Navigating Multiple Cultural Worlds: Exploring the processes and contexts of being differentially marked.
Pufall Jones, Elizabeth.
Abstract: In this dissertation I examine how the sociohistoric background and
lived experiences of individuals from multicultural backgrounds influence the strategies
that they develop to navigate their multiple cultural worlds. As such, I explore how
contextual and community circumstances, in particular the experience of being
differentially marked, influence the salience of racial, ethnic an... read mored cultural difference to
an individual. Further, I examine how cultural conflict and affiliation mediate feelings of
difference, the strategies that individuals develop to navigate and negotiate their
multiple cultural worlds, and their self-identification. Personal narratives were elicited
through semi-structured interviews from 25 self-identified African American and 19
self-identified mixed ethnicity youth (18-22 years of age), focusing on their life
experiences as multi cultural individuals. Interviews were coded and then analyzed using
mixed methods of analysis. Results indicate relationships among diversity of the
participant's community of practice, level of perceived conflict and navigational
strategies, as well as among basis of differential marking, level of perceived conflict and
feelings of otherness. Results support the assumption that identification is not a static
outcome built through static stages, rather, it is a process that is shaped by contextual
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Jayanthi Mistry.
Committee: Calvin Gidney, Keith Maddox, and Christopher Lalonde.
Keyword: Developmental Psychology.read less