Hybridity School dynamics Social class Community cohesion
Taylor & Francis
Faas, D. ‘Constructing Identities: the ethno-national and nationalistic identities of white and Turkish students in two English secondary schools’ in British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29, (1), 2008, pp 37-48
British Journal of Sociology of Education 29 1
This article investigates how 15-year-old white and Turkish students in two Inner London
comprehensive schools, one in a predominantly working-class area (Millroad School) and the
other in a more middle-class environment (Darwin School), construct their identities. Drawing
on mainly qualitative data from documentary sources, focus groups and semi-structured
interviews, the work points to a range of factors affecting identity formation processes, such
as macro-political approaches and school dynamics. The research found that at Millroad
School, which celebrated diversity and where students’ conflict was ethnic or racial, young
people found safety in their national(istic) identities. In contrast, at Darwin School, which
tried to integrate students on the basis of common British citizenship and where there was
only low-level ethnic conflict, young people developed hybrid ethno-national identities. This
article raises important questions about how to create community cohesion in conflictual
environments so as to promote both diversity and solidarity.
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