Is it Myth or Dilemma to Construct and Negotiate Identities in an Increasingly Changing and Diverse Global Context?

By Nish Belford.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review

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Identity is complex and it is difficult to come to terms with one’s identity when challenged by cross-cultural and migration transitions and the pressures of globalisation. From such perspectives, I define the terms ‘identity’, and ‘representation’ and how I situate the ‘self’ within such transitions and experiences. Discourses from cultural theorists such as: Zygmunt Bauman, Edward Said, Stuart Hall, Homi Bhabha, Arjun Appadurai and Edward Soja frame notions that support my arguments. My narratives and artworks make reference to my historical legacies, cultural and Diasporic inheritances, sense of belonging from home country and migration transitions. This journey underscores subjectivities in constructing my identities. I describe my own experiences and process of migration transitions to happen within a ‘liminal space,’ as I negotiate and adapt to new social and cultural structures. Through my discussion, I describe how it becomes important to “know who you are” and how to define new ‘spaces’ and parameters of identification and representation. The shifts in ‘spaces’, places’ and new social interaction, I argue indicates hybridity and ambivalences in situating the ‘self’. My arguments extend to reflect on how identity matters, and why it is significant to make it seem present and less as ‘dilemma’ or ‘myth’ in an increasingly diverse, changing and challenging global context.

Keywords: Cross-cultural Transitions, Identity Construction, Migration Transitions, Identity, Crisis, Nexuses of Space, Place and Time, Representation

The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 12, 2012, pp.43-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 45.082MB).

Dr. Nish Belford

PhD Student, School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

As a topic of research, I try to define my own perspective on culture and identity, which supports my inquiry in investigating how identity and culture are enacted through artistic expression.