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Globalization and the Identity Remix Among Urban Adolescents in India


  • This research was funded by a U.S. Fulbright Research Scholarship in India from the United States Department of State to the last author. The authors wish to thank members of the faculty at Maharashtra Institute of Technology and Sunit A. Bhatewara for their invaluable assistance with this project. We also express gratitude to all of the school principals, teachers, and students who participated in our research and were so generous with their time and thoughts.

Correspondence can be addressed to the first and last authors at and Requests for reprints should be sent to Mrinalini A. Rao, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1310 South Sixth Street, Room 288, Champaign, IL 61820. E-mail:


This study examined adolescents' perceptions of cultural change and identity development during an age of globalization in India. Analyses of data from 1497 Indian, urban, middle-class 12–15-year-olds (46% girls) revealed that these youth were aware of changes in their daily lives due to globalization and evaluated such changes in a pragmatic light of losses, gains, and a need for adaptation. Furthermore, results showed adolescents remained strongly identified with traditional Indian collectivist beliefs, values, and practices but also identified and participated in individualistic, “minority world” beliefs, values, and practices as well. Findings revealed that a blending of traditional- and minority-world identity elements (the identity remix) was a common response to globalization among urban middle-class adolescents in India today.

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