This thesis explores what it means to be an ethnic minority and a gang member in the course of becoming a Canadian. It is based on narratives of first-generation Iranian immigrant youths who migrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, in the 1990s and created a gang called Persian Pride. The aim of this research is to explore how identities are constructed within the realms of meaning, representation and identification. It is premised on the argument that identities are social constructs, always stemming from historical and social relations of any given time and space. Here, identity is explored beyond mere personal choices; rather, it is conceptualized as a construct within relations of power and discourse, all of which had a profound impact on these young individuals’ understanding of their lives in the midst of exclusion and in their attempt to belong.
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Thesis advisor: Patton, Cindy
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