Identity strategies among adolescent girls of Moroccan descent in the Netherlands

Susan Liesbeth Ketner, Marjo Buitelaar, Harke Bosma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Sometimes it is assumed that Moroccan girls in the Netherlands have a problematic adolescence: They are supposed to be �_~caught between two cultures.�_T Adolescence can be seen as the stage of life in which individuals should develop their own identity by exploring different alternatives. Moroccan girls, however, may not have these possibilities for exploration during adolescence; they seem to be restricted in many ways. This article first looks at these presumed restriction. In the specific context of belonging to a minority group, the girl's parents regard the traditional rules to be very important. The notion of virginity, for instance, can be a (symbolic) boundary between the migrant community and the society. However, the girls themselves may also choose these traditions. Especially religion provides a �_~proper�_T set of rules in a sometimes confusing world. Should these girls, then, be seen as primarily foreclosed in their identity process? And, if so, is that why their adolescence is supposed to be problematic? The girls in this research, however, do not seem to have many problems or challenges. Following traditional rules in a non-Muslim society can cause practical problems or even loyalty conflicts. In response to this, the girls seem to have developed certain strategies that they use to combine the conflicting values. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR Copyright of Identity is the property of Lawrence Erlbaum Associates and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts)\nSometimes it is assumed that Moroccan girls in the Netherlands have a problematic adolescence: They are supposed to be �_~caught between two cultures.�_T Adolescence can be seen as the stage of life in which individuals should develop their own identity by exploring different alternatives. Moroccan girls, however, may not have these possibilities for exploration during adolescence; they seem to be restricted in many ways. This article first looks at these presumed restriction. In the specific context of belonging to a minority group, the girl's parents regard the traditional rules to be very important. The notion of virginity, for instance, can be a (symbolic) boundary between the migrant community and the society. However, the girls themselves may also choose these traditions. Especially religion provides a �_~proper�_T set of rules in a sometimes confusing world. Should these girls, then, be seen as primarily foreclosed in their identity process? And, if so, is that why their adolescence is supposed to be problematic? The girls in this research, however, do not seem to have many problems or challenges. Following traditional rules in a non-Muslim society can cause practical problems or even loyalty conflicts. In response to this, the girls seem to have developed certain strategies that they use to combine the conflicting values. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR Copyright of Identity is the property of Lawrence Erlbaum Associates and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-169
JournalIdentity: an international journal of theory and research
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004

Keywords

  • female adolescents
  • moroccan descent
  • netherlands

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