From Shahrzad to Carrie Bradshaw: identity negotiation and impression management of an Iranian woman living in the United States

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Parviz, Elnaz
Ballard-Reisch, Deborah

This thesis is a qualitative autoethnography which analyzes the author's experiences as a female Iranian student in the American Midwest during a 3-year period, between 2014 to 2017. The author takes the readers through the daily challenges she faces adapting to a new culture, describes the transformation process of the beliefs she had previously formed based on exposure to American television, and tells the story of reinventing her identity using the new cultural and political freedom she has gained in the United States. Her epiphanies are analyzed within the framework of Identity Negotiation Theory (INT) and Impression Management Theory (IMT). The author uses her journals as data to provide illustrations of her assumptions, and applies theory to draw insights into her experiences. The narratives are written in the form of plots which include characters, conversations, and an emotional load. This research is a combination of science and art. The author hopes that by reading this work, others who are going through similar experiences can better understand their personal confusions and transformations.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Elliott School of Communication