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ERIC Number: EJ838914
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0010-4086
Working toward the De-Essentialization of Identity Categories in Conflict and Postconflict Societies: Israel, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland
Bekerman, Zvi; Zembylas, Michalinos; McGlynn, Claire
Comparative Education Review, v53 n2 p213-234 May 2009
During the past decade, the authors have conducted research in their own countries, all of which are considered conflict or postconflict societies: Israel, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland. They have focused on a variety of topics related to peace education, reconciliation, and coexistence. Giving special emphasis to the formation of identity in educational settings, two of them have investigated primarily in integrated schools (in Israel and Northern Ireland), while the third has conducted research in multicultural schools (in Cyprus). The authors believe that a comparative study of these three settings is valuable because such juxtaposition helps to conceptualize how some aspects of identity are developed in practice in the countries in question (Phillips and Schweisfurth 2006). In this article, the authors examine the ways in which educators engage in educational initiatives geared toward peace, coexistence, and/or conflict resolution and consider the implications for such initiatives if children's perspectives were taken into consideration. They first summarize the similarities and differences with respect to the sources of conflict in the three societies. Then they offer short descriptions of the educational initiatives under examination and the sociopolitical contexts within which they have evolved. After discussing their methodology, they present three vignettes--from the considerable amount of data gathered--to exemplify the spheres in which identity makes its appearance and the ways educational staff and students attend to and construe it. Finally, they offer an interpretation of these issues and critically consider possible solutions to the essentializing practices that they unveil. (Contains 13 footnotes.)
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Cyprus; Israel; United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)