Who is `us`? Students negotiating discourses of racism and national identification in Australia

McLeod, Julie and Yates, Lyn 2003, Who is `us`? Students negotiating discourses of racism and national identification in Australia, Race, ethnicity and education, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 29-49, doi: 10.1080/1361332022000044576.

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Title Who is `us`? Students negotiating discourses of racism and national identification in Australia
Author(s) McLeod, Julie
Yates, Lyn
Journal name Race, ethnicity and education
Volume number 6
Issue number 1
Start page 29
End page 49
Publisher Carfax
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2003-03
ISSN 1361-3324
Summary This article explores the political beliefs and the forms of reasoning about racism, national identity and Other developed by young Australian women and men from different ethnic and class backgrounds. The interviews on which the discussion is based are drawn from a larger longitudinal study of Australian secondary school students which examines how young people develop their sense of self and social values over time. The present article has two overall purposes: to add to understandings of how the cultural logic of racism functions in one national setting, and to consider political reasoning about race and ethnicity in relation to processes of young people's identity positioning. Three main lines of argument are developed. The first concerns students' positioning of themselves vis-a `-vis the current 'race debate' in Australia, and in relation to us as researchers, including their negotiation of the protocols for speaking about 'race' and racism. This includes consider ation of the methodological and political effects of white Anglo women asking questions about racism and ethnicity to ethnic minority students who are routinely constituted as 'Other': what blindnesses and silences continue to operate when posing questions about racism directly? A second and related focus is the range of emotional responses evoked by asking questions about racism and about an Australian politician (Pauline Hanson), who has been prominent in race debates. Third, the authors examine young people's construction of 'us and them' binaries and hierarchies of Otherness and whiteness. They argue throughout that reasoning about race, national identity and Others, and the taking up of 'political positions', is intimately linked to identity formation and to how we imagine ourselves in the present, the past and the future.
Notes Online Publication Date: 01 March 2003
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/1361332022000044576
Field of Research 160809 Sociology of Education
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2003, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002138

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