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The Crisis of Identity in a Multicultural Society: A Multicultural Reading of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay, on Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, deals with the characters’ identities and the influences of multiculturalism on their complex identities. It also discusses the role of the characters roots and history in constructing their identities and how they have made life problematic for the characters in multicultural London. The roots and history of the first generation of immigrants make problematic identities for the second generation in the novel. The main aim of this essay is to demonstrate the instability of identity as depicted in the novel. The characters in the novel cannot ‘’plan’’ their identities because it is a process which continues in all stages of life. Though the first generation of immigrants want to ‘’plan’’ an identity for their children (the second generation of immigrants), they are not successful. Because identity is a process and it is changeable based on place and time. The second generation of immigrants, who live in London, tries to mix the dominant culture (English culture) with their familial culture in order to have a different identity. They also want to escape from their family’s roots and history but it is difficult, because leaving roots is not an easy process. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
multiculturalism, Zadie Smith, identity, roots, history, culture, ethnicity, religion
National Category
General Literature Studies Cultural Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30710OAI: diva2:951421
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-09 Last updated: 2016-08-22Bibliographically approved

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