In the last decade, a growing empirical work has focused on adaptation processes of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries who live in the West, particularly Muslim youth born and/or educated in Western countries. The current study explored how Muslim boys and girls immigrated from Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan negotiate their identity on the base of interiorized social and cultural in-group norms associated to the representation of a “good” son and a “good” daughter within the resettlement society. Participants were 45 Muslim immigrant adolescents (30 females, 15 males) coming from Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan, who were interviewed through an in-depth semi-structured interview. Thematic analysis carried out on the interview transcripts permitted to identify four themes and thirteen subthemes, revealing interesting differences based on participants’ gender and country of origin. The quality of being obedient and respectful of parents’ desires was a significant common topic among all participants, although it was differently articulated by girls and boys. For girls, norms and expectations were strictly modeled around staying at home and preserving heritage culture. For boys, a heavy mandate—that is, gaining educational success in order to become the breadwinner—weights on them. Implications of these gender-based challenges are discussed in relation to specific vulnerabilities experienced by young Muslims living in Western society.
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