Journal of Intercultural Communication, Issue 18, Oktober 2008

Henrik Bhn

Acculturation and Identity in Adolescents in Norway


This survey is inspired by the International Comparative Study of Ethnocultural Youth (ICSEY), a comprehensive study which has looked at acculturation and cultural identity in adolescents from immigrant families across 13 countries. In the present survey 16 immigrant youths from two different ethnic minority groups in Norway Somali and Albanian were interviewed to find out more about their acculturation attitudes and experiences and their cultural identities. Eight Norwegian teenagers were also questioned. As regards acculturation, the Somali and Albanian adolescents were interviewed about how they prefer to live in the Norwegian society, i.e. to what extent they wish to retain their ethnic culture and to what extent they prefer to become involved with the larger society. In addition, they were questioned about their social contacts with peers, language proficiency and use, values as regards family relationships, as well as their perceived notion of discrimination. The Norwegian adolescents, on the other hand, were questioned on their attitudes towards cultural maintenance and intercultural contact, their social contacts with peers and their family relationship values. As to the question of cultural identity, the focus has been on to what extent the respondents identify with their ethnic group and with the larger society. The survey shows that the respondents generally favour an integration profile, and the non-Norwegian adolescents on average display a somewhat stronger ethnic identity than a Norwegian identity.

Keywords: acculturation, adaptation, adolescents, Albanian, attitudes, cultural, discrimination, ethnic, identity, immigration, minority, Norwegian, Somali, values, youth

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