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Title: Exploring views about racism in a secondary school : a participatory film making project involving young people
Author: Posada, Susan Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2007
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The Race Relations Amendment Act of 2000 and the DtES expect schools to have policies in place to address racial equality and to record and report racist incidents to the Local Authority. Despite this, racism is an occurrence in the lives of young people at secondary school but as yet little recent data is available which documents in detail the experiences of young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds in school. In addition little work has been conducted which attempts to draw out young people's views using participatory methods. Hence the aim of this study was to give a group of young people, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, within a largely white secondary school, an opportunity to address the issues related to racism that they saw as important and represent these in a way which could be shared with others. The research used a participatory methodology, the context of which involved young people making a short film about racism. They worked together over a period of nine weeks, with the researcher and a film maker, to research and shoot a documentary about racism. Interviews were conducted with the young people at two intervals during the film making project and a small number of senior staff were interviewed to obtain an overview of school policy and procedures. Observational notes were made during project sessions and young people were asked to keep creative journals to help guide their thought processes and record ideas. Film rushes, recorded production meeting data and interview data, were transcribed and analysed using an Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. The main findings indicated that these young people were experiencing racism in and outside of school. They expressed negative feeling associated with being victims of racism and reacted in a variety of ways. They were unclear about school policies and practices and wanted more action to be taken in school. Staff were unsure about the extent to which racism was a problem in school, as many incidents went unreported and they were unclear about how to deal with it. A degree of segregation of groups, particularly between white and Asian students, was reported by staff and students and moves to increase integration were seen as positive by many. Muslim students, particularly the boys, seemed to be the most in danger of segregation and were sensitive to negative feelings that might exist towards them post the events of 9/11 and 7/7. This research has clear implications for practice in school and the Local Authority, particularly because many incidents are not dealt with effectively and not reported, indicating that statistics about the number of racist incidents are likely to be inaccurate. The film the young people made has already been shown to Inclusion and Diversity Officers within the Local Authority, to Educational Psychologists, to school staff and all the students at the school. Some of the young people involved in the project have gone on to work with staff on a number of further initiatives in school, including developing a Race Equality Policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available