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Identity, boundary and schooling: perspectives on the experiences and perceptions of refugee children
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:39 authored by Leslie Bash
In assuming ethnic/national identity as problematic, we examine its dynamic aspects in the context of refugee children and their educational experiences. While the starting point of our analysis is a deconstruction of ethnic/national identity in conventional terms of language, religion, education etc., the emerging focus is the notion of boundary. On the one hand, we look at the relevance of fluid boundaries for identity formation, while on the other hand, the experience of crossing boundaries will also be examined, particularly in the case of forced migration and displacement. Boundaries are conceptualised in the context of a continuum in which the experiences of refugee children range across school, home, locality and country. To illustrate the central arguments two case studies will be highlighted: a child refugee from Kosovo, the older of two brothers arriving in the UK about four years ago, who now attends a north London primary school; and several young minors, mainly from Kosovo, who attend a youth club in south London. Preliminary observations of the child, together with subsequent small group discussions and semi-structured interviews, serve to identify how the child relates to the various spaces in the school. The analysis of his drawings forms the main part of the argument. In the case of the youth club users, observations and conversations show how these young people construct their individual and social identities by accessing global resources in response to local interests.
Publication titleIntercultural Education
PublisherTaylor & Francis