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Greek-Cypriot teachers' constructions of Turkish-speaking children's identities : critical race theory and education in a conflict-ridden society

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Zembylas, Michalinos

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Abstract This article examines Greek-Cypriot teachers' constructions of Turkish-speaking children's identities in the Greek-Cypriot educational system. Drawing on interviews and classroom observations from a two-year ethnographic study conducted in three primary schools in the Republic of Cyprus, the author explores how Turkish-speaking children enrolled in these schools are racialised, ethnicised and classed within the dominant discourse of Greek-Cypriot teachers. The article discusses how the homogenised perceptions expressed by the majority of participating teachers in this study are illustrative of structural racism that reinforces these constructions in teaching practices. Yet at the same time, resistance is present in the discourse and practice of a few teachers; this resistance is expressed through a counter-positioning of the 'normal/ised' identities of Turkish-speaking children. The author argues that without structural transformation, the fact and practice of racism/ nationalism/ classism will go unaltered in schools.
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Macroanalysis of the Education System, Economics of Education, Educational Policy; Social Problems
Free Keywords racism; Cyprus; schools; identity; ethnography; resistance; nationalism; education; ethnic conflict; multiculturalism
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 1372-1391
Journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33 (2010) 8
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)