Cultural Identity; The eternal interplay of the cultural selves A Comparative Analysis of Cultural Identity Perceptions among Refugees and Expats in the Netherlands
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This study aims to investigate the impact of immigration and acculturation on the development and expression of cultural identity and inclusion among expats and refugees living in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The research question focuses on the extent to which the perception of expats' cultural identity is influenced by the time of adjustment in a new environment in the Netherlands. The study further investigates the U-curve acculturation process and the perception of inclusion within the local community of Utrecht. A qualitative research design was used, which involved conducting in-depth interviews with ten participants to explore their experiences of cultural adjustment and development of cultural identity over time. The analysis revealed several themes related to cultural identity, including internal curiosity, family heritage, stigma, and religion. Participants also reported on the challenges of the acculturation process, including language, cultural perception, and community integration. Furthermore, the study revealed feelings of nostalgia and cultural bereavement related to the loss of the participants' original culture. The findings suggest that cultural adjustment is a complex and dynamic process that requires a supportive and inclusive environment. The study has implications for future research in exploring the experiences of expat and refugee individuals in different cultural contexts and the impact of acculturation on mental health.
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