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Adoptions across identity borders: the right to cultural identity in context: the case of England, Germany and Italy

Zagrebelsky, Laura (2012) Adoptions across identity borders: the right to cultural identity in context: the case of England, Germany and Italy. MPhil thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This dissertation analyses the phenomenon of adoptions across identity borders and the right to cultural identity in England, Germany and Italy. Drawing from legislation, parliamentary, academic and public debates, newspapers and case law, I argue that adoptions across identity borders and the right to cultural identity are interpreted and performed in each country in a way that is significantly affected by the context and social narratives about identity, childhood, family and national identity. I first introduce the issue of children’s right to cultural identity. Analysis of the literature on multiculturalism and the problems of minorities within minorities highlights that less attention has been given to the situations of children than has been given to those of women. I argue that the reason why the situations of children have been less analysed is due to the special situations of children as individuals lacking autonomy. The right of children to their cultural identity is further complicated by the fact that they are in a phase of life in which they are still developing an identity. In this dissertation, I adopt a narrative identity approach. This approach places identity in context and highlights the influence of the surrounding social narrative on individual identities. I, therefore, examine the phenomenon of adoption across identity borders and the social narratives that surround it. These social narratives are not universal, but depend on the specific national context. Drawing from the history of citizenship and approaches to multiculturalism in the three countries analysed, I provide a comparison of the different social narratives on national identity in England, Germany and Italy, and their approach to diversity. I then analyse how, in these three countries, the phenomenon of adoptions across identity is, and has been, performed, and how the right to cultural identity has developed and is interpreted.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Additional Information: © 2012 Laura Zagrebelsky
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Sets: Research centres and groups > Gender Institute
Supervisor: Phillips, Anne and Lacey, Nicola
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/451

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