The Performance of Binationalism: A Study of Bilingually and Biculturally Raised Individuals’ National Identity Construction
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This Honours BA thesis explored how bilingually and biculturally raised individuals, whose parents have different national backgrounds, construct their national identity. In addition, how attitude towards this identity is formed and is part of the identity construction was also addressed. A questionnaire concerning attitude formation and an hourlong focus group on interactive identity construction have provided the data for the answers to the research questions. The results showed that the majority of the participants identified as binational and that factors such as significant others and upbringing influence how attitude towards identity is established. Moreover, it was found that national identity was constructed in interaction through the processes of self-identification and identity-ascription-by-others (Zhu, 2019), and (dis)identification with others (Messelink & Ten Thije, 2012). In practice, identity was discursively constructed through the tactics of intersubjectivity proposed by Bucholtz and Hall (2005b). The results suggested that the participants’ separate attitudes towards their nationalities in a specific interaction influenced how they performed their binational identity. Moreover, the binational identity was discursively constructed in such a way that its performance showed an inclination towards either nationality, depending on the interlocutor, conversation topic, and environment.