“I am a Swede born in Bosnia with roots from Montenegro” - Communication and identity development for second generation immigrants in Sweden – a pilot study
This paper represents a study regarding identity and communication of second generation immigrants in Sweden. The mediated kind of communication used by the informants, their common social activities and their self-perceived identity were the aspects explored in order to establish the stage of integration into the majority. The study is based on the four stages minority group identity development theory: unexamined identity, conformity, resistance and separatism, integration. In this paper second generation immigrants are referred to as the minority. The hypothesis formulated at the beginning of this study was that second generation immigrants resist the majority by forming their own group with own culture, different from the native Swedish one. The research was conducted through ten structured interviews, some of them enriched with additional information provided by answering spontaneous auxiliary questions, according to each informant’s case. The study revealed integration of the target group into the majority and the typical means of communication mentioned by the informants outlined a type of youth culture rather than a non-Swedish culture. Therefore in this case communication reinforces identity and facilitates integration, contrary to the formulated hypothesis. Second generation immigrants have a clear image of their mixed identity, of their minority group and of the majority group, typical for the integration stage. The study concludes that the aspects of communication studied affect positively the development of identity for second generation immigrants and help their integration into the majority.