Negotiating "cultural" identities: exploration of young Asian women's racialized-gendered experiences and mental well-being
thesisposted on 2021-05-24, 11:06 authored by Maria Krisel Abulencia
Explanations of mental health outcomes of Asian women in diaspora are often invoked through the concepts of “culture” and “acculturation” with little consideration of asymmetric power relations and structural influences. Informed by critical theories and a narrative approach, this secondary research analyzed data of an exploratory study with fourteen 1.5 and second generation young Asian women living in Toronto, Canada. Research results include: (1) identity construction is a complex process shaped by participants’ experiences in both the “mainstream” and “heritage” contexts; (2) participants’ encounters of racialized-sexism, microaggressions, and “Othering” contributed to varying degrees of internalized oppressions, which compromised their mental well-being; (3) family support and community engagement enhanced participants’ positive self-concept and resilience; and (4) current conceptualizations of “acculturation” and “enculturation” are inadequate as they negate the structural determinants of integration. Nursing research, policy and practice must consider the effects of structural factors in identity construction and mental well-being.