Researching ethnic minority lives in multicultural contexts: A methodological inquiry in acculturation

Shahid KARIM, Ming Tak HUE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to outline the experience of choosing an appropriate methodology from the potential qualitative methods for studying acculturative experiences amongst a group of non-Chinese young people in Hong Kong. It delineates the reasons for choosing phenomenography for researching their lived acculturative experiences. The paper also briefly explains the advantages of phenomenographic research and advocates it as a potential qualitative method for investigating diverse trajectories of acculturative experiences amongst ethnic minority/immigrant populations in multicultural contexts. 

Design/methodology/approach: Researchers have investigated the acculturation of immigrant youth across settlement societies using different theoretical frameworks, approaches, scales, surveys and questionnaires. However, little attention has been given to the research methodologies that focus on lived human experiences across acculturating groups. By adopting an integrative literature review approach, this paper examines phenomenography as one of the potential qualitative research methods to explore ethnic minority lives in multicultural contexts. 

Findings: Given that acculturation is a heterogeneous social phenomenon, phenomenography can help address the issues and limitations inherent to the traditional methodological approaches to studying acculturation amongst youth with ethnic minority and immigrant backgrounds. 

Practical implications: Researchers in comparative, intercultural and multicultural education may benefit from phenomenography by exploring the different ways immigrants and ethnic minority populations experience acculturation in multicultural contexts. 

Originality/value: This paper outlines the authors' first-hand experiences who sought to identify an appropriate qualitative research method for studying acculturative experiences amongst a group of non-Chinese secondary school students in Hong Kong. Based on their extensive research experiences in the interpretative research tradition, the authors propose phenomenography as a promising method for exploring the diverse trajectories of acculturation amongst ethnic minority and immigrant youth in multicultural contexts. Copyright © 2022 Emerald Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Education and Development
Volume24
Issue number3/4
Early online dateSep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2022

Citation

Karim, S., & Hue, M. T. (2022). Researching ethnic minority lives in multicultural contexts: A methodological inquiry in acculturation. International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, 24(3/4), 177-192. doi: 10.1108/IJCED-11-2021-0119

Keywords

  • Phenomenography
  • Qualitative research
  • Acculturative experiences
  • Culture learning approach
  • Ethnic minority lives
  • Multicultural contexs

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