, Elise began to self identify as Jamerican a term that she thought appropriate because it high lighted both her Jamaican and U.S. American heritages. I describe myself as Jamerican. [A Jamerican] is a Jamaican American (1/Lines 4 10) evidenced in lines 1 and those of both Jamaican and American heritage. 1. 2. guess I noticed it [my Jamerican identity] more when I moved up here 3. 4. 5. Jamaicans. 6. 7. from the Caribbean, so even if you were born there [Jamaica] or not, you 8. identify yourself as Jamaican. (1/Lines51 55) In lines 1 through 8, Elise explains that her Jamerican identity became more salient wh 3). She uses Chinatown as a point of comparison to explain the ethnic homogeneity in the community from which s he had moved. 12).

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103 9 10 11 n 12 79) her identity became important in enabling her to fit in with her new neighbors and some of her schoolma tes. Elise stated neighbors. She stated, may (3/Lines 104 105). When analyzed in the stand out. That is, she fit in with her neighbors who were mostly white and upper middle class an d it made her stand out as a b lack teenager who was proficient in Standard American English and comfortable using it. home language and religious practices were important to the maintenance of familial relationships. O ne way she expressed her Jamai can identity was through the use of Jamaican English Creole, referred to as Patois by its native speakers She you have to be a part of the culture to understand [ the (1/Lines 80 84). In addition to using Patois, Jamaican identity as evidenced by one of the first images that she chose to discuss (Figure 4 1). Elise stated that Figure 4 ixion of Jesus Christ who died for our sins and it was through my religion that I have had many opportunities to meet peop 3/Lines 93 94).

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104 Elise also stated: 13 n came 14 15 is the time that we pay homage to our savior. (3/Lines 91 92) has given her opportunities to meet and bond with other Jamaicans and Jamaican Americans of the same faith. American identity identification as Jamerican the context of North Florida have also shown her that there is an ethnic hier archy (lines 16 20) upon which b lack people place themselves and others. 16 17 18 19 Jamaican instead of 20 88) She is aware that this identity places her higher on an ethno racial hierarchy, which she has observed in the context of school and society in general. She suggested that her Jamaican values in part distinguish her from other b lack s and sec ondly, some of these values are admired by mainstream American society. In discussing some differences between African Americans and Jamaicans, Elise stated: 21 I know personally that uhmm Jamaicans, we have a stronger work ethic than 22 23 workers instead of intellectual [lowering of voice]. (3/Lines 14 17)

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105 al believed that Jamaicans have a work ethic that is superior to that of a lot of Americans, they are not viewed as being equals with regard to intelligence. In lines 22 herself as Jamaican only while discussing how that ide ntity is perceived. 24 25 opportunities in America more seriously [than African Americans] and I think a 26 27 str 28 52 56) In the lines 24 28, Elise elaborates on the immigrant mentality that is an integral not to 28).This suggests that she has been taught that immigrants are more hardworking than mainstream Americans, particularly African Americans. b lack not uniformed and varied. T here were instances where Elise self identified as b lack. During the second interview session, Elise like I just always knew I was b lack we, we b lack s are perceive In b oth of these quote s Elise refers to a identity The claim was more explicit in the former quote ( like I just always knew I was b the inclusive pronoun b lack but I Like many, Elise uses b lack to refer to both a racial identity to include all b lack people, and as a specific American eth n ic group (i.e. African Americans). b lack darity (e.g. b lack s are perceived as this

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106 math teacher always groups me with b lack American students were being characterized as uninte lligent or unsuccessful in academics. T here b lack others. In the first interview, Eli se talked specifically about racial identity S guess I am considered b lack be cause of my skin tone. I guess I t b lack America ( 2/Lines 22 23) When Elise first arrived in Newtown she was confronted with a different racial and ethnic peer group i n school than in Miami. This prompted a new process of identity negotiation as her identity options shifted from being Jamaican to American and any other combination thereof, to being ascribed as having a solely Jamaican, American, or African American iden tity (lines 29 34). 29 When I moved to North Florida, my elementary school was all white and then 30 31 32 myself with the b lac ks oh African 33 34 120 Given the choice between white and African American, sh e initially aligned herself with the African Americans ( Elise might have made these decisions in order to build relations hips with those who she felt she was most like. This might have been an attempt to adopt an identity that she felt was already ascribed to her and more acceptable in the cultural context in which she found herself.

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107 Constructing an African American identity for Elise involved gaining an understanding of African American pop culture and being able to understand and use 35 I tried to educate myself on b 36 lack 37 American culture. And you know I felt like lost. You 38 k now a lot of k 39 40 66). can American identity (Lines 35 through 40). She felt lost (Line 38, excerpt above) and out of place due to her lack of proficiency in AAVE and African American culture. To her peers, if she did not have African American cultural knowledge, she was not one of them. She must be the opposite white. 41 42 You know everyone has their own words. I remember in the seventh grade I 43 I do have my 44 45 but I felt that they were the only people I could relate to because there were 46 only whites and b 47 120 129). Elise discussed another reason that she felt out of place claiming an African American identity In lines 50 through 52, she suggested that African Americans carry a burden that she did not necessarily carry. 48 in my m ind, maybe uhmm b lacks, 49 African 50 51 52 67 73).

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108 While Elise and her African American peers may have had the same skin color, the similarities ended there. They were quite different culturally. One of the ways that You know a lot of kids b lack but (1/Lines 59 66). During her high school years, Elise claimed she most often identified as Jamerican. She also said that there were times when she felt it most appropriate to claim a b lack American or African American identity. She stated, times b lack b lack (1/Lines 38 39). Embracing a Student I dentity Being an academically su ccessful student meant that Elise was also being a good daughter. Elise held her student identity in high regards. She rated it only behind being a Christian and a family member (Email Question #1). She created a PowerPoint slide that contained three image s that symbolized this aspect of her identity. Regarding her student identity and the screenshot image above, Elise stated, 160). When medical field, not necessarily in a hospital, but I want to take care of people...maybe in 163). Referring specifically to the International

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109 168). willingness to embrace school was connected to her relationship with her mother and her identity as a person of Jamaican heritage. Elise thou ght it important to maintain or exceed the expectations set by her mother. 53 54 55 important thing because from wher 56 57 will do and 58 (E2/Lines 13 15) As indicated in the excerpt above, Elise cons tructs her student identity based on the expectations that her mother has set for her. She views educational achievements as an indicator of her student identity. 59 I love my mom because she came up here so she could keep her job and so 60 we could come up her e and eventually go to college so we could have a 61 62 always there for me. (3/Lines 135 138) Referring again to the level of importance her mom has placed on education, Elise stated: 63 64 65 66 of our culture [Ja maican] to keep improving and my mom is the one that 67 instilled that. (3/Lines 142 145)

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110 student identity is influenced in part by the socialization processes that she has gone through in regards to the value of a good education. Discourses of S cho ol e not supportive of her or her b lack peers. She notes, F or our senior class of IB students, out of the 43, there is me, Ruby and Brandon are b la ck (3/Lines 41 Elise discussed how she believed the b lack students in her school were perceived as being less intelligent. 68 lacks are perceived as not being as 69 you know, 70 group me with b lacks and like I actually had one teacher last year call me 71 stupid, he said all the b But I 72 73 at smart (3/Lines 33 36). Elise has been exposed to negative discourses regarding African American aware of how African Americans are perceived in the context of school and the possible consequences of claiming an African American identity. In response to being misidentified or mislabeled, Elise stated, ( 2/Line 26) In li nes 74 through 77, she further discus sed the insensitivity of that same teac her towards the b lack students. 74 It was me 75 76 gr 77 all my b 39).

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111 Although Elise only reported the comments of one teacher, his comments were enough to make Elise aware of the dominant discourses surrounding students who look like her. Summary merican identity was constructed as a result of familial influences. It is through her experiences in a new environment specifically learning the culture and building and maintaining relationships in this environment that constructing ntity becomes important. This identity was a way by which she could maintain her familial relationships and build new relationships in the context of her new of her mult iple identities and relegates neither identity to an inferior position. derstood the dynamics of being b lack in the context of North Florida. Elise attempted to construct an African A merican identity by learning African American culture and language. This, she felt, would allow her to fit in with her peers. Elise also understood the repercussions of embracing such an identity and would quickly ident ify herself as Jamaican versus b lack if she felt that the prevailing stereotypes would disadvantage her. While Elise negotiates her various identities with ease, it is evident that there were more identity options in the more urban context of South Florida. ssful student was significant to her. It fulfilled the expectations her mother. Her construction of her student identity was also based on the premise that educational achievement would bring her future economic and social

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112 success. In sum, school supported Figure 4 PowerPoint Slide # 1 Figure 4 PowerPoint Slide # 4

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113 Figure 4 3 PowerPoint Slide # 2

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114 CHAPTER 5 KENDALL I always knew I was different. I just had to learn to embrace it. Kendal l Analysis of the data reveals three themes and multiple sub themes relating to i n the cont ext of school. Kendal l viewed himself as ethnically and culturally unique because of his multiple identities For Kendall, constructing both a Virgin Islander identity and an African American identity was important in sustaining and maintaining relationships with his peers. Constructing and negotiating these identities and the socio political discourses of prejudice and discrimination inside and outside of school settings. The three themes an d sub themes are illustrated in detail below. Multiple Identities: Being D ifferent Being U nique Kendall is an 11 th grader who was born in Cha rlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. His parents were both born in the U.S. Virgin Islands. His mother is from St. Croix and his dad was born in St. Kitts. During this study, h e li ved with his mother and stepfather in Northeast Florida. His birth father, however, still lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He visits him and his maternal grandparents often. Kend all has four sisters and one brother. Only one of his siblings, a younger sister, lives in the same household. Kendall is a scholar athlete and attends high school in a predominately white community in Northeast Florida. W hen asked about his nationality a nd ethnicity (Lines 6 9), Kendall explained that he was different from his West Indian and African American peers because he, Kendall, describes himself as St. Thomian (St. Thomas), Cruzan (St. Croix), and African

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115 American (Lines 1 4). Kendall referred to these three identities throughout the interviews and in his list of identities, which he provided to me via email: 1 2 call 3 4 thing.(1/Lines 17 20) completely St. Thomian or Cruzan, but both. Kendall explained that while he was born on the island of St. Thomas, he spent several years on the island of St. Croix where he learned the culture and ways of the Cruzan people. Kendall also claimed an African American ethnic identity (he listed it as one of his claimed identities in response to Email Question #1). Kendall explained that his background makes him different from his West Indian and African American peers. He says: 5 I always knew I was different. I just had to learn to embrace it. Growing up, 6 I knew I was d ifferent from everybody else. I mean, I tried to hide it and not 7 r eally 8 9 just chose to embrace the different sides of me. (2/Lines 54 57) In the excerpt above (lines 5 9), Kendall explains how maturity has helped him to see that being different is not something that has to be hidden. He goes from being ashamed of who he was in his preadolescent years t o embracing his ethnic and cultural backgrounds in his adolescence years. American identity was primarily due to the sociopolitical relationship between the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands 1 as 1 The Virgin Islands were originally settled by the Ciboney, Carib, and the Arawaks. Over a three hundred year period, the islands were held by many European powers, including Spain, The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, and Denmark Norway. Final ly, the Danish sold the islands to the U.S. in 1917 for $25 million. (CIA Factbook, 2010)

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116 indicated in lines 10 t hrough 13. He also acknowledged the identities that he constructed depended on the ethnic make up of his friends and the cultural awareness that he believed his to peers have (or not have) regarding his identities. He explained, 192). huh [head nodding yes to whether he also considers himself African American ] ...African so we actually get citizenship (1/Lines 36 42) In the context of our conversation, Kendall used the word (Line 13) to refer his African American identity in relation to his St. Thomian identity. This suggests that he views himself first as St. Thomian, and then African American He further stated, 49). Kendall pointed to the U.S. Virgin Islands flag when a sked if there was any one person or thing most symbolic of his identity (Figure 5 1). He stated: 14 15 any glimpse of the colors [of the V.I. flag] and know that person is from 16 17 18 19 buy a necklace like that from here 20 21

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117 22 use you always go out 23 24 25 26 much link ourselves to someone else. (3/Lines 80 89) In Line 14, he explains that the flag bears significance as it is the one symbol that reminds him of his V.I. heritage. It is the one item that he said helps to locate others who are of V.I. heritage and sends a signal to others about his identity as a Virgin Islander. For example, seei indication of their V.I. roots. Being a Virgin Islander For Kendall, identifying as St. Thomian wa s very important. He was the only Virgin Islander at his school and he felt either ignored or like a case of mistaken identity because people never provided a correct guess regarding his ethnicity. Kendall explained that people who hear him speak Creole En glish generally think that he is Jamaican. 27 28 29 eotype. Probably 30 because Jamaica gets a lot of attention in the West Indies so anyone who has 31 an accent will automatically be kind of profiled as Jamaican. (3/Lines 3 14) Kendall admitted that being mistakenly identified as [him] angry. 16)

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118 his identity when they first met him, he d Kendall believed that his accent (and to a certain extent, his appearance) has caused people to assume that he is from every other Caribbean country without giving any consideration to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Being misidentified has resulted in Kendall becoming more adamant about identifying as a Virgin Islander. He is proud of his heritage and would like for his identity to be known. West Indies K ids Kendall has embraced several outlets as ways to affirm his Virgin Island identity. He is a member of a social group and he looks forward to participating in the annual other members of a social group called the West Indies Kids that Kendall constructs his identity as a West Indian. In lines 32 through 43, he explained that he, along with a group of his West Indian peers, created an organization that has been influential in his life. 32 33 34 from St. Kitts. So, he hooked up with this guy named Jesus who is from 35 Puerto Rico, Rosa from 36 37 Costa Rico. We started a little group we called West Indies Kids and 38 39 40 parties and have fun. Like this year we had a party and charged at the door. 41 You can have all the fun you want and we will send monies back [to our home 42 countries] Like this year we sent the monies to Haiti and help Haiti and things 43 like that. (K1/Lines 90 100)

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119 gin Islander is Annual Culture Night While Kendall supported his school, he was disappointed about the lack of diver sity amongst its faculty and staff and the absence of V.I. history from its curriculum. share my identity of being African American and they help me by suppor ting me and try ing to put more b voiced his concerns to several of his teachers. This resulted in an annual cultural showcase where students of varied backgrounds have the opportunity to display aspects of th eir culture. 44 45 like a talent show with no winners. We started it last year and it was pretty 46 47 Spanish 48 doing spoken word from the V.I., you have someone doing another poem in 49 50 have people bringing in food from 51 108) As indicated in the tone displayed in lined 44 through 51, Kendall was satisfied that such an event had been instituted. However, he felt that not enough had been done than just an African American. It had been a factor in get ting him an acceptance to perform at the annual culture event.

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120 52 53 54 never heard me use my accent, li 55 56 97) Lines 52 through 56 demonstrated how his ability to speak Creole authenti cated his identity as Caribbean. Being African American Constructing an African American identity was significant to Kendall as he self identified as African American and many of his relationships were based on this cultural identity that he shared with s o many of his friends. On multiple occasions, Kendall self b lack b lack 12). Kendall used language as one of the wa ys in which he constructed an African American identity. While Kendall used a combination of AAVE, SAE, and CE linguistic features throughout his interviews, he also used a lot of slang terminology associated with African American Vernacular English while off the record. He usually greeted me with a my transcripts, I found i nstances of him using significant amounts of slang terminolog y. 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 ave him a ride after school 64 65 66 90)

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121 In this ex cerpt, Kendall discussed m eeting J.P. for the first time. In lines 59 often used in the African American community amongst friends. He discussed admiring e (lines 60 & 62) and them eventually forming a friends hip Kendall explain ed that constructing an African American identity was particularly consequential (Lines 68 72). 63 64 out a nd said I was a poet. Everyone was like...you write poetry? [imitating a 65 66 67 ow people just like be douches. (K2/Lines 20 24) As indicated in line 68, he felt that there were different, even lowered expectations for him and his b lack peers. He even alluded to a self fulfilling prophecy for blacks. He lack has its fa ults. Everyone, even my own race [of people], believe that #1). Kenda ll suggested that he and other b lack students are not viewed as high achievers in school because t he majority of his Afr ican themselves. 73 type because most of the other b lack kids in 74 75 me and the other few that do s 76 77 33) majority of his teachers vi ew b does not value education.

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122 Athletic Expectations of African American P eers American was connected to the extracurricular activities in whic h he chose to participate. Kendall said that he was often perceived a s American peers because he plays soccer. He speculated the reasons why most of his African American peers question his interest in soccer. They often asked lack kid plays (2/Line 60) Kendall stated that he ine 61). He thought his African American peers gave him such a h sport and as less challenging. 78 79 say track in the b lack aspect. Strength, speed in basketball...[Long 80 Pause]...How 81 two, 82 they see super short shorts and a bunch of white guys running around with a 83 84 as one of the hardest sports in the world compared to football. Our pads are 85 86 [while playing 87 88 89 90 as they make 193). K endall thought that his African American peers distanced themselves from soccer (line 82) and football as more difficult than soccer. Ke 87 90).

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123 the preferred sport of African American athletes at his school resulted in him chan ging the way that he identified when talking about soccer. 91 The team consists of I wanna say between 13 and 15 people and our varsity 92 93 ca, then you have a white 94 95 white American. (1/Lines 158 161) In lines 91 through 95, Kendall named the major players and described them in terms of ethnicity, nationality, and rac e to further illustrate that there are few b lack s on the team More importantly, in the context of this conversation about soccer, he Embracing an Identity Through Rastafarianism Embracing the principles of Ras tafarianism was another important aspect of He connected his appearance, particularly his dreadlocks, and 96 97 98 99 were the flags are mainly red, yellow, green. Where the red means blood that 100 was spilled for the Rastafarian war. Gold is for the wealth that people came 101 102 103 that after high school. Also in another aspect, 104 105 read between the lines and on the 106 elf a Christian but I also 107 study other religions. I study Buddha. My mom, she just converted to Muslim 108 109 from them. (1/Lines 133 143) Kendall only mentioned his Christian iden tity once in the interview sessions. As evidenced in lines 96 through 109, h is discourses revealed that his belief in the

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124 principles of Rastafarianism played a more significant role in his identity a s a person of African descent. He explained the importanc e of dreadlo cks to Rastafarians and discussed it in relation to the stereotypical remarks that people make regarding his appearance (Lines 110 113). 110 111 care if I walk in for a split second to get 112 113 199) Kendall reported that people often look at his dreads, hear his accent and come to the conclusion that he smokes weed as indicated in lines 112 through 113. Furthermore, Kendall felt that there was a lack of respect that Americans have for Rastafarianism and dreadlocked hair (Lines 114 116) 114 ound the US and the one thing that has me 115 kinda heated is that people kind of get dreads for a fashion and these are 116 more than fashion. They have meaning behind them. Like with the Rastas, 117 they tell a story. I have been growing my hair for like five year s as of 118 119 120 148) In the above his change throughout the years. Kendall felt that his school lacked an understanding of and a tole rance towards his appearance, specifically his dreadlocks 121 Let them (students) live their culture. I know like when I came back I dressed 122 123 to school. I mean they told me to take o ff my cap...that was against my 124 125 126 y other 127

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125 128 22) He viewed this intolerance as an affront to his cultural identity (lines 121 128) He explained that the lack of Perceived D iscrimination Kendall was particularly sensitive to the ramifications of being b lack as he segregation amongst racial and ethnic groups, and some unfair treatment by the The Curriculum and Faculty Demographics Kenda ll faculty and the absence of V.I. history from its curriculum. 129 I ask that they go more in depth about the Caribbean or V.I. [Virgin Island] 130 131 132 into any depth about that. The most we kind of went into depth about 133 lation to 134 135 how they do with American and World history. (K3/ Lines 165 17) teachers who share my identit y of being African American and they help me by suppor ting me and trying to put more b Question #3). Kendall believed that the absence of certain topics from the curriculum rendered them insignificant. He used sever al negative terms when describing the curriculum as

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126 never Kendall suggested that it was not just V. I. history that was lacking within the curriculum, but that there was very little b lack history in general. 136 I guess since I spoke on the topic in school, they did a piece on b lack history 137 during B lack History Month cause we never had anything that 138 happe 139 140 into it all and I said something about it uhmm last year, so this year they 141 asked all the b lack teachers at the s chool, which is like three or four like what 142 they felt on it...and me and a couple of students like why should we do b lack 143 144 else. Like last time I checked, b lack people built the 145 we built schools, roads, eco lack guy invented 146 147 talked about. (2/Lines176 185) In lines 139 144 Kendall discussed h ow he helped to get the faculty and administrators to sponsor a Black History event. In the previous lines, Kendall discussed what teachers did and suggested in lines 137 138 that the lessons were not as in depth as he would have liked. He ended this secti on by pointing out some of th e contributions of b lacks. Kendall sees the deliberate lack of focus placed on Black History Month and the contributions of b lac ks as a denial of the worth of black students and indeed of b lack people in general. The Athletic P rogram 148 Like I was at a practice last week, Thursday I wanna say...no it was Tuesday, 149 150 151 gotta pass 152 153 (2/Lines 24 28) In lines 148 through 153, Kendall describes an incident that made him wonder if he had been the target of discrimination. Kendall appeared uncomfortable mentioning other incidents, but while off the record, he mentioned that discrimination in athletics

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127 was quite common at his school and he described tactics that some of the coaches would us e to n ot play or promote their b lack athletes. When asked further about the role y coincidence, on our team are b (K3/Lines 93 94) Self Segregation at School The student body at Riverside High School often formed homogeneous ethnic, racial, and social groups during non instructional times (i.e., before school and after school). For Kendall, self segregation was one of the ways he constructed his identities in the context of Riverside High School. Figure 5 and where the various groups congregate before and after class. 154 155 156 157 158 whatever preppy is, but in b 159 160 be by the cafeteria. 161 designated area [pointing to where he said the African 162 163 religion. (2/Lines 39 54) In lines 154 through 163 Kendall describes the school setting during the morning hours and before classes began. He distinguishes t he different types of students using ttle Latina quarters here, the Asians here

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128 63). It is through this self segregation that th ey build and maintain relationships. In lines 164 thro ugh 175, Kendall discussed the black w all further and supported a common claim t hat all minorities, especially b lacks, crave chicken. 164 ng 165 chicken biscuits from Chic Fil A to raise money for track on Wednesday and 166 Friday mornings. I said, lack wall and sell 167 168 showed up she had to at leas t go through two or three coolers full of chicken 169 170 171 hing good to eat at school. 172 173 174 [pointing to the African American dominated area] and talk to my close friends 175 around m e and everybody else would be like in their own little groups. 176 (3/Lines 48 55) It is through the above excerpt that Kendall exhibits expert knowled ge of minorities, particularly b lack people (Lines 166 171). He is acting (or talking) in a way that sugges ts that he is an authority figure who knows enough regarding this particular group to know that the organization would be successful in selling a particular food item. He enjoys being where his close friends are, as indicated in lines 174 through175. The s elf segregation in the mornings allows students to bond with their friends. 176 The lacks] used to be over here [pointing 177 178 and we used to chill rig ht here, but there was so many people that was 179 spread out and it was getting into the hallways so they moved us over here, 180 181 182 they [white students] come from the back of the hallway into the middle of the 183 184 185 was just 186 (3/Lines 67 73).

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129 Lines 176 through 186 suggests that he is also convinced that this act of self segregating administra tion. In this instance, Kendal unfairly targeted when they were asked to move because there were too many people hallway, no one h ad addressed the issue despite the fact that they were more the dominant group. Summary This chapter has presented three themes and multiple sub i dentity and identity construction. First, being different and unique was particularly W hen asked about his nationality and ethnicity, Kendall explained that he was different from his West Indian and African Ame rican peers because he identified as St. Thomian (St. Thomas), Cruzan (St. Croix), and African American. Kendall has had to negotiate his ethnic and national identities in order to build and sustain relationships with his peers. Being unique and different was a Second, being a Virgin Islander was important to Kendall as he listed it as his primary ethnic identity. However, in the context of the school, Kendall felt that his V.I. identity was either ignored or that he was most often mistaken for being either African American only, Jamaica, or Haitian. As a result, Kendall attempted to form relationships and engage in activities that would affirm his V.I. identity. He wore and displayed the colors of the V.I. so that others would recognize him as a Virgin Islander. He embraced many of the principles of Rastafarianism and grew dreadlocks in an attempt to build

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130 connections with his Caribbean ancestry. Kendall performed V.I. poetry in the annual culture night at h is high school and he joined a group called the West Indies Kids in order to build relationships with other West Indians thereby affirming his identity as a Virgin Islander. Third, Kendall took pride in his African American identity despite the socio polit ical ramifications of identifying as s uch. He constructed his African American identity in many ways. He had command of AAVE, knew commonly used slang phrases used by African Americans, and knew much about African American culture and history. Being Africa n American, however, also meant that Kendall was expected by his African American peers to embrace perceived African American norms, which included curricular and extracurricular interests (and non revealed perceived acts of discrimination from coaches and school administrators. His discourses further revealed activities such as self segregation and self degradation. Kendall congregat es with those who were like him and his discourses reveal that he has both faced (and even sometimes voiced) some mainstream beliefs and stereotypes about African Americans.

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131 Figure 5 1. Flag of the U.S. Virgin Islands PowerPoint Slide # 7 Figure 5 Figure 5 PowerPoint Slide # 3

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132 CHAPTER 6 NICOLE I was told that God made us in his image, and I feel that if I am b lack then my Jesus is b lack. Nicole Introduction A nalys ty a better family member and an overall better pers on. Second, being more or less b lack situations where she felt a need to be more or less Jamaican or African American. Finally, Nicole acknowledged changing identities as she experienced several different school settings and schooling experiences throughout her K 12 matriculation. Being Christian Nico most salient. In the writing activity, s he lis ted it as her primary identity. There were many more instance s throughout the data that confirmed the significance of her relationship with, and beliefs about Jesus Christ as they influenced her identity, relationships with family and peers, and views about schooling s describe myself by my religion first... I always say 1 /Lines 20 acknowledge this identity [Christian] first be cause without it, I would have no morals or t had not always been this way. 1 2 myself as being Christian. Once I became a Christian, I started describing 3 and seeing myself as a Christian first. I went to prayer camp one year and I

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133 4 5 6 be 7 8 9 all the kinds of music I once list ened to. My attitude just changed. Everything 10 11 just fell into place with my Christian lifestyle. Therefore, I acknowledge myself 12 as being a Christian first because my life b 13 the same so it must mean that being a Christian is such a big deal that it must 14 be first in my life. (1/Lines 28 36) Lines 1 through 4 describes the circumstances under which Nicole decided to become a Christian and t Figure 6 1 was the image Nicole selected as most symbolic of her identity. Nicole discussed her reactions to this image an d why she selected it. 15 16 17 looking for Jesus and I find pictures of Jesus being white, but when I think o f 18 my Jesus because I was told God made us in his image and I feel that if I am 19 b lack then m y Jesus is Black. So I Googled b lack Jesus and this was perfect. 20 This was of him being born, and him being whipped, him praying, and him 21 being resurrected. So th is was perfect because when I think of Jesus, I think 22 of him being born for me, him being whipped for me, him dying for me, and 23 him being resurrected so I can have life eternally and these pictures were 24 perfect as they were just what I envision Jesus to 25 (2/Lines 65 72) Lines 15 through 25 illustrate the connection that she has drawn between her ethno I was looking on the computer for a picture of Jesus be first identify as affirms herself, relates to others, and views

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134 and rejected all other images of Jesus so that she was able to simultaneously symbolize her racial and religious identity. Being More or Less Black Nicole viewed race as a significant aspect of her identity. In Lines 16 through 21 above she discussed her search for images that portray a spects o f her identity. She nd pictures of Jesus being white, but when I think of my Jesus because I was told God made us in his image and I feel that if I am b lack then my Jesus is b lack (2/Lines 67 68). She had not always seen herself as a racial being or b identification was influenced by her experiences in trying to identify with peers at different schools throughout her elementary, middle, and high school years as well as in her church: 26 lack and Jamaic an, I was just Jamaican. But then of 27 28 29 the African 30 31 42) The identity and identity optio ns. She was born in the U.S., but hesitates to identify as African American because both of her parents are Jamaican. She questions the ethnic categories found on paperwork that asks her to identify her ethnicity. Her statements suggest that the absence o f a Jamaican category forces other b lacks to identify as Afr ican American and subsumes the b lack self identify into African American. Nicole al so spoke of being more or less b lack in the context of her church. 32 I feel less b lack when I am around people from 33 34 35 ong. And

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135 36 37 38 to say and it confuses me because I do lack 39 because I always h ave to ask them what does that mean? (2/Lines 47 53) In the above excerpt, Nicole is referring to the other American born Jamaicans who attend her church. It is evident that while she feels religiously connected to the members of her church, there is a cu ltural disconnect between them and Nicole. They have been socialized into African American culture and language. She, on the other hand, struggled to understand the type of music played in church, and the way the other congregants danced and spoke. This ma de her feel less a part of their (Jamaican African American) culture and more like an outsider. 40 41 42 area 43 44 45 46 47 be a quote on quote bad area. That area has curfew for kids who are 17 and 48 younger. The schools around that area are Cs and Ds and Fs. They speak 49 50 51 especially at church. (2/Lines 55 63) The above quote suggests that Nicole understands the value placed on certain identities and the differences between the ethnic identity that she has constructed and those of her peers. In the excerpt above (Lines 42 51), Nicole differentiates herself from her church peers who are also America n born Jamaicans. She does this in three ways. She alludes to their socioeconomic status (lines 42 45), the quality of the schools they attend (line 48), and their linguistic features (lines 48 50). She uses comparative language to compare herself to them. First, she mentioned that she lived in Pembroke

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136 Pines, an affluent suburb of Miami, while her peers lived in Carol City, which is e s. Second, the schools in the area where used AAVE and they seemed to not have the ability to distinguish between AAVE and f these differences where she lived, attended school, and how she spoke the white girl of the group 52 My sister was born in Jamaica. But my sister is half and half [Jamaican and 53 African American]. Sh e identifies with being African American as well as 54 55 time, well she does but she embraces African American heritage as well 56 because when she was going to high school there were a lot of home 57 invasions and a lot of Jamaicans were participating in that activity and that 58 59 Reggae music was also really big at that time, so at that time she was like I 60 ca n embrace the good. She went to school where there were a lot of African 61 Americans. Especially when she went to college she was deemed African 62 American. She was a part of the Black Student Union. She was an African 63 American Student Advocate because that 64 definitely sees that as being a part of her identity. (2/Lines 89 100) Nicole credits her sister with hel ping her to embrace her African American identity he was into the American culture the rap mu sic, the hip hop, the arts, b lack so she helped me find that sense of my identity 1/Lines 50 53 ) According to Nicole, people construct their identities in relation to their experiences. W hen sister) first arrived in the United States, there were a lot of home invasions and a lot of Jamaicans were participating in that activity and that was negative like she wanted to identify with that asp ect 58) sister therefore

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137 embraced an African American identity to avoid negative stereotyping. The identity choices and ethnic affiliations that she would make Being Jamaican Being Jamaican meant embracing her Jamaican ancestry, meeting the educational expectations of family members, and being patriotic. Nicole reported Jamaican anklet and I mak e sure to listen to Jamaican mu claimed that it was important to wear the Jamaican colors. In a caption provided for Figure 6 4 black, green and gold. Being Jamaican gives me a sense of prid e that I love. I chose that picture of me because this picture is the essence of me because the shirt says Out of Many, One People which is the saying people knew I was Jamaican beca 3/Lines 22 23). Although family members expected her to claim Jamaican as her primary ethnic identity, Nicole reported that when she would describe herself as Jamaican, her family would jokingly respond not Jamaican beca ( 1/Lines 56 57). Being Jamaican was connected to role as a daughter, granddaughter, 65 I connect with my heritage and background. This portion of my identity is one 66 of the biggest impacts of my life because I was raised in a Jamaican 67 household with Jamaican morals. Therefore, this comes second. The third 68 identity [daughter] is important because I am very family oriented and they 69 mean the world to me (Email Qu estion #1)

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138 She explained the importance of her Jamaican identity and familial role in lines 65 through 69. Nicole reported that her family members have a really close relationship with one another. The number of pictures of family members that Nicole pro vided identity. About 60% of the images that Nicole provided as symbolic of her identity were images of family members. mother and grandmothe r were major influenc es on her ethnic identity and her pride in being Jamaican 70 71 day one, I went to Jamaica before I turned one and I knew the Jamaican 72 national anthem for as long as I can remember so sh e gave me that since of 73 pride about being Jamaican. My grandmother too did the same thing as my 74 mom. (1/Lines 46 50) In lines 70 through 74, Nicole explained that her mother and grandmother instilled in her the values and ways of the Jamaican people in the United States. Nicole wrote, I have an amazing relationship and had it not been for her, I would not be the young lady I am today. I would not know anything of my Jamaican heritage or be Negotiating Identit ies Nicole reported that her perception of her identity and the ways in which she has self identified has changed throughout her lifetime. At the time of this project, Nicole claimed that she was a very proud Jamaican. Nicole reported that she had not alw ays been so quick to tout her Jamaican heritage. In fact, she indicated that her identities shifted throughout her K 12 matriculation. 75

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139 76 born in the United States, 77 78 came so naturally for everyone and I had a strong Jamaican accent, and so 79 80 th en I kind of grew out of my accent and I was around my peers more often 81 82 83 When someone would ask me my n 84 85 86 [in high school]. (3/Lines 4 12) As indicated in lines she described herself changed from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school. She went from being Jamaican only, to being American only, to being both Jamaican an d American. In lines 79 through 84, Nicole explained why she began to describe herself as American during her middle school years. 87 88 accepted by everyone around you and everyone ar ound you was African 89 American. It was a predominately African American school, and it was not 90 very diverse. But when everybody else was an American at school, I was like 91 92 Am erican for a little while. (3/Lines 16 19) identities and its impact on the relationships that she hoped to have with her peers. As a result, she decided to claim the same identity that the majority of her peers had claimed an African American identity. Halfway through her middle school career, Nicole changed schools again. This time, the school was more diverse and this allowed Nicole a sense of comfort in claiming multip le identities. 93 It was one middle school that I went to and I followed along with the kids from 94 my elementary school and all of those kids were African American, except for 95 Guerda who was Haitian A merican, but everyone else was b lack American. 96 And then 97

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140 98 and Jamaican friends. But, it was definitely a b ig split. At first it was just b lack 99 American friends an d then from 7th grade and onward I had a wide variety, a 100 huge variety of friends. (3/Lines 38 43) While at her first middle school, Nicole demonstrates the lack of diversity by singling out Guerda, a Haitian American girl who eventually became her best f riend. e mbrace certain identities. When she spoke Patois in her early years, she reported was a more obvious indicator of her Jamaican identity. However, as she lost her accent and began to speak like her peers, she felt as if she had lost an important aspect of her Jamaican identity. Negotiating Identities in the Context of School Nicole tried to reconcile her religious beliefs and the politics of religion at the schools she had at tended. She did not understand why her teachers did not embrace religion based answers. 101 102 103 that my tea chers were definitely in all my science classes (pause) they were 104 105 106 107 108 109 ed to it. (3/Lines 99 106) In the lines above, she specifically addressed the lack of coverage in the curriculum regarding different religions or worldviews. Nicole seemed to interpret the remarks of her science teachers as challenging to her belief syste m and religious

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141 identity. that they would often challenge the validity of her religious base d claims by making remarks like, (lines 107 108). Nicole reported that while in middle school (Lines 110 114) she started noticing ere geared towards religious groups N either were there any organizations that addressed the concerns of immigrant or other minority populations. 110 111 started noticing that ther 112 113 associations. So, I was always the big one on campus who was very much 114 into starting groups or being with people was just like me. (3/Lines 69 73) In an unrecorded conversation, Nicole mentioned that it was important to her to find an avenue by which Christian and minority students would be accepted and allowed to express their thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. She was respon sible for forming two groups she perceived would help her and other student s maintain their Chris tian beliefs and cultural pride. 115 A Christian friend of mine, she and I began a group in our middle school 116 called The First Priority and that was a Christian g roup that we started in the 117 7th grade and then another friend of mine who is Jamaican, he and I began 118 another organization, a multicultural student organization that was great. So, 119 we 120 have to get something going for the ethnic background that I associate with. 121 122 and the multicultural organization is still very much alive at my middle school. 123 excited knowing that I was the beginner. (3/Lines 73 79)

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142 In lines 115 through 123, Nicole discussed the founding of First Priority and the multicultural student organization. She expressed the pride she feels in knowing that the organizations still exist. She felt these organizations would fill a niche by affirm ing initiative to bring aspects of her identity to the forefront through the creation of these organizations, h er teachers began to seek her viewpoint and look to her for her opinion regarding a variety of topics throughout the curriculum (Lines 125 129) 124 125 and I had begun, there were many times that my teachers would call on me 126 127 128 Nicole what 129 130 with homosexuality and I was the person who was called on not only because 131 I was known to be a Jamaican or Christian, but also because I always had the 132 opinion a 133 addition to that, I was always the Jamaican Christian girl in class. (3/Lines 84 134 96) By initiating and organizing two student groups that affirmed her (and other identiti es, s he made her presence known, as evidenced by her teacher consulting her to get her opinion: W ell Nicole, how do you feel as a Christian young lady of knowing because she was relentless in displaying and applying her religious knowledge. She talked further about the negative and positive perceptions of Jamaicans that she had to endure throughout her middle and high school matriculation. 135 I think there are a lot of different ways that Jamaicans are perceived. Uhmm, 136

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143 137 d ask, like, does 138 139 140 141 that comes a long with being Jamaican. Someone who is not Jamaican would 142 say that is cool because they have Bob Marley and they have Usain Bolt who 143 is the fastest man in the world and they have these pretty beaches. There are 144 two very wide spectrums or one that ran ge from the negative, weed smoking, 145 killing side to the positive, beautiful island, sandy beaches, great music, and 146 great food. (2/Lines 4 12) (lines 137 139) of her family or other Jamaicans would not dete r her from embracing her Jamaican culture. Nicole does not have any hard feelings towards people who stereotype her. In fact, she suggests 147 someone 148 from a different culture, I always think of the negative and the positive, so 149 150 151 state. (2/Lines 14 16) In lines 147 through 151, Nicole ex plained that she felt that it was natural to think what she had done in the past regarding her peers from different parts of the Unit ed States. academic curriculum, and extracurricular activities have played an important role in her identity construction. In lines 152 through 158, she expressed that there had bee n times when she was extremely conscious of her ethnic, racial, and religious identities in the school setting. 152 I feel like I think about it [my identity] most when I am at school, when I am 153 not around my family or friends because the majority of my frien ds are 154 Jamaican. When I am around people who are African American or white...

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144 155 156 157 group where everyon 158 22 26) In the above excerpt, Nicole stated that she felt more Jamaican when she was proud of her Jamaican her itage, as it was what sets her apart from others. Nicole said that although the usual stereotypes about Jamaicans persist, her peers always respected her Jamaican heritage and asked questions about her ethnic background. This is indicated in lines 159 thro ugh 162. 159 160 161 162 about where I was from. (3/Lines 31 33) jump off the Jamaican side to be an American for a little w 19) Nicole also felt that the diversity at the middle school where she transferred during her 7 th grade year was significant in helping her to embrace her Jamaican identity. 163 ady to 164 165 166 second daughter in their family. (3/Lines 46 49) At that school, Nicole met other students who were Jamaican and whom she perceived had some of the same cultural values and beliefs she did. Nicole was also fortunate to have teachers who she perceived shared her Cooke, who was a Christian, Jamaican lady, shared al l of my identities. She had the same moral and ethical views I did and we always saw

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145 reported that she had a number of Jamaican teachers who treated her well and encourage d her to succeed academically. She discussed this in lines 167 through 172. 167 I had Jamaican math teachers in 7th and 8th grades and they were both very 168 169 want to see a Jamaican America n student falling back and of course if there 170 171 172 28) Nicole felt that she had to succeed academically because she knew that these teachers, who genuinely cared about her because she shared aspects of their identity as a Jamaican American, set the standards high for her. She discusses the relationship that she built with Jamaican te achers in lines 174 through 188. 174 I had three Jamaican teachers in middle school and two of them are still, we 175 keep in contact a lot and we will call and text and email me or check on me to 176 see how I am doing. I must say that those three teachers, their m ain interest 177 was they had my best interest at heart my entire middle school career. So 178 eacher 179 who was from the islands. rd grade 180 teacher. She stil l calls me and emails me to see how I am doing. She wants 181 182 islands or Jamaica has definitely kept in contact just to make sure that I keep 183 on track. And I like that because I have someone who I can say are 184 accountable for making sure that I do well. To live up to their standards as 185 well as mine is always a great feeling so that you never fall back and those 186 teachers for sure, I can think of 4 main teachers who are islanders or 187 188 (N3/ Lines 54 64) Lines 167 through 190 reveal that Nicole believed her Jamaican teachers to be more accountable to her and for her than her other teachers by them taking the initiative contact with her throughout her K 12 schooling and her first year in college.

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146 Nicole reported that she realized that pe ople had both positive and negative perceptions of Jamaicans 189 I can definitely remember in high school my teachers not being very 190 knowledgeable about my Jamaican culture and I know that for a fact because 191 Oh, do your parents smoke 192 193 194 connotation and they were just inquisitive and had no clue on what Jamaicans 195 w 196 100) As indicated in lines 189 through 196, d uring her matriculation through secondary school, Nicole experienced teachers who asked q uestions about Jamaicans that were based on myths or stereotypes. She indicated that they would ask questions about her parents regarding the usage and possession of drugs, particularly marijuana (lines 191 and 192) Summary This chapter has presented three construction processes. These them es were being Christian being black and shifting i dentities a l ed that b eing a Christian was significant in that it was the core of her being and how she prim arily identified. She talked about Christianity in a way to make it clear to me that she was indeed Christian. She attributed her acknowledge this identity first because without it, I would have no morals or standings to revealed the connections that she had drawn betwe en being a Christian and being b lack. She said that she was tau ght that God made us in his image a nd because she is black, God must be b lack. It was through her belief in the tenets of Christianity that

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147 Nicole found fault with schooling practices, particularly the lack of acknowledgement and affirmation of her Christi an identity, and subsequently formed a Christian organization. she felt most conscious of her Jamaican identity. There we re places where she felt less much less than her peers about African American culture. Although she listed African American as one of her identities, she expressed that an African American identity was often imposed upon her with no consideration given to her Jamaican heritage. She st am African relationships. Her discourses revealed the connection between her Jamaican born about African reported that her family has a really close relationship. Her mother, grandmother and mother gave me a sense of cole also revealed that being Jamaican may have influenced her relationships with her Jamaican teachers. She stated that her Jamaican teachers made her feel that she had to succeed academically because they felt a sense of responsibility for her. Being Jam aican and showing that she was Jamaican through

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148 the wearing of the Jamaican colors became even more important as she became even more aware and proud of her Jamaican heritage. e salient at different points in her schooling. For example, she claimed a Jamaican identity in elementary school. In middle school, she claimed an African American identity, and in high school she began to embrace both her African American and Jamaican id entities. Nicole explained that her changing identities were the result of existing relationships and the desire to fit in. She explained that her relationship with her family in elementary school resulted in her claiming the same identity as they did. She was reared in a household of Jamaicans, therefore, she was Jamaican. During her middle school years, peers did in order to build and maintain relationships.

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149 Figure 6 1 Image of b lack Jesus PowerPoint Slide # 1 Figure 6 2. Nicole and her mother PowerPoint Slide # 2

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150 Figure 6 3. Nicole and her grandmother PowerPoint Slide # 4 Figure 6 4. araphernalia PowerPoint # 6

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151 CHAPT ER 7 DEANDRE I am glad I had the chance to move to the next half of my nationality to experience a new life DeAndre Introduction DeAndre was born in the United States, but was reared in the Bahamas. He viewed his return to the United States as a new beg inning, and as such, his main priority was to construct his U Being Black Bahamian discourses revealed that being b lack Bahamian was at the core of his identity. DeAndre discussed his Bahamian identity in the excerpt below. DeAndre : KB: you would see that as your race? DeAndre : (Nodded yes) KB: So what about your nationality? DeAndre : National ity? I think my nationality is b lack a b lack Bahamian. (1/Lines 16 20) One of the images that D eAndre selected to de was the Bahamian flag. The Bahamian flag was one of the items that he felt represented his identity and the people he identified with most. He discussed the our Bahamian flag. The blue is for the color of the black triangle] represents the b 103). his relationships wi th his peers in ways that have been both positive and detrimental.

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152 1 2 identifying me. Sometimes like when I talk, I go from American to Bahamian 3 s. [I can tell who is Bahamian or 4 5 6 7 8 46) During one of the interview sessions, DeAndre discussed how he often addressed his high school peers and teachers when they inquired about his ethnic identity. 9 I would say to tell you the truth, I lived in the Bahamas all my life, well 17 10 11 12 [sarcastical 13 was from the Bahamas just by the way that I talked. Automatically, like 14 everyone wanted to know me. I was like what is so amazing about me? [Is it] 15 just because I have an accent? (3/Line s 1 7) in Lines 11 through 13 of the above excerpt suggested that t hat DeAndre could have been American born. Because of his acc ent (line 15), they automatically identified him as Bahamian without thinking that he could possibly be Bahamian American. Although DeAndre wanted people to recognize his American identity, he felt that his Bahamian accent contributed to his popularity in high school. He talked more about his experience being the o 16 17 because I was one of a kind. Everybody wanted to be like me. People started 18 talking like me because they were 19 it. (3/Lines 20 25) During high school, DeAndre felt that being Bahamian contributed to his popularity heritage was something that not many of the other students had.

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153 DeAndre also felt that there were instances when his language and culture were 27). As indicated in Lines 20 through 23 below, he also believed that while his peers and teachers genuinely liked the Bahamas as a tourist destination, their beliefs about the lifestyle and culture of the Bahamian people were stereotypical and most times inaccurate. 20 21 22 23 n. (2/Lines 10 14) DeAndre provided two pictures that he said he would show his peers and others so that they could see that he lived a similar lifestyle in the Bahamas as they do in the United States. 24 25 26 to rent a hotel because they were just going to stay in a hut on the beach but 27 when they go there th ey will just spend all their money on a hotel and a 28 [rental] car. (3/Lines 50 55) facilities and norms as quite different from U.S. American society. Despite the barrage of mi sconceptions regarding his identity and Bahamian culture, DeAndre felt it important to make connections and build relationships with his teachers in the U.S. so that they would be able to understand and affirm his Bahamian identity. He wrote: In the writte

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154 the one for whom his teachers have to adjust their way of doing things. In a subsequent inter view he stated, thought I talked 3/Lines 28 45). In both excerpts, DeAndre suggest that being Bahamian resulted in a lack of affirm ation from his teachers. For DeAndre, being Bahamian in the context of the United States sometimes came with a level of discomfort around those wi th whom he did not or could not identify. 29 workers. 30 31 myself around them [emphatic]. They just who been around basical ly all my 32 life. They are Bahamian (1/Lines 66 69). As indicated in lines 29 through 32, DeAndre identified most with family members and co workers in the Bahamas because that is where he was enculturated and socialized. They were the people who taught hi m the Bahamian way of life and have since affirmed his Bahamian identity. DeAndre also identified with a few of his friends. He report ed that being with his college friends is like being back at home 33 I identify with a couple of friends at the college. C 34 35 to do at home. Talk the way you talk and just be you. Some is from Orlando, 36 d all 37 that. Most of them is on the football team (3/Lines 70 79). Lines 33 through 37 show that for DeAndre, both family and friends are important in his identity construction processes. Constructing the Other Half arding his dual citizenship and identity revealed that he felt extremely privileged to be able to cross borders with relative ease.

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155 38 39 gh all of the 40 inconvenience. Like you need to apply for a green card if you want to come 41 over here and if you want to go to school you got to get all these documents 42 19) As indicated in lines 38 through Because he is also a U.S. citizen, DeAndre felt it imperative to construct a U.S. American identity right here and now. 43 I basically hav 44 45 46 like almost two years over here [In U.S.]. (1/Lines 53 57) DeAndre felt like the time was now for him to take agency in his identity construction by embracing and eived a clear demarcation between his Bahamian and American identities. In a subsequent interview session, DeAndre further commented on his Bahamian and American identities. 47 48 but I The other half is 49 33) Lines 47 through 49 suggest that DeAndre is now more concerned about constructing his American identit y than he is about maintaining his Bahamian identity as by his written response in Figure 7 5 where he was asked to write about the ways in which he shows pride in hi s culture.

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156 written response in Figure 7 5. He chose Bahamian culture instead of American culture as the object of his response (Sentence 1). DeAndre claimed that he shows pride in his discussing Bahamian culture to emphasizing the need to be accepted into U.S. culture (Sentences 4 6). He ends the excerpt by discussing the opportunity to be an Americ an 8). Although his peers were fascinated with his Bahamian culture, DeAndre still found it important to be across the American society. The following image captured his feelings about his identity at the moment of departure from the Bahamas. I can go anywhere and do anything with a passport and U.S. American money. While DeAndre had other photos where he displayed images of himself with Bahamian money, it was th is photo that he chose to symbolize his identity at this point in time in his life. Speaking Like Everybody Else DeAndre stated (1/Lines 58 60). Being able to speak more like an American has helped him to feel more American In an effort to get me to understand the difference s between how he speaks

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157 and how I speak, DeAndre explained the relationship between his language and the English spoken in the United States. 50 51 52 self confirmation ). We 53 54 55 can try to think of a word or something we would say different. Like some 56 people would be lik e /yo/ and we would just say /bo i/. Like yeah...ok. 57 (D1/Lines 30 40) As indicated in Lines 50 and 52, DeAndre believed that his language was the same as English, but it sounded funny and different. He also explained that when he first arrived in the U.S. he had some difficulty understanding peop le because they spoke they was talking fast, so I had to listen hard 42). DeAndre reported that his language is one of the reasons that his family members is in the process of becoming more U.S. American. 58 59 60 (laughs) [makes them view me as 61 62 95) The above excerpt revealed that DeAndre felt that his family has always expected him to identify as Bahamian and they label him as such. Lines 58 through 62 indicate that his family now realizes that he is using several dialects of American English instead of his native Bahamian English. They are beginning to realize that the longer he lives in the U.S., the more he sounds U.S. American.

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158 Summary construction processes being b lack Bahamian and constructing the other half. One of the ways that DeAndre constructs aspects of his Bahamian i dentity is by maintaining the relationships an in the Bahamas. They support and affirm his Bahamian identity. His American friends constructs his American identity. He believes tha having those friends accept him as one of them, as an American. DeAndre construct ed and reconstructed his Bahamian identity through use of a particular language or accent DeAndre used his ability to code switch between the different dialects so that people would recognize him as either Bahamian or American. Language was an important aspect of his identity construction process. As his family saw a change in his language, they too began to acknowledge his American identity. DeAndre indicated that although his Bahamian dialect resulted in increased popularity and everyone wanted to speak like him, it also caused his peers to ignore his Am erican identity at a time when he wanted his them to view him as American. DeAndre felt that there were instances when his language and culture were denigrated. There were times when his peers would mock his Bahamian accent. DeAndre also believed that whi le his peers and teachers genuinely liked the Bahamas as a tourist destination, their beliefs about the lifestyle and culture of the Bahamian

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159 people were sensationalized and therefore inaccurate. Their discourses regarding the Bahamas framed it as less civ ilized than the United States. Although DeAndre acknowledged that he was proud of his Bahamian heritage, he clearly perceived that it was time for him to construct the other half of his identity. DeAndre perceived time to be a factor in his identity const ruction The concept of time is significant in that DeAndre refers to the amount of time that he has spent in the Bahamas versus the amount of time he has spent in the United States. Although he identified as both Bahamian and American, DeAndre suggested t hat because he had already spent seventeen years in the Bahamas, his Bahamian identity was undeniable. that the lack of affirmation found in his high school was fine w ith him because he did not view that as the purpose of U.S. American schools. He was more interested in learning his U.S. American identity. he perceived his ethnic and national identity to be totally separate from one another, as if there was an invisible boundary around the two. Throughout the data he referred to his American half. He

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160 Figure 7 1. The Bahamian Flag PowerPoint Slide # 10 Figure 7 2. PowerPoint Slide # 9 Figure 7 3. s home (inside) in the Bahamas PowerPoint Slide # 7

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161 Figure 7 4. DeAndre Excerpt 2 (Email Question # 3). Figure 7 5. esponse to Email Question/Prompt # 2.

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162 Figure 7 6. PowerPoint Slide # 13

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163 CHA PTER 8 A VIEW ACROSS Chapter eight highlights another dimension of this research. While the previous four chapters provided an individual voice to each of the participants, the purpose of this chapter is to discuss patterns, experiences, and discourses th at were found to be similar across participant stories. The second section of the chapter includes an analysis of participant language choices that often serve to index their identities. s and a summary of the chapter. Similarities Among Participants context based nature of saliency seemed to be of significant importance in these n processes. Secondly, the participants all primarily constructed their identities as social and relational. Third, they each identified negative discourses and positive experiences regarding their identities in school. Multiple Identity Options All of the participants acknowledged multiple aspects of their identities. Elise described herself as a Christian, Jamaican, Jamerican, daughter, sister, and student. Kendall described himself as St. Thomian, Cruzan, and an athlete. Nicole described herself as Chris tian, Jamaican, African American, and a family member. DeAndre described himself as a Child of God, a son, grandson, American, and a Bahamian. Relocating, which resulted in changing demographics, played an important role in the identities the participants and described. Identity options and the costs and benefits associated with specific identities differed according to the context in which

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164 participants found themselves. Different contextual factors affected which identities participants empha sized or constructed and the means for their construction. For Northeast Florida. Elise said that she claimed a Jamaican identity in South Florida. Once she and her fam ily moved to the north Florida community where there were fewer Jamaic ans, she felt that claiming a (b lack) American identity was perhaps more beneficial to building new relationships. identity identity. DeAndre felt that his move signaled a new beginning, the time to begin almost all of in his identity construction by embracing and learning American cultur e. His assertion clear demarcation between his Bahamian and American identities, and that crossing borders provided the opportunity for him to construct and/or highlig ht his other identities. Kendall most often identified as African American, especially in the context of school where he perceived there wer e four distinct racial groups: b lacks, Latinos, Asians and Whites. However, in the context of athletics particular ly on the soccer field, his St. Thomian identity became more salient. Kendall realized that his African American peers did not understand why he was so passionate about soccer. They could not relate to his affinity for lack kid plays soccer

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165 American peers and more like those students who claimed immigrant and white American identities. Therefore, when di scussing soccer, he described himself as St. Thomian. Similar to Elise, Nicole acknowledged that her identities shifted throughout her K herself changed from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school. She went from identifying or describing herself as Jamaican only, to being American only, to being both Jamaican and American. In her early years, she identified as Jamaican. This was significa nt as it was evident of her role in a Jamaican family and her relationship with those family members. During her middle school years, she began to construct an African American identity. In the context of the first middle school she uage revealed that she felt a sense of vulnerability about her ethnic identity and its impact on the relationships that she hoped to build with her peers. In an effort to be accepted, she decided to identify in the same way that the majority of her peers d id as African American. Nicole transferred to another middle school during the middle of her 7 th grade year. At her new middle school, there was a diverse student population that included other students of Jamaican descent. She indicated that this enviro nment was more conducive to her embracing both her Jamaican and American identities. Identities as Relational and Role Related It was through the construction of a Jamerican identity and the use of this term to self with regards to her self identification. relationship with one aunt in particular opened the door for a conversation whereby

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166 seemed to be neutral territory where ne ither her Jamaican nor U.S. American identities Elise members objected to her identifying as Jamaican, while others objected to her identifying as American. Participants tend to select from identity options based on the relationships that they view as important or those they are building in a particular context at a particular time. Nicole used t the relationship between her and her family members. She wrote in response to one of The third identity [daughter] is important because I am very family oriented and they [her family] mean the world to me (Email Question #1) .Nicole reported that her family has a really close relationship with one another. The number of influence of family members on her Jamaican identity. In Email Question #2 she wrote, I have an amazing relationship and had it not been for her, I would not be the young lady I am today. I would not know anything of my Jama ican heritage or be proud of it (Email Question #2) Nicole described her grandmother, who helped to raise one, my strength, my role model Her grandmother, she claimed instilled in her pride in her Jamaican heritage. During her middle school years, Nicole was greatly influenced to label herself as African American because she admired her older sister who identified as African

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167 American and Nicole wa nted to fit in with h er African American peers. She credits her sister with teaching her some African She was into the American culture the rap music, the hip hop, the arts, everything that was deemed to b lack so she helpe d me find that sense of my identity or that 1/Lines 50 53) To them, peers were important because they helped to create a sense of belonging. When sh e transferred to a school with a more diverse population, to include other students of Jamaican descent, Nicole became more eager to identify as Jamaican or Jamaican American. dependent upon the pe er group in which he found himself, and was done for the awareness of cultures, I say St. Thomi 49). Since the majority of American because of the clothes I wear, or the things I say, how I talk or maybe my hair 192). Therefore, identity options that were valued were context dependent and were determined by relationships that needed to be built or maintained. called the West Indies Kids that he constructed his identity as a West Indian. He

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168 explaine d that he, along with a group of West Indian students, created an organization s community. constructed were also relational. He constructed identities that both his friends and family members would be able to relate to and be comfortable with. In talking about his do all the stuff you used to do at home. Talk the way you talk and just be you (D3/Lines 35 friends.His family, however, is the means by which he measures his progress in 90). This comment suggests that he values the relationship that he has with family and and that their perceptions of his identities really matter. Ident ity Construction w ithin the School C ontext There were many instances that demonstrated how schooling practices, teachers, and other students, shaped the identities and identity options of the se participants. Each of these participants had to negotiate identities that were valued and devalued within the official curriculum (i.e. classes) as well as those outside of that curriculum Participants often felt that they had to choose specific ident ities in order to become a part of peer groups. They also saw through the actions and comments of teachers that

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169 certain identities were valued, while others were stigmatized. Participants often negotiated their identities by considering which identity opti ons would best serve them in the context of school and their peer groups. Both Elise and Nicole expressed that at one point or another in their K12 matriculation, they felt they had to choose an identity. No one told them this explicitly. However, the cul ture and dynamics of the school, with students self grouping by ethnicity and in the absence of a Jamaican group, Elise and Nicole had to pick a place among White or African American students. They weighed their identity options. Both chose to identify as African American, at first. However, their lack of knowledge regarding African American culture and AAVE and the deficit discourses used by school personnel when they spoke of African American students made this a less desirable option for both Elise and N icole. Kendall expressed similar sentiments as he described the morning and afternoon routine of his peers. He and his friends, his African American peers in the general school setting and when they were at the ecause he felt that his African American peers did not accept his love for and knowledge of the game and would view him as unlike them. of c olor was consequential in that b lack people were viewed as less intelligent or incapable of succeeding academically. They both felt that the teachers made comments that were indicative of their ideologies regarding the academic success (or failure) of

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170 b lack students. Kendall explained that constructing an African American identity was particularly consequential in the context of s chool. He felt that there were different, even lowered, expectations for him and others of African descent. He also alluded to a self fulfilling prophecy for Blacks. While DeAndre did not detect racist ideologies as the other participants did, his classma stereotypical and most times inaccurate. As he constructed an American identity, he also tried to debu nk the myths regarding Bahamians by showing his peers and teachers pictures of his country, the people, and their lifestyles. There were also instances where Kendall, and Nicole were involved in cultural based school activities for which they found an outlet to show pride in and learn about teachers (those of Jamaican descent) held high expectations for her because she identified as Jama ican. Nicole, in particular, felt fortunate to have teachers who she perceived shared her all of my identities. She had the same moral and ethical views I did and we alway s saw reported that she had a number of Jamaican teachers who treated her well and encouraged her to succeed academically. Nicole felt pressured to succeed because she kne w teachers who genuinely cared about her set the standards high for her and because she shared their Jamaican American identity.

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171 G iven their personal histories and experiences participants sometimes constructed identities that were valued in the official curriculum, and sometimes they resisted these identities and/or constructed and maintained identities that were less valued and stigmatized. Language Choice and Use as Acts of Identity Participants used or reported the use of Standard American English (SA E), African American Vernacular English (AAVE), and Creole to get recognized as taking on certain roles or identities (Gee, 2005). Their language choices and use often indexed specific identities in specific contexts. Constructing Caribbean identities Cari bbean language varieties were important to all of the participants as they were used to index and authenticate their Caribbean identities in contexts where it was necessary and/or desired. Elise and Nicole constructed their Jamaican identities by using Cre ole. Referring to herself, Elise said that one aspect of being Jamaican is suggested that the ability to speak Patois, her first language, signified her Jamaican identity. She sta ted: I States, everyone in my household spoke P atois like it was water. They spoke it and I had a strong Jamaican (N3/Lines 4 6) tois was the norm for her family and at that time, it was not only natural, but everyone, including her, was proficient in Patois.

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172 This is significant as her proficiency in Patois waned in later years as she began to construct other identities. Kendall and DeAndre also used Caribbean language varieties, Creole and Bahamian English respectively, to construct their Caribbean identities. In discussing his 101). In this instance, Kendall made the decision t o use Creole because it indexed his Virgin Islander identity and he knew it would surprise and impress his teacher so much so that she would allow him to represent the sh served to index his Bahamian identity when he felt it necessary. People be identifying me. Sometimes like when I talk, I go from American to Bahamian from the Bahamas [I can tell who is Bahamian or not] b y their 36).DeAndre understands that identities are constructed through language choices, and uses it to his advantage to index either his U.S. American or Bahamian identities. Caribbean language varieties were important to all of the participants as they viewed those as the languages that indexed and authenticated their Caribbean identities in contexts where this was necessary and/or desired.

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173 Constructing U.S. American I dentities identities. There were some significant differences between the language use and choic es of the female participants and their male counterparts. The female participants used language and made language choices that indexed their U.S. American identities, but also disti nguished them from their African American peers. e where I am from because I speak a bit more proper [than her African highlighting her ability to speak the standard language of the U.S., she is distinguishing herself from her African A merican peers. Similarly, Nicole highlights her proficiency in SAE, while distinguishing herself from her African American peers. She discussed growing out of her Jamaican accent and but then I kind of grew out of my accent and I was around my peers more often and I cessarily Ebonics, not so much Patois, but the proper 7). Despite the fact that her peers were mainly Afri can American at acquired, but proper English. Referring to her African American peers, Nicole said, 93). She contrasted their ability to speak Standard American English to her own. In sum, both Elise and Nicole constructed their U.S. American identities by using SAE. Their pro ficiency in SAE also served to distinguish them from their African

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174 caused people to reconsider their assumptions that she was only African American and a low achiever between SAE, schools, and upward mobility. SAE marked them as serious students and provided distance from the dominant language ideologies and deficit discourses often evoked when referrin g to African American students. They felt that their level of proficiency and consistent use of Standard American English provided a clue to those around them that they were academically successful. es and use, the male participants embraced AAVE and perceived it as a necessary linguistic resource. For the male participants, there was no explicit indication of the value (or lack thereof) placed on SAE or AAVE. In the interview settings, Kendall and De displayed a variety of SAE, AAVE, and Creole phonological and morpho syntactic features. In addition, they used much of the slang used by urban, African American youth. While Kendall understood the ideologies surrounding African Ameri cans and academic achievement, the language was necessary if he were to identify as African American. Kendall used language as one of the ways in which he constructed an African American identity and often demonstrated his knowledge of AAVE. While Kendall used a combination of AAVE, SAE, and CE linguistic features throughout his interviews, he also used a lot of slang terminology associated with African American Vernacular English while off the record. In discussing the first time he and his best friend, J .P. met,

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175 indicated his knowledge and the value of AAVE in building relationships. Kno wledge of identity as a St. Thomian, or Virgin Islander, to be recognized in an environment where Similar to the other participan his identities. An analysis of his discourses revealed the connection between language and the dynamism of ethnic identity. He explained that his identity had changed since moving to the United States. DeA 60). DeAndre suggested that his ability to speak elped him to feel more American (e.g. authentication). happens to be his peers who are proficient in AAVE and wh o attend the same Historically B lack College that he does. Using Statements to Describe Identities evolved when considering their I statements. Where these participants chose to speak identities in and through language (Gee, 2005). Table 8 1 shows the distribution of different types of I statements in terms of the number and percentage of I statements participants used. Participants most often used st ate action statements to describe their identities.

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176 am Jam aican They also used state action statements to discuss the activities that were connected to these varying identities. For example, for Elise, being born in America i s significant to her Jamerican identity. For Nicole, going to prayer camp was an activity that changed her life. It was there that she constructed a Christian identity. Kendall discussed how becoming a poet was an identity that was incongruent with the exp ectations of his black peers, but something that he felt was a part of him and an avenue through which he could express his identities. For DeAndre, being born in America was a testament to a U.S. American identity that he was so eager to construct. Acros statements were most often used to speculate about ethnic and racial categories and how these categories are used in context of U.S. society and in school settings. For example, Elise speculated about why she was considered b see from statements, Elise also hinted at the results of a

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177 African Ameri discriminatory practices. Kendall also used a great number of cognitive I statements to speculate about the deficit discourses (some that he had believed resulted in a self fulfilling prop hecy) that just African labeled by teachers and peers as African American. statements revealed the dominant discourses regarding her various ident perceived both negatively as drug users and abusers and more positively as a creative and fun loving people. Sh that her identities, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and religious, pose in the context of school. She explains DeAndre had the fewest number and percentage of cognitive I statements among the participants. Yet, like the others, it was the second highest category for him. statements focused on the various changes that he had made to become more U.S. American like and whether or not those around him viewed these changes as congruent to their identities. For examp

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178 Summary In sum, analysis of the data suggests that 1) participants construct different identiti es in response to varying contexts; 2) participants constructed identities that they felt were important in building and maintaining roles in their family as well as their (SAE), African American Vernacular English (AAVE), and Creole to get recognized as taking on certain roles or identities. Their language choices and use often indexed specific identities in specific contexts; and 4) participants often negotiated their iden tities by considering which identity options would best serve them in the context of school and their peer groups. Analysis of I s something about how them most often used state action statements to describe their identities, the I statement analysis confirmed the connection between activities and identities and the ways in which participants were subjected to deficit discourses regarding their identities.

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179 Table 8 Types & Frequency Elise Kendall Nicole DeAndre # % # % # % # % Affective 14 11 13 9 14 6 5 7 Ability Constraint 13 10 6 2 7 3 4 5 State Action 46 37 158 64 154 71 48 71 Actions 5 4 1 <1 1 <1 2 2 Cognitive 44 35 63 25 39 18 12 17 Achievement 4 3 6 2 2 <1 1 1 TOTAL 126 100 247 100 217 100 68 10 0

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180 CHAPTER 9 DISCUSSION The purpose of this study was to explore the self ascribed identities of Anglophone Caribbean adolescents and their perceptions of how their schooling experiences have shaped their identities. Four Anglophone Caribbean adolescen ts provided interview data, written answers to prompts, and presented pictures and images that they felt were symbolic of their identities. used to analyze the data. Themes were extracted and analyz ed to respond to the research questions and to gain an understanding of what participants say and do to constr uct their identities; the role of relationships on identity and identity on relationships; the influence of various sign systems; and the role of power and ideology in identity construction processes. statements were also analyzed for patterns and themes that surfaced to further highlight how participants construct their here and now identities. This chapter di scusses the major findings related to identity description and within the literature on identity construction in education. The findings are grouped under two major headings, Describing Identities: Constructing the Self in/as a Third Space and Identity Construction in Schools: Dominant Discourses and Acts of Identity. The first section discusses the multiplicity and situationality of identities as examples of Third Sp aces. This is followed by a summary of findings related to the ways in which school discourses play a role in identity construction.

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181 Describing Identities: Constructing the Self in/as a Third Space An analysis of the data shows that participants described their identities in ways that allow for multiple constructions of identities that were dependent on a number of in that they defy the unidimensional, static, false dichoto mies (e.g. native/nonnative (Bhabha, 1994; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004 ). Although all of the aspects of Third space identities work in tandem, I discuss them separately below in a n effort to highlight the ways in which participants described their identities. I dentities are not an either or proposition, but that individuals often identify in multiple ways. The participants i n this study constructed and perceived their identities as both multiple and multidimensional. Participants had metaphorical identity knapsacks that contained different types of identities (e.g. linguistic, racial, ethnicity). The participants in this stu dy often used specific terms to describe their ethnicity, religion, language, and race (e.g., Jamaican and American, and American English and English Creole and/or Patois). These identities simultaneously reflected collective/group identities (e.g., Bahami an, Jamaican, Christian), familial identities (e.g., brother, sister), and non familial identities (e.g., student). These findings confirm contemporary conceptualizations of the multiplicity of identities (Ajayi, 2006; Ashmore et al., 2000; Bailey, 2000; D inka et. al, 2008; Lee, 2000; Liang, 2006) and fit well within current models that represent the co existence of multiple identities (Jones & McEwen, 2000). However, the study also showed that there were different dimensions to these identities and that th

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182 linguistic identity could consist of several different ethnicities and linguistic identities. For example, Kendall claimed a Virgin Islander ethnicity as well as an African American ethnicity He also claimed proficiency in and use of Creole, AAVE, and SAE. Moreover, these multiple identities were not disconnected, but intersected and shaped each other. For instance, Kendall suggested that all Virgin Islanders were technically African American because the Virgin Islands are a U.S. territory. This study suggests that the lines between these identities are porous, that is different aspects of different identities influence each other in complex ways. racial identity as a b lack person in fluenced her religious identity in the form of her perceptions of what Jesus looked like. Kendall identified as African American as well as Caribbean; therefore, he thought it important to have linguistic identities that were indicative of his African Amer ican identity as well as his Caribbean identity. In other instances, emerging intersections led to a questioning of identity options and choices. For example, Elise first saw an African American identity as a viable identity option. However, when she real ized that she did not have the cultural knowledge or language proficiency in AAVE, she no longer felt as if it were a viable sister taught her some African American culture, so even though she did not claim proficiency in AAVE, she was able to claim an African American identity in middle school because she knew enough African American pop culture. Hybridity is an important concept in the context of transnationalism, migration, and globali zation (Darboe, 2008; Foner, 1997; Irizarry, 2007; Lyall Smith, 2008; Kamada, 2010; Kanno, 2003). Hybridity is often indexed by language crossing, mixing (Ogulnick,

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183 2000; Rampton, 2005), codeswitching (Bosire, 2006; Liang, 2006; Myers Scotton, 2000; Ruan, 2003), and the use of new labels, such as Spanglish to refer to the mixing of Spanish and English, and Nuyorican to refer to second and third generation Puerto Ricans residing in New York City (Callahan, 2004; Morales, 2003; Otheguy & Stern, 2011). The sea rch for new labels is used to contrast what has often been perceive d as 'static' representations of identity with labels that are less dichotomous, less bounded representations of identity The participants in this study used few linguistic signifiers of h ybrid identities. Only 2008; Hesse Biber & Barko, 2008; Weiner & Richards, 200 8). While the others did not explicitly label their identity as hybrid in the way that Elise did, they certainly constructed their identities in ways that could be labeled as hybrid, especially when hybridity is interpreted more broadly as an individual in dicating multiple identities at the same time. For example, Kendall talked about the importance of using specific languages in specific domains. He specifically mentioned his use of Creole in the context of his West Indian friends and AAVE in the context o f African American peers. In the interview settings, he often code switched between AAVE and SAE. Of all the participants, DeAndre discussed his national/ethnic identities in the most separate and bounded by time and context and were somewhat in contrast to one another. He seemed to espouse the idea that he could only be U.S. American or African

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184 American in the context of the United States and Bahamian in the context of the Bahamas. The findings regarding hybridity raise two important questions regarding linguistic representation of their identities: 1) why did participants not seem to represent their identities as hybrid in their own discourses despite their negotiation of regarding his identities so different from the others? realities and their d iscourses might have been developmental. It is known that very young children are able to label themselves and others racially (Bernal et al., 1990; French et. al, 2006; Phinney, 1990; Sheets; 1997; Spencer, 1985). In this case, however, adolescents were a sked to describe multiple identities in different contexts. identities in conjunction with their lived experiences. It is therefore possible that the disjuncture between their discourses and lived realities is a function of limited ability to discuss identity at both abstract and concrete levels due to developmental level. identities might be that the discourses of these adolescents reflect the dominant peers most often identified as white American, African American, Asian, or Latino. Their schools cat egorized students in the same manner. So, hybridity was not an option because it was not the norm in their communities or schools. In the context of

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185 another ethnicity. W hen his peers identified him as Bahamian, he asserted his identity as a U.S. American born Bahamian, by reminding his peers as often as necessary that he was born in the U.S. and was raised in the Bahamas. Likewise, in the context of ents self segregated based o n U.S. racial categories (i.e. b lacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians). He most often congregated with the African American students, as that was the most viable identity option in the context of that school. There were no other Virg in Islanders at his school and few others who identified as English speaking Caribbean/West Indian. As suggested in the literature review, the vast majority of studies that examine hybridity or Caribbean immigrant identities are set in large, urban cities in the Northeast. So the patterns of hybridity that emerge in those studies are rooted in those particular settings Those settings may allow for a greater range of identity options because of the diversity of population and the tolerance that the societie s and communities have for hybrid identities. In fact, in some metropolitan cities with large immigrant enclaves, hybridity, at least amongst the second and third generation might be the norm. In contrast, the participants in this study lived and studied in smaller rural and suburban areas with less diverse populations. Hence, significant differences between the way urban and rural Caribbean immigrants speak of their identities must be noted can help to und erstand this difference between rural and urban centers and the importance of space in identity and ow urban centers exist as triads of the spatial (place) social (social structure) and historical

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186 (time) despite our tendency to consider them exclusively in the realm of social and historical. In short, t he demographics and population of places influenc e identity standards and therefore has a n important role in identity construction processes. Situationality of Identity Options Identity options varied depending on the situation and/or context. Even small moves within a broader geographical area but diffe rent social contexts, such as a transfer from one school to another, or involvement in different activities within the school settings, results in a change in identity options as well as the costs and benefits associated with those options. Border crossin g. (Delgado Gaitan &Trueba, 1991; Foley, 1995; Johnson & Michaelson, 1997; Saenz, 1997). Current research sugge sts that crossing imagined, social, or physical geographic borders increases identity opt ions (Anderson, 1991; Anzalda, 1987; Bhabha, 1994). However, the role of context has been underemphasized in the literature. This study illustrates that valued identit y options can be expanded or limited/constrained by moving across contexts. For example, when Elise lived in south Florida, she claimed a Jamaican identity. Although being Jamaican was preferred, she also had the option of claiming an American or Jamaican American identity. However, when she moved to northeast Florida, there were fewer benefits associated with claiming a Jamaican identity and more associated with claiming an American identity. Moreover, this move introduced new identity options, namely Afr ican American identity as part of her schooling

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187 experiences. She knew this African American identity was important for her to fit in; yet she was also aware that African American students were devalued in the school. Migrating to the U.S. expanded DeAndr self identified as an American born Bahamian, he also had the option of identifying as African American within the context of the United States. In the context of the Bahamas, he had one option, a Bahamian identity His move to the U.S., with its diverse population, allowed for him to claim all of his identities, although they were not valued equally. Due to the politics and ideologies within particular contexts, certain identity options may become less desirable. F urthermore, on a geographical level, different levels of change in space affect identity options. For example, the crossing of international borders, or migrating from one country to another; relocating from one city to another; and/or transferring from on border crossing is not just about geopolitical borders (i.e., immigration) but also within state migration, or even changing schools within the same town. This analysis helps us understand the fr agile and fluid nature of identities and the effects of border crossing on valued identity options and identity construction processes. Saliency and identity options Saliency of the various aspects of the ceived valued identity options within a specific context. Saliency is defined as the prominence of the different dimensions of 1995; Jones & McEwen, 2000; Stryker & Se rpe, 1982). According to Stryker (1968, 2000), the various identities that comprise the self exist s in a hierarchy of salience,

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188 where the identities that are ranked highest are most likely to be invoked in situations that are most conducive for that identi ty option(s). This study suggests, however, that in poststructuralist fashion, identities are not necessarily in a hierarchical relationship, but they are constructed as appropriate for the context. In this study, identity saliency was influenced by two co ntextual factors: the demographic profile of the community and peer groups, and the availability of identity based extracurricular activities. First, the demographics of a community and peer groups may result in an expansion, limitation, or change in va lued identity options. When each of the participants relocated to communities with a different demographic structure, they renegotiated their identities, as they wanted to become members of their new communities. Neg otiation of identities was influenced by options that were p rovided and valued in a context. For example, when Elise moved to Northeast Florida, she felt that she had to identif y as African American as there were no West Indians in her community only White Americans, African Americans, and Lat inos. She felt that she was expected to identify with those who she looked most like if she were going to be a part of the community. There was a cost associated with identifying as Jamaican. On valued identity options expanded wh en he moved to the U.S., as he felt that he could no t comfortably self identify as a U.S. American in the context of the Bahamas. Similar to the demographics of the community, the demographic profile of peer groups influences identity choices. When partic ipants were amongst a diverse student population that included Caribbean students, they were more likely to identify as Caribbean. However, when they were in a less diverse peer group, they were more apt

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189 to identify as African American (even when it was un comfortable), as this was the dominant minority group in the contexts in which most of the participants found themselves. This finding confirms the research that suggests peer groups have a major ion (Hellerman, 2006; Hellerman and Cole, 2008; James & Woll, 2004; Jones & McEwen, 2000; Markee, 2004; Miller, 2007; McKay & Wong, 1996; and Morgan, 2002). Lemke (2002) suggests scale socia l stereotypes for gender, class, age, and culture When participants used a particular language, participated in certain activities or even dressed s prestige status, values, and lifestyle, granting, at least acceptance, and at best, popularity. activities. Extracurricular activities and clubs were a means of iden tity representation for the majority of these participants, a finding support ed by other studies (Eccles, et al 2003; Hansen et al 2003; Sleeter & Grant, 2007; Zou & Trueba, 1998). These based groups, clubs, or soc ial activities, cultural showcases, or sports allowed individuals the space to employ identities that they felt may not have been represented or fully accepted in the context of school. For example, ability to participate in an annual an outlet to express those identities that are limited within the main curriculum, and to contribute to the school community. Eccle s, Barber, Stone, & Hunt (2003), for instance,

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1 90 investigated the connection between student participation in an extracurricular activity and adolescent development. They found that involvement in a school organization or dentity development needs and can contribute to Identity Construction in School: Dominant Discourses As others have noted, schools are often sites where minority identities are cont ested or ignored, rather than embraced or affirmed, particularly as it relates to identities linked to race, ethnicity, and/or language (Auerbach, 1993; Cahnmann, 2005; Currie & Cray, 2004; Morgan, 1997; Norton & Toohey, 2001). An analysis of the participa deficit discourses and provided (and/or allowed) avenues for identity affirmation. Schools a s Producers of Discourses of Deficiency and Tolerance The participants in this study described the discourses they encountered related to diversity in their schools in similar ways. While these discourses were primarily negative and deficit oriented, more tolerant and affirmative discourses emerged as they were involved in extracurricular activities. Deficit discourses. The first dominant discourse the participants mentioned could being Caribbean and b lack are the same All of the participants suggested that their peers and/or school officials most often labeled them as Africa n American without any consideration of their Caribbean identities. According to Elise, if you had dark skin, you were assumed to be African American (and speak AAVE). When Nicole enrolled in a middle school with a large African American population, her et hnic identity choices and options became more consequential as she wanted to fit in w ith her peers. Because she was b lack and did not have a pronounced Jamaican accent, her peers

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191 to belong to a larger, more powerful group (in the context of her school), she had to make a choice whether to label herself in the same way and learn the culture of that group. Kendall and DeAndre were also both ascribed African American identities by sc hool authorities and peers. Kendall mentioned that when he spoke Creole, it was even worse, as his peers would ascribe to him a Jamaican identity. The second dominant school discourse was To be b lack is to be a low achiever The ethno racial dichotomy was accompanied by clear stereotypical views and negative attitudes, which made the (ascribed) identity of being African American less desirable. Elise overheard one of her te achers making the comment that b lacks were not as smart in math. Elise noticed th at it had become quite the norm for African Americans to be was grou Kendall also suggested that there were defi cit discourses surrounding the b lack students, particularly African Americans, in his school. He, however, suggested that these discourses were in fact true because the majority of his African American peers were less focused on academi cs. He reported that his teachers were surprised when he would achieve academically and they were surprised when they discovered that he was interested in poetry. Third, participants also encountered discourses that suggested that certain kinds of diversi ty were more acceptable than others The participants perceived that ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity was ignored within the official curriculum and by the teachers. Nicole found that teachers made disparaging comments and developed

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192 unpleasant atti tudes whenever she referred to her religion or used it as a basis from which she drew academic conclusions. They would mostly ignore her or become sarcastic when she answered scientific questions from a biblical perspective. Kendall complained that his sch accomplishments of African Americans in its academic curriculum. He also voiced concern that there was blatant discrimination in athletics. He said it seemed that the more talented athletes, w ho happ ened to be African American or b lack, were played less during soccer games and were not promoted for collegiate athletic scholarships. Instead of distancing himself from his African American peers, he voiced pride in his African American identity an d spoke with his teachers, coaches, and administrators about his concerns regarding the curriculum and what he perceived to be discrimination in athletics. Discourses of tolerance and affirmation Although its occurrence was outside of the mainstream curr iculum, schools provided discourses of tolerance and spaces for the expression of marginalized or minority identities (Coover & Murphy, 2000; Mouratidis & Sideridis, 2009). The two ways that this was done are outlined below. Clubs and cultural events were one of the ways in which the participants had opportunities to construct their identities. Elise found recognition and affirmation of her Jamaican identity through school events and cultural organizations supported by the school. Similarly, Kendall enjoyed participating in the annual culture night event that provided students from multiple ethnic and cultural groups an opportunity to showcase both their talents and culture. He found affirmation in becoming a member of West Indies Kids, a service group that raised money for West Indian non profit organizations.

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193 Nicole took the initiative to co found a Christian organization and a multicultural group while in middle school. She credits these two organizations with providing her a forum for which she and other judgment of faculty and peers. Second, self segregation was another method that Kendall said allowed him to affirm his identity. While Kendall was upset by what he considered to be discriminatory prac tices at his high school, he embraced this particular practice that was initiated by students at his school. He explained that he and his peers, dependent upon r ace or social status (e.g. b lack, white, jock, and nerd) congregated to different areas of the building. He implied that for him, self segregation contributed to an increased sense of solidarity. It provided peer groups an opportunity to talk about school from their unique perspectives and it provided him an opportunity to learn more about his Afric an American peers. Within the context of the formal curriculum and school day, they often provide negative dominant discourses. And although these opportunities are out side of the legitimized, sanctioned curriculum, extracurricular activities and events can provide opportunities and outlets for students to construct, express, and perform those identities that are seemingly less valued within the structured curriculum. Di scourses, Identity Options, and Identity Choices In response to the dominant discourses of school, participants negotiated their identities in ways that served to either align them with the valued discourses and identity options and/or to reject the domina nt discourses. Identities that were less valued at the

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194 macro level were constructed because it provided some participants enough capital that helped with relationship building amongst peers at the micro level. Context and identity n egotiation Participants that the interplay between the individual and the larger group, where the larger group positions individuals (i.e. interactive positioning) what they term reflective positioning whereby an individual positions him or herself ( self representation ) in relation to others so that they are perceived as legitimate members of a group. Participants varied in the ir responses to and perceptions of the deficit and affirmative discourses they encountered in schools. Elise was clearly aware of the interactive positioning ( the ways in which others attempt to position individuals or particular groups in varying context s ) that resulted from the dominant school discourses (Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004) She did not want to be labeled or perceived as being a low achiever. Her internalization of t hese negative discourses about b lack students influenced her decision to positi on herself reflectively and construct an identity that would highlight the Jamaican dimension of her ethnic identity and at the same time distinguish her from those students with whom she shared the same racial identity, mainly African Americans. Unlike El ise, Kendall and Nicole had been enrolled in schools with larger African American populations In these contexts, even when there were negative discourses and stereotypes resulting in interactive positioning at a macro level (i.e. school) there was some level of power and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986) in identifying as African

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195 American at a micro level (i.e. peer groups) Kendall did not allow these deficit discourses or even his perceptions of his African American peers to affect his desire to be a p art of that group. Instead, he set out to defy the stereotypes by positioning himself to succeed academically while identifying as African American. While Nicole would sometimes identify as African American, she viewed ethnic and racial identification as l discourses suggest that the interplay between individuals and larger groups is significant in that it influences identity choices ( Pavlenko & Black ledge 2004) Participa in that it suggests that how others recognize us is central to how we construct our identities. In other words, h ow others view us negatively or positively influences how we perceive and portray our own identities. DeAndre as a unique case DeAndre was a unique case, as his perceptions of identity and his identity construction see med to differ from the others. DeA ndre seemed to be quite unaware of the dominant, ma cro level discourses regarding b lacks and African Americans in the United States. His discourses did not reveal a belief or a perception that African Americans were perceived more negatively than any other Americans. At this point in his life, he saw there was power and social capital in being a U.S. American, regard less of the ethnic label (i.e. b lack American, African American, white American). How do we account for the reasons why DeAndre did not perceiv e discrimination or acknowledge that same types of discourses surrounding African Americans that the

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196 others did? First, he arrived in the United States only three years prior to the start of this study. Therefore, he was a fairly recent immigrant. Second, because he attended a predominantly African American high school for a year and a half befor e he went on to a historically b lack college, his experiences were completely different from the others. He seemed to have even fewer identity options than the othe rs did. DeAndre said that there were times when his African beliefs about Bahamian language and culture were less than flattering. He described how his peers would jokingly mock his accent without rep rimand from the teachers or staff. DeAndre also discussed the ways in which he felt that Bahamian culture was sensationalized and its people and way of life framed as less civilized than that of U.S. American people and culture. Despite these experiences, his written responses suggested that he felt that a level of discomfort was to be expected when entering a new environment. He did not expect anyone to cater to him or affirm his identity as a Bahamian. He saw his arrival in the U.S. as a time for him to l earn the U.S. American way of life. Although DeAndre felt uncomfortable, his discomfort was overshadowed by his determination to construct a U.S. American identity. immigrants. Ogbu (199 8) suggests that voluntary immigrants have a positive dual frame of reference regarding their experiences in the United States. They generally see more opportunity for success in the U.S. than back home. As a result they are willing to accommodate and to accept less than equal treatment in order to improve their chances for economic success.

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197 Immigrants like DeAndre, who have spent less time in the U.S., tend to think that Andre did not perceive racial discrimination, ethnic, or language hierarchies (amongst U.S. American varieties) within the context of school or society. He viewed SAE and AAVE, equally, as cultural capital as a means to becoming a U.S. American and an in dicator of being a U.S. American. For DeAndre, crossing both geographical and cultural borders at the same time influenced the way he perceived and articulated his identities. He grew up knowing that he was a U.S. citizen by birth, but unlike the other par ticipants, he never had the opportunity to learn U.S. American culture or interact with (African) Americans on a daily identity life, claiming a hybrid Bahamian America n or American Bahamian identity could Language as an Indicator of Identity within the Context of School Participants indexed their U.S. American and Caribbean identities pri marily through the use (demonstrated and reported) of different languages specifically Standard American English (SAE), African American Vernacular English (AAVE), and Creole. Through their use of SAE, participants indexed U.S. American identities and in American peers. They used AAVE to mark themselves as African American, and they used and talked about their use of Creole, Patois, and Bahamian English to mark their Caribbean i dentities. Speaking AAVE, g ender and identity negotiation As mentioned in Chapter 8, Kendall and DeAndre, unlike their female counterparts, displayed a level of comfort

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198 reporting their use of AAVE and using this variety in the interview settings. Two m ajor factors could explain why they appeared more comfortable positioning and/or identifying themselves as African American and speakers of AAVE. First, they more often found themselves in environments where it was more acceptable for them to claim an Afri can American identity. Kendall was a member of several different athletic teams. The rea of school where all of the b lack students, the majority of whom were A frican American, congregated in the mornings and during other times throughout the day. DeAndre attended a majority African American high school for his senior year and enrolled in a Historically Black College after graduating. In these settings, AAVE is a linguistic resource that is necessary in constructing an African American identity and building relationships with African American peers. In these settings, students were not as marginalized or stigmatized as they might have been in the female participan schools (Bucholtz, 1999, 2004; Morgan, 2002; Tatum, 2003; Wolfram, Adger, & Christian, 1999). Second, both DeAndre and Kendall spent an enormous amount of time engaged in activities where African Americans were accomplished (e.g. various sports) and w here AAVE was not only valued, but also used as a primary means of social, and sometimes academic, communication. A number of studies suggest males are more likely use non similarities) and/ their membership in African American peer groups. Similar findings were reported by Morgan (2002) and Rickford (1999) as both studies suggest that proficiency in AAVE is

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199 nece ssary if participants are to be legitimized and accepted by their African American peers as an authentic member of the group. Although not the intended focus of this research, the findings from this aspect of the research regarding language, gender, and id entity is significant in that it suggests that we should further question the role of gender in language choice/use decisions within this population, as there were some clear similarities among gender lines. This confirms previous research that suggests ge nder differences as an important variable in Hillard, 2003; Rumbaut, 1994; Waters 2001). There has been a number of studies that have examined white (Cutler, 2002; Gentile & Walsh, 2002), Latin o (Dunstan, 2010; Irizarry, 2007; Sweetland, Reyes, 2007) use of AAVE and other varieties of English. However, very few have views, regarding what they perceive to be the costs and benefits of using AAVE and identifying as African American. As suggested in much of the sociolinguistic literature on gender and language choice (Cheshire, 2002; Fulle r, 2007), the female participants in this study appear to be more socially constrained in their code choices. Eckert (1997) illustrates this phenomenon by correlating phonological variation among suburban American adolescents to gender and peer groups. Id entification with the values and lifestyles of desired groups, correlated to specific language practices, helped her female, rather than male, subjects to achieve the prestige status among peers. This study supports claims

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200 that girls gain prestige through constructing and displaying more socially acceptable identities, utilizing language as a means. This finding also suggests that nonstandard language varieties are not always stigmatized, but that such stigmatization is social in nature and contextually bo und. While a language or code may be stigmatized in one domain, it may be a necessity and highly functional and effective in another context. Speaking Creole. Creole was important to all of the participants as they viewed it as their native language and it functioned to authenticate their Caribbean identities when they were in the presence of their West Indian peers and within the context of family. It was also used as a signal to remind others that their identities were multiple and multidimensional tha often switched from SAE (or AAVE) to Creole when it was least expected. DeAndre also reported that he would use his ability to code switch between the different dialects so that people would recognize him as either Bahamian or (African) American. So with these participants, Creole played a similar role as AAVE, but in different contexts. Creole was used effort to maintain and build relationships with their Caribbean peers. It was used with teachers and school personnel, however, to disrupt those race based identities (i.e. African Amer ican) that were often ascribed to them. Linguistic choices as risky business was a way for them to construct identities that were relevant and important to them at this stage of their lives. The identities that they constructed and negotiated were related

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201 to their unique situations, life circumstances, and experiences at the time of this study. Elise and Nicole both saw academic success and social mobility as their goals. They were aware of the negative perception of African Americans and tended to see more differences between themselves and African Americans. As such, they viewed the linguistic game as a risky proposition E for sub cultural capital, Elise and Nicole were willing to risk sub be perceived as academically successful. A number of researchers who theorize about that there is often a trade off between doing well and rejection by peers when adolescents come from (or are perceived to come from) a traditionally low achieving group (Buck, 2010; Fordham & Ogbu, 1986; Fryer, 2006). In a Bourdiean (1991) sense, Elise an d Nicole understand the symbolic power that is inherent in language choice and use in the context of the United States. They both view SAE as the legitimate language of school that will lead to academic success and social mobility. Being a new immigrant, (Waters, 1999). As a first generation immigrant, his racial identity was not central and being viewed as African American or using a particular language variety was not of consequence to him That was because he was not yet aware of the symbolic power and capital generated by different language varieties in the U.S. context, and was still in the process of constructing a semblance of a U.S. American identity.

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202 For Kendall, his racial identity was more central as he had perceived discrimination in schools and the larger U.S. American society He wanted to be perceived as b lack (African appropriation of SAE, AAVE and Creole appeared to be driven by a que st to show membership and power within his peer groups (African American and Caribbean groups) while demonstrating his ability to succeed in the classroom despite his use of thr oughout this project suggest that he was aware of how language(s) and racial identity connoted symbolic power; yet his experience and strong desire to identify with African Americans provided him the impetus to challenge the status quo and construct and em brace his multiple identities even within the context of school. Summary The purpose of this study was to explore the self ascribed identities of Anglophone Caribbean adolescents and their perceptions of how their schooling experiences have shaped their id entities. The study was guided by the following questions : 1) How do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents construct and describe their identitie s, and 2) How do Anglophone Caribbean adolescents perceive that their schooling experiences have shape d these ident ities? With regards to question one, participants described their identities in ways that defy the dichotomous terms often used to describe immigrant adolescents. Their descript ions further suggests their identities are multiple and multidimensional, hybrid, and dynamic. Linguistic indicators of hybridity were not evident as there was some disjuncture between the way participants described their lived experiences and the way the y

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203 discussed their identities. However, agency accounted language use and choice indexed specific identities. Location was important in Changing spaces, or border crossings were important considerations in the limitation and/or expansion of valued identity options and the negotiation of and enactment of specific identities, or their saliency, was resided, t heir peer groups in schools, and the extracurricular activities in which they were involved. With regards to question two, schools were found to be producers of deficit discourses. In addition, they were sites of tolerance and affirmation. In response to t he dominant discourses of school, agency accounted for the ways in which these participants either aligned themselves with the valued discourses and identity options and/or rejected these dominant discourses and constructed identities that were less valued at the macro level, but provided them capital and helped with relationship building amongst peers at the micro level. In addition to the findings above, this research suggests that an ideal framework must account for human agency, and allow for multiplici ty, hybridity and the dynamic nature of identities to be revealed. It must be flexible, consider the role of language, and consider the influence dominant discourses and relationships might have in the identity construction process. Based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that identity construction is a complex, ongoing process that is dependent upon a myriad of factors, those that are cognitive and agentic as well as those that are contextual. The model in Figure 9 1

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204 attempts to account f or the role of identity standards (within and across contexts) in shaping available identity options and the role of human agency in the identity construction process. Context or environment shapes available identity options because of the influence of dominant discourses and ideologies that are found in these spaces. Identity options are expanded or limited depending on the domain and the demographics of a particular geographical location, and the extent to which discourses and ideologies in them are s centers like Miami, Los Angeles, and NYC, it is more likely to find spaces where hybrid identities are the norm and a viable identity option for immigrants. However, in rural ar eas of the U.S. where there is much less ethnic, rac ial, and linguistic diversity, b lack immigrants may have fewer or different identity options that are acknowledged or valued within those areas. First, the model argues that within any context, schools b eing one of them, certain identity standards or identities are taken for granted to be the norm. These standards influence which identity options are valued and devalued (context based identity standards). For example, schools often produce deficit discour ses regarding linguistic diversity, more specifically lack of English proficiency, and negative ideologies about students who are racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities. These ideologies and discourses suggest that minority students are less capable of succeeding academically than mainstream, native English speaking, White students. In this model, identity options may shift according to the space and demographic profile of the community or peer group. Identity options can be expanded or limited

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205 dependi ng on the domain and the demographics of a particular geographical location. family members, in the classroom, in the hallways with friends, or on the soccer field. Eli se, for example, encountered a black/w hite dichotomy when she moved from south to identity options shifted when he was with his soccer teammates. He perceived a St. Tho mian identity as the most viable identity option in this context because his African In short, as a result of the situated nature of identity standards and its associated (value d and devalued) identity options, identity options may differ for an individual as they move across contexts and time. Contextual norms alone do not determine identity options, however. The second part of the model posits that agency also plays an importa nt role in identity construction. As individuals negotiate their sense of self and the messages that they receive within varying contexts, they exert agency in which identity options to reject, embrace, so strong that he sometimes constructed and enacted this identity even in contexts viewed his as less capable than his peers. Ind ividuals determine whether desired and viable identity options (for the self) are compatible with the identity standards of the context. Ultimately, they select the identity option that best allows for self efficacy or a sense of personal identity or they succumb to the pressures of the context and select identity options that are valued in a particular

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206 context. The latter was evidenced in this study when the female participants both opted for an African American identity, as they perceived that to be the i dentity standard and the most viable (and expected) option for them in the context of their middle schools. As the model illustrates, Identity choices or outcomes are the result of the negotiation of context based identity standards and human agency. Thes e choices are then enacted and self verified. They are enacted linguistically and through other behaviors (such as forming identity specific groups and wearing paraphernalia associated with a culture). In this study, language choice and use played an impor tant role as mechanisms that indexed how participants enacted the various identity choices they saw available to them and/or those they negotiated. Participants in this study used American, Carib bean, or they codeswitched to show themselves as occupants of a third identity space. The female participants used SAE so that their teachers would view them positively. They understood the ramifications of speaking non standard varieties of English in the school setting. The male participants used AAVE with their peers and in the context of school to index their African American identities. Their ability to speak AAVE was symbolic of the cultural capital necessary to be a part of their peer group. All of t he participants used Creole to index their Caribbean identities and there were instances, though minimal, of code switching in the data that indexed identities that can be characterized as hybrid. In this study, identities were also enacted through behavi ors that included self segregation, where one participant chose to only be with students who identified as he did, and through the creation of groups that carry identity labels that refer to a geographical region, ethnicity, or religion. These types of dis courses and Discourses

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207 particular context. Figure 9 1. Model for identity construction in specific contexts

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208 CHAPTER 10 CONCLUSION Anglophone Caribbean immigrant s are a unique population in that they fall outside of existing research frames that are often used to describe identity and the identity construction processes of minorities, immigrants, and second language learners. They defy the African American label b ecause they either do not identify as African American or they identify as both African American and other ethnicities. They defy the immigrant label because they were either born in this country or have been here since they were very young. Because the v ast majority of Anglophone Caribbean immigrants are English and Creole proficient, they often do not have the same language learning experiences as immigrant English language learners. Summary of Findings This research has produced the following findings: 1. multiple and multidimensional. These identities not only intersected, but shaped 2. There were very few linguistic indicators of hybridi ty and a disjuncture between Participants often discussed their identities in ways that were static and bounded. 3. Space was an important consideration in the limitation and/or expansion of valued identity options and identity saliency. When participants crossed borders, their valued identity options often changed. They then constructed and negotiated identities that were more valued by macro structures like society or schools, and/or the y opted to construct identities that were more valued by micro structures like peers. 4. Identity saliency was influenced by the demographic profile of the communities in which the participants resided, their peer groups in schools, and the extracurricular activities in which they were involved. 5. Schools were found to be producers of deficit discourses. The research participants often internalized these discourses and constructed and negotiated

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209 identities that were more value d by schools, and/or they opted to construct identities that were more valued by micro structures like peers. 6. Schools were found to be tolerant and provided (and/or allowed) avenues for identity affirmation. The participants often became members of these g roups which resulted in identity affirmation. 7. Language choice was one of the ways that participants indexed their various identities. While all of the participants used SAE to index their U.S. American identities, the female participants used their profici ency in SAE to distinguish themselves from their AAVE speaking peers by rupturing the assumed identity ascriptions that people often placed upon them. African American Vernacular English was used by the male participants to index an African American identi ty, Caribbean identities. Implications for Scholars This research was unique in that it amplified the voices of a population that has been virtually silent in the research literatu re on identity construction. This study has several methodological implications for scholars. First, the findings suggest that scholars interested in identity research must consider the voices of the population in which they choose to study. Scholars often interpret what they see and hear without considering how participants interpret their own identities and the contexts in which they are constructing these identities. Second, identity is a complex phenomenon and is not the same for any one person, and is even more complicated when examined across cases because of the varying backgrounds and experiences of those that ar In addition to interviewing techniques, I would suggest observations of participants in a variety of sett ings. Observation provides a variety, depth, and breadth of information to research that is difficult to obtain with other data collection methods. This would be especially beneficial as few studies have focused on the ability of children or adolescents to describe their ethnic identities in conjunction with their lived experiences.

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210 t both abstract and concrete levels due to their level of cognitive development. So, observational data might allow an observer to effectively facilitate and enhance conceptualization and understanding of phenomena not readily obtained by interviewing, or other data collection methods (Morse & Field, 1995). Analysis of the data reveals that there is no single theoretical framework that could possibly account for the various ways in which individuals construct and talk about their identities. Therefore, we m ust consider aspects of various theoretical frameworks if we are to create an accurate picture of identity and identity construction. An ideal framework must allow for multiplicity, hybridity and the dynamic nature of identity to be revealed. The framework must also consider the role of language, dominant discourses, and relationships in the identity construction process. Implications for Educators This study also has practical implications for educators. The findings from this study suggest that educators consider the role of the contexts in which identity construction and negotiation takes place. Educators should consider the ways in which they can support these processes especially with those students who defy the labels that are often ascribed to them. Like Cummins (2001) and Nero (2005), I suggest that we examine the discourses promoted in the school setting and the interactions with our students so that we do not promote false dichotomies by positioning students in a way that they are forced to identi fy in one way or the other or limit them in the ways in which they can identify.

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211 Secondly, educators should find avenues of and allow for the expression and affirmation of identities within the main curriculum while encouraging students to participate in t hose extracurricular activities that promote identity affirmation. Finally, teacher education programs and professional development programs must be more systematic in addressing identity construction processes so that educators might be taught how to bui ld positive environments and use discourses that are not dichotomous, disrespectful, or harmful, but instead, affirm the many ways in which adolescents describe, construct, and negotiate their identities. Two of the ways that identity can be addressed are through required coursework, such as a course on identity construction in educational settings and experiential learning experiences whose primary focus should be to examine identity construction in the context of schools and to determine and reflect on s chooling practices that minimize and maximize identity options. Considerations for Future Research This study revealed several possible avenues for future research. First, we must consider the role of geographical location in the identity options that immi grant students perceive are available to them. It might be that a hybrid identity was not considered to be a viable option in the more rural Northeast Florida. Due to the dominant discourses that pervaded this context, participants may have felt more press ure to choose one identity over the other in this context than they would have in a more urban, metropolitan context like Miami or New York City. Thought should also be given to whether the expression of a hybrid identity through discourse is developmental ; that is, whether children and teens ar e less able to express hybrid or third space identities because they have not yet developed the capacity or intellectual ability to do so.

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212 Hybridity examined over time is another area in need of research, as not many studies look at the identity development over time within the same individual and the factors that shape identity choices. The role of gender and language choice should also be a consideration for future research identity construction within this populati discourses is in line with research that suggests gender plays a role in identity construction (Eckert & McConnell Ginet, 2003; Goodenow & Spin, 1993; Pavlenko et al 2001). Gilligan's research (1979, 1982, 1988) and that of others (Lyons 1983; Miller, 1976), maintain that the identity development process for females is quite different from uct a U.S. American identity. family in socialization and identity construction. While there is a body of research on socialization theory and acculturation, there is a dearth of research on the role of familial socialization in the English speaking Caribbean population especially where the children are second generation Caribbean Americans. Relationship building and maintenance were major factors in the discourses of participan ts. Therefore, I suspect that the role of the parents as well as extended families have a lot to do with how adolescent participants describe themselves in relation to both other Caribbean immi grants and the African American population in the United States An additional area in need of research is the role of religion in the identity construction processes and its relation to ethnic, racial, and linguistic identity. Religion emerged as a topic of conversation in three of the four cases. Elise talked about the

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213 importance of being a Christian. Kendall talked about how his research on Rastafarianism has caused him to embrace its principles. Religion was a central theme in the case of Nicole. Nicole used religion as a way to come to terms with her racial identi ty. During one of the interviews, she said that she was taught to believe that God made us in his image. She s upported this with pictures of b lack Jesus wearing dreadlocks. She came to the conc lusion that if she is b lack and is of Afro Caribbean descent, t hen surely Jesus Christ must be as well. Her strong religious views have also caused her to be aware of a more contentious relationship between herself and some of her teachers.

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245 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kisha C. Bryan was born in Beaufort, South Carolina. She attended the public schools of Beaufort County and graduated from Beaufort High School. She attended She returned to Beaufort County where she taught middle grades reading and language arts. In 2001, Kisha accepted the W.H. Burghardt Fellowship to study at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, Long Island, New York where she completed 2002. Kisha began her career in higher education in 2003, when she was hired as an Assistant Professor at Edward Waters College in the Teacher Education Program. She helped to design the ESOL stand alone and ESOL infused courses for elementary education. In addition, she supervised pre service teachers during their ESOL internships. Kisha began her doctoral studies in ESOL/Bilingual Education in 2005. In addition to completing her doctoral studies, she has held various positions on the Sunshine State TESOL Board of Directors and has been a staunch advocate for linguistically and cult urally diverse students. She has presented her research on language and culture at both regional and national conferences. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2012. She currently resides in Jacksonville with her daughter, Ryann Olivia.