Exploring Third Spaces: Negotiating Identities and Cultural Differences

By Isti Siti Saleha Gandana.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In today's world, our sense of 'who we are' and 'where we belong' has been disrupted by global movements such as globalization and migration. Based on a qualitative approach, this study investigated the experience of living in different cultures and its impact on the participants' sense of identity. Using Bhabha's notion of the third space as its major theoretical framework and narrative inquiry as its main methodological tool, it specifically aims to explore processes of identity formation in the 'new space'.
The participants' stories revealed three interrelated patterns that can be seen as indicative of the opening up and occupation of the third space: crossing the border, expressing ambivalence, and forming new consciousnesses. Their narratives, however, also indicated different degrees of 'identity abrasion' and seemingly different kinds of third spaces, which raises a number of fundamental questions that remain to be answered. These individual cases are expected to serve as a basis for entering into and understanding larger social structures, providing a pathway to learn better about ourselves, others, and the world.

Keywords: Third Space, Identity Formation, Cultural Differences, Hybridization, Homi Bhabha

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.143-150. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 529.353KB).

Isti Siti Saleha Gandana

Lecturer, English Department, Indonesia University of Education, Melbourne, Indonesia

Isti Siti Saleha Gandana is a lecturer at the English Department of Indonesia University of Education. Her academic interests range from cultural studies, literature, gender equity in education to exploring innovative language teaching, especially in the context of teaching English as a foreign language. She is currently working towards her Master degree at the Faculty of Education at Monash University in Australia through the sponsorship of Australian Development Scholarship, conducting research on identity and culture. Her interests in the issues of identity and culture have particularly been influenced by personal experience of living in Austria for eight years.

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