Talking to Myself: The influence of internal conversations on second-generation Caribbean immigrants in the Turks and Caicos Islands who are first-generation university attendees

Ambrister, Barbara
(2020) Talking to Myself: The influence of internal conversations on second-generation Caribbean immigrants in the Turks and Caicos Islands who are first-generation university attendees. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Internal conversations are carried on by individuals on a daily basis. These conversations interrogate and evaluate the performance, desires, aspirations, values, and actions of individuals in quest of their life goals. The social or human capital immigrants possess when they transition to a new abode determines to a large degree how easy their transition is and, hence, the opportunities readily available and accessible to them. It is against this backdrop that we see second-generation Turks and Caicos Islanders engage in higher education as the vehicle to achieve their desired identity. It is posed that they manoeuvre and negotiate their progress, not externally based on structure, but internally, through the process of reflexivity. Subsequently, exercising their agency to obtain their desired goal. Influencing these internal conversations are identity issues, where the duality of native and host values is interrogated against the established habitus to enable immigrants to assimilate or acculturate based on their overall needs. The study investigates the linkages between second-generation Caribbean immigrants, who are first-generation university attendees’, progress through higher education, examining the interactions and influences of reflexivity and habitus, structure and agency in their movement. Specifically, considering the use of internal conversations as the main arbitrator in the process. This is a mixed-methods study using multiple research paradigms to shed light on students’ internal conversation and use of agency through narratives obtained from interviews and subsequent thematic analysis. Margaret Archer’s theory of reflexivity and Pierre Bourdieu’s habitus were applied to the findings and used to discuss the presence or absence of internal conversations in the participants’ journeys. The overall use of internal conversations as evidenced when participants were challenged with family, ambition and financial issues alongside issues such as sense-of-belonging and context continuity, and how religious, family and cultural habitus were negotiated in order to embrace the morphogenesis resulting from this higher education experience. Over time, participants’ internal conversations changed based on the attainment of their desired goals. There are indications that known characteristics of certain individuals such as their immigrant or working-class status and admission through widening participation may benefit from academic training. This training might include agency and structure collaboration, diversity and inclusion perspectives, and other academic processes to ease their transition into the higher education arena.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2021 16:19
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:29
DOI: 10.17638/03103911
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