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Title: Justifying school and self : an ethnography on race recognition and viability in Ireland
Author: Kitching, Karl
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 8534
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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This study draws on theorisation of ethnographic data generated in a suburban Dublin community school, during the 2007/2008 school year. `Dromray', the pseudonym for the school, is situated in a region of county Dublin fictitiously named `Termonfort'. Termonfort has experienced some of the highest levels of change in population terms in Ireland in the past decade. Twenty-two percent of Termonfort's inhabitants are 'non- Irish nationals' according to the 2006 Census, which is double the country average. Between one and two days per week were spent in the school, particularly with Junior Certificate (3rd year, usually 15 year-old) students. Time was spent observing lessons and chatting with staff and students in the staffroom, on the corridor, on the yard and while going for lunch. Recorded interviews were also conducted with students and staff, and records of 3rd year student achievement on school-set tests were taken. The study analyses key school-social and global-local discursive relations that render institutional racism as a highly mobile process in meritocratic times. It puts forward the concept of racist effects as a means of analysing how 'race' (hierarchy), school and peer practices may be co-constructed in overt, but also oblique and contradictory ways. Concepts of global-state-school-exigency, subjectivation and identity performance, recognition and viability underpin these processess. The notion of (respectable) white- Irishness is put forward as an ambiguous normative core which is often re-effected both in oblique relations, but also directly through national/newcomer, good/bad migrant dichotomies. The study encourages a praxis which interrupts 'racist effects' with and beyond 'cause-effect' models of marginalised identities. This praxis requires the deployment of deconstructive strategies, which interrupt the privileging of white- Irishness co-constructed via self (e.g. class, gender, subculture) and school shifts (e.g. mixed ability banding and language support). The approach fundamentally demonstrates how Self and Other are situated, vulnerable and mutually implicated in processes of recognition and viability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available