In recent times, and in times of insurgent globalisation, modern notions of identity and with them, conceptions of essential and primordially defined difference seem to have fallen apart. Identity is understood as postmodern, a 'moveable feast' of ever-in-process, negotiated differences. The examination of the material and conceptual terms and conditions that position these logics otherwise suggests that these arguments remain tied within conceptions of ourselves made through the ambivalent conceptions of others. In this paper, I trace these paradoxical relations as they are represented in a particular local Melbourne school at each end of a decade and at a time of increasing demographic change and global transformation. Teachers and parents understood and defined their identities and the identities of others in ways that were increasingly fragmented, changing and complex. Beneath these changing patterns, they continued to define others as different and as not us in ways that were ambivalent and extreme. These negotiations took place differently in recent years as the definitions of essential notions of identity changed and became more complex to define. Nevertheless, they continued as ambivalent stories of otherness that transversed the tortuous spectrum between orientalism and nativism speculated upon in post-colonial writings.
Field of Research
220202 History and Philosophy of Education
Socio Economic Objective
970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
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