Editor's Highlights: Immigrant youths negotiating conflicting norms
Living in and between two normative contexts, second generation immigrant youths experience normative conflict. In the February 2010 edition of Sociology Compass, Giguère, Lalonde and Lou explore how second generation immigrant youth of Canada respond to normative conflict regarding their intimate relationships.
Actions of immigrant youths occur within two normative frameworks: the heritage culture and the mainstream culture. Recent immigrants to Canada tend to be from Eastern cultures that reject individualism, which can conflict with the mainstream Western culture. Norm acquisition is different for second generation youth, who have limited experiences of their heritage culture as compared to their parents. Frame-switching and situated identity allow the youth to negotiate two normative frameworks in many situations. However, this is not the case when selecting partners for intimate relationships. Here the family’s heritage-based norms and society’s mainstream norms cannot be selectively applied and the gap between them produces conflict. Giguère, Lalonde and Lou explore the implications of this gap for second generation immigrant youths, given the importance of norms in social life.