Understanding the impact of Greek and Pakistani community schools on the development of ethnic minority young persons’ cultural and academic identities
SubjectsR930 Other European Societies and Cultures
T430 Other Asian Society and Culture studies
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThis study investigates the processes through which attendance at a community school affects the development of cultural and academic identities of Greek/Greek-Cypriot and Pakistani ethnic minority young people who live in the United Kingdom. The development of cultural and academic identities by community school students is a relatively underesearched and undertheorized area. The theoretical framework of this study draws on developments in cultural developmental theory (Valsiner, 2000a) and the dialogical self theory (Hermans, 2001 a) to understand the cultural and dialogical nature of the processes through which ethnic minority young people develop their identities in community schools. Both theories are influenced by dynamic perspectives on development and have tried to explain psychological phenomena in relation to the sociocultural context. Episodic interviews, drawings and group work were the tools for data collection and multiple perspectives (students', parents' and teachers') were investigated. This small-scale research took place in a Greek and a Pakistani community school. The pupils, both girls and boys, were adolescents aged 13 to 18 years. The findings suggest that the young people in both groups were moving towards multiple, hybrid identities through a dialogical negotiation of aspects of differences! similarities and belonging within their majority and minority communities as well as living in a multicultural society. This negotiation resulted in a multivoiced hybrid identity which emerged through a constant positioning and re-positioning within their communities and school contexts. For the participants in the Pakistani school this negotiation was a struggle shaped by issues of racism and religious discrimination. In this context, the Pakistani school mainly aimed to increase self-confidence and strengthen the students' sense of minority cultural identity, especially the religious aspect of it, whereas the Greek school mainly aimed to preserve the community's cultural identity which was considered to be threatened by assimilation. In both community schools, a strong academic identity was endorsed which had a double function -to foster the acquisition of both knowledge and skills relevant to community education and those relevant to mainstream and higher education. This study demonstrated the value of examining community schools within contrasting communities, and its findings have implications for Psychology and Education.
CitationProkopiou, E. (2007) 'Understanding the impact of Greek and Pakistani community schools on the development of ethnic minority young persons’ cultural and academic identities'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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