Discovery, Construction, Disclosure: Some Factors in the Developing Religious Identity of Children and Young People from Diverse Faith Backgrounds

In: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 33
Eleanor Nesbitt
Search for other papers by Eleanor Nesbitt in
Current site
Google Scholar
Elisabeth Arweck
Search for other papers by Elisabeth Arweck in
Current site
Google Scholar

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



During successive ethnographic studies, based at the University of Warwick, children and young people have articulated their religious identities. This article reflects retrospectively on elements in the identity formation of children and young people from a range of ethnic and faith backgrounds. With particular reference to religion, but also noting other aspects such as ethnicity and caste, this article examines the children’s and young people’s disclosures of their identities and whether they are discovering or constructing them. Their articulations of identity suggest changes and continuities for individuals during their school years, as well as similarities and divergences between the experience of individuals from diverse backgrounds and over several decades. They reveal the situational and interactive aspect of identity and of self-differentiation from ‘others’, the contribution of family members, supplementary classes, school (teachers and peers), of technology and of the researcher. The research interview, it is suggested, both facilitates young people’s articulation of their identity and exemplifies the encounter-based narrations that cumulatively constitute identity.

  • Collapse
  • Expand


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 149 149 14
Full Text Views 7 7 4
PDF Views & Downloads 0 0 0