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Title: Being, learning and becoming at the borderlands : an ethnographic narrative research study looking at educational experiences of the Western Thrace minority group in Rodope, Greece
Author: Konidari, Eleni
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 3997
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is based on an ethnographic narrative inquiry with members of the Western Thrace minority group in Rodope, Greece. The study contributes to debates about minorities and education in Thrace, investigating how research participants’ ethnic and religious identifications, constructed as ‘Otherness’ have influenced their experiences in education. Drawing mainly on the Bourdiean theory of habitus and grounded on the concept of ‘narrative imagination’ (Andrews, 2014), the study explores the interrelations between being, learning and becoming. It investigates how participants’ sense of self and belonging and their aspirations play out in their educational narratives. The analysis is guided by issues of access and belonging to various spaces, physical and symbolic distances and movement between spaces. Data are drawn from three sources: narrative interviews with young and old people from Rodope, state archives from the 1950s and 1960s, and field notes from public events about minority education. This compilation of historical and contemporary, public and private narratives elucidates degrees of distance on the one hand, between the grand narratives of the Greek State and the minority group’s formal advocacy networks and on the other, the largely unheard small narratives that circulate in private spaces. The study argues for a holistic approach which takes conditions of being into the discussions of learning, while also opening up the understandings of what counts, for group members, as learning and learning spaces. Moreover, the thesis contributes to the unpacking of the notion of ‘minority’: it problematises the way the term is used in public discourse, and elucidates aspects of intra-group heterogeneity and power hierarchies. By breaking out of the normalised discourses and agendas the research suggests that the small stories might bring a change in the established way of doing minority politics in Thrace.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available