Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood
ISSN 1463-9491

Volume 9 Number 2 2008

 


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Interpreting Children's Constructions of their Ethnicity

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Drawing upon post-structural and post-colonial theories, this study is an investigation into the ways in which five classes of first-grade children (six and seven year olds) in Florida and Hawaii talked about their ethnicities in a video pen pal project. The qualitative methods utilized in this research were participant observation, interviews, and videotaping. The resulting analysis notes that the children in the five different schools talked about their ethnicities differently (ethnicity only, hyphenated ethnic-national identity, or national identity only). Four themes emerge from the analysis related to multicultural education, real-life racism, national identity, and shifting subjectivities. Emphasized in the analysis and interpretation is the importance of situating children's talk about ethnicity within local contexts, acknowledging the multiple and fluid nature of individual subjectivities, and recognizing their location within ideological discourses.


To cite this article

DONNA J. GRACE (2008) Interpreting Children's Constructions of their Ethnicity, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 9(2), 131-147. http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/ciec.2008.9.2.131

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