This presentation will explore the acculturation experiences of six Iranian migrant families, from two groups of immigrants and asylum seekers, living in Australia.
Drawing on the ‘multidimensional acculturation theory’ (Schwartz et al., 2010; Mendoza, 2016), as well as Bourdieusian concepts of ‘habitus’ and ‘capitals’, this presentation explores the acculturation experiences of six Iranian migrant families, from two groups of immigrants and asylum seekers, living in Australia.
Each family included first-generation parents and 1.5-generation adolescents, who had lived in Australia for a minimum of two years. As for the adolescent participants, the interview results highlighted their enthusiasm toward identifying as Iranian-though to differing degrees- and retaining the Persian language to enjoy many benefits the language could have for them. Moreover, they expressed the perplexity of dealing with, and choosing between, the two existing terms, ‘Persia and Iran’, as well as ‘Persian and Iranian’, to refer to their homeland and identity, respectively. Regarding the parents-children relationships in the new context, a low degree of intergenerational conflicts was reported, by both sides, in most domains of their acculturation process. However, the structural and lawful patterns in Australia had caused some internal conflicts for the parents, especially fathers (e.g., their power status within the family or their children’s freedom). Furthermore, while most participants reported ‘cultural eclecticism’ as their preferred acculturation orientation, female participants, from both generations, seemed to be more eclectic than their male counterparts who showed stronger inclination toward keeping more aspects of their home culture. This finding, given the wife-husband relationships, highlights a meaningful effort on the part of husbands to re-consider the traditional, male-dominated values and expectations they used to have in Iran. Finally, with respect to interpersonal relationships of the asylum-seeker participants, a ‘separation’ tendency, not only from the Australian communities, but also from Iranian (skilled-visa) immigrants was reported.
Presented by Alireza Fard-Kashani (PhD candidate, Deakin University)
Alireza is a PhD candidate in the School of Education, Deakin University, Australia. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Literature and Applied Linguistics, respectively, from Isfahan University and University of Science and Technology, Iran. His main area of interest is the interplay between language, culture, and identity in migrants’ acculturation and resettlement process.
RMIT City Campus
411 Swanston Street
10 April 2018