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"Those Asian Kids": Race/Ethnicity, Invisibility and Absence in an Australian Classroom
chapterposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Emma CharltonEmma Charlton
This chapter discusses a class of students at a middle school in Queensland, Australia. For some of these students, their race/ethnicity was named, and for others, it was not. This absence of naming saw hegemonic notions of Australian student identity at this school dominate: the students who were from parts of East Asia were named as “Asian”, while the rest were unnamed. In addition to an absence of race/ethnicity for the mainly White Anglo-Australian students in majority at this school, the naming of some students as ‘Asian’ rendered them in some ways visible, while also largely invisible as individuals in the class. Furthermore, there was an absence of options in these students’ classroom subjectivities. Using data from a mixed-method ethnographic year-long study, this chapter considers this space of the classroom, and the constrictions for how these young people could be as learners and individuals as a result of the construction of these students as racialised/ethnicised. It is simultaneously an unsettling observation and an attempt at unsettling the space/place of an Australian classroom.