The role of immigrants' self identity in effective integration process into Finland
The purpose of this research is to study the role of immigrants’ identity in the process of effective integration into Finland. The research questions of the study explore (a) individual perceptions of self identity and effective integration into the host society from immigrants’ perspectives, (b) the impact of the integration process on immigrants’ self identity and (c) the identity changes of immigrants during the process of integration into the host society. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with six participants in Jyväskylä, Finland in order to best capture immigrants’ diverse life experiences reflecting identity issues during the integration process into the host society. After a detailed inductive thematic analysis, seven overarching themes emerged from the gathered data. The themes examine: (1) immigrants’ perceptions of self identity, (2) individuals’ definitions of successful integration into Finland and contributing factors, (3) effects of integration process on immigrants’ self identity, (4) role changes of immigrants and its impact on self identity, (5) dilemmas associate with identity and integration process, (6) immigrants’ belongingness to the host society along with supporting and hindering factors and (7) immigrants’ attitudes towards counseling concerning self identity. The findings show that immigrants’ self identity acts as both help and hindrance in the process of integration into Finland. In addition, the integration process also has a prominent impact on immigrants’ self identity as well in terms of identity conflicts, changes and development. This study concludes with a discussion of theoretical understanding of the findings, limitations and implications for future research. ...
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