Identity experiences of black people in the Netherlands

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Peer-Reviewed Research


Abstract: In this study, we used the tri-dimensional model of identity and acculturation strategies to explore how black people living in the Netherlands define themselves We used a qualitative survey design in which 14 participants (females = 8; age range 21 to 58) completed open-ended questions about their experiences of being black in the Netherlands Data was analysed using hermeneutic phenomenology in three steps: naive understanding, structural analysis, and comprehensive understanding We derived several main themes: Acceptance; Inclusion; Stereotypes; Social membership; Personspecific characteristics; Separation (Contributors); and Social Status We associated the themes Acceptance, Inclusion, and Separation (Contributors) with acculturation and acculturative strategies The other themes can be connected to the tri-dimensional identity model Social membership and Social status are related to the social and relational aspects of identity, while Person-specific characteristics can be linked to personal identity Lastly, the theme Stereotypes can be related to both acculturation and racism, but also personal identity as it shows how the participants perceive their self-concept to contradict the beliefs that mainstream Dutch society holds about them We conclude that identity construction among the black respondents was reliant on both their ethnic community membership and their membership of the mainstream Dutch community.