Religious Social Identities in the Hybrid Self-presentations of Sikh Businesspeople


Purchase S, Ellis N, Mallett O & Theingi T (2018) Religious Social Identities in the Hybrid Self-presentations of Sikh Businesspeople. British Journal of Management, 29 (1), pp. 99-117.

This paper explores the identity work practices of Thai Sikh businesspeople. The paper focuses on two important social identities in participants’ self‐presentations – those derived from religious (Sikh) and western business discourses – and identifies powerful tensions in their hybrid identity work. Conducting discourse analysis on identity work practices within interview settings, the authors explore how participants resolve, accommodate or reject these discursive tensions while attempting stable and coherent hybrid self‐presentations. They identify several different forms of hybridity, including what they term ‘equipollence’, which occurs when two equally powerful, contradictory discourses are incorporated in self‐presentations, producing potentially irresolvable intersections and leading to a lack of coherence. Contributions are made to the literatures on religion and work, hybrid identity work processes and social identities.

religion; identity; hybrid; equipollence; Sikh; Western business; discourse

British Journal of Management: Volume 29, Issue 1

FundersUniversity of Durham
Publication date31/01/2018
Publication date online06/12/2017
Date accepted by journal04/10/2017