A case study on Syrian forced migrant adolescents' acculturation strategies and identity perceptions in a Turkish educational context

Tiryaki, Senanur
The number of people transcending national borders has increased due to manifold factors. The global movements have become a matter of deep concern as they have multifaceted results. This study thus primarily aimed to explore the acculturation practices of Syrian forced migrant adolescents together with how they construct their identities as a learner and present the language preferences of these adolescents. The current thesis embraced the tenets of Social Identity Theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979) and the Acculturation Framework (Berry, 1997). By employing the principles of qualitative case study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a total of 15 participants, 11 Syrian students and four teachers of them to triangulate the data. The age of the student participants ranged between 13 and 17 years old. They were studying at School A in Ankara, and the teacher participants were teaching at the same school. The thematic data analysis unveiled that most of the forced migrant adolescents showed integration into the host society. The participants’ acculturative practices are affected positively by parental factors, length of residence in Turkey, helpful peers and other Turkish people, and absence of war in Turkey. Also, stereotypes about Syrian people, discrimination, social exclusion, financial difficulties, and paucity of interaction with Turkish people were repeatedly accentuated as integration-impeding factors. As the themes revealed, hybrid identity, Syrian identity, and in-betweenness reflected the participants’ identity perceptions. The students’ language practices at home were largely conducted in their native language, whereas they mostly preferred Turkish in other contexts. Lastly, some applicable implications are presented in order to support multicultural classrooms.


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Citation Formats
S. Tiryaki, “A case study on Syrian forced migrant adolescents’ acculturation strategies and identity perceptions in a Turkish educational context,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2022.