Perceptions, experiences and accommodations of Britishness; an exploration of national identity amongst young British Sikhs and Hindus in London
This paper is centred on exploring how young people from Sikh and Hindu backgrounds, who are British born and living in the London area understand Britishness. By utilising transcripted interviews from eighty respondents, this research uncovers and presents the core perceptions and understandings that these young people have about British national identity and the ways in which it is accommodated (or not) alongside other important sources of belonging in their lives. This paper presents the diverse ways in which these young people understand Britishness. In particular, 'thick' and 'thin' conceptualisations of Britishness and the role of family structures in shaping belonging are examined. It is suggested that any discussion of how ethnic minorities relate to national identity requires a better understanding of the diverse ways in which this form of identity is understood and accommodated. This, in turn, will encourage a more inclusive and productive debate on the role of national identity in multi-cultural Britain. This is particularly salient in a post-Brexit Britain where the themes of nationality and belonging have been brought into the socio-political fore once more, and newer immigrants are facing the challenges of feeling included and becoming British.