Crafter, Sarah and Abreu, Guida de
Constructing identities in multicultural learning contexts.
Mind, Culture and Activity, 17(2),
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In this article we examine two concepts that aid our understanding of processes of identification in multiethnic schools. The first concept focuses on the complementarity of “three processes of identity” (identifying the other, being identified, and self-identification). This is brought together with the concept of sociocultural coupling introduced to examine the co-constructions of changes in practices (across places and times) and changes in identification. The analysis draws on an interview with a pupil, Monifa, a Black African (Nigerian) girl (aged 10 years), and on an interview with a Pakistani teacher, Shazia. Although Shazia and Monifa belonged to different generations (i.e., a pupil/daughter and a teacher/mother) and different cultural groups (British-born Black African and Pakistani Kashmiri), the same identity processes could be applied to the data. They both articulated accounts of “identifying the other,” “being identified,” and “self-identification,” which emphasized their transitions between cultural practices and multiple communities. Furthermore, we propose that sociocultural coupling has enabled us to understand the means by which aspects of cultural practices borrowed from home and school allows them to reproduce aspects of their home cultural identity and at other times to transform these identities.
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