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ERIC Number: EJ921747
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1745-7823
Racism, "Race" and Ethnographic Research in Multicultural Italy
Gobbo, Francesca
Ethnography and Education, v6 n1 p9-27 2011
This article is divided into two parts: in the first one, after mentioning episodes of violence against immigrants, the author discusses the issues of "race" and racism within the debate on immigration and diversity taking place in Italy. Pointing out a number of relevant indications and reflections that qualify such debate, she argues that the concern of Italian researchers, educators and citizens about the resurgence of racism must be understood with reference to the historical, philosophical and scientific perspectives that aimed to disunite humanity, on the one hand; on the other, in the light of Italy's history of racist ideology and its impact on education, during Fascism. Both research paths justified exclusion and exploitation of populations on the basis of a naturalistic classification whose null denotation has been definitely proved by recent biological and genetic evidence. In the second part, and with regard to contemporary times and changes brought about by immigration to Italy, the author presents and comments Italian legislation on the education of immigrant children and underlines how it views diversity as a resource and an asset that can promote mutual respect and intercultural dialogue in multicultural classrooms. However she warns about the risk of naturalising ethnic and cultural diversity and fixing the new pupils and students, as well as their families, to predetermined cultural "scripts". Acknowledging that the perspective of anthropology of education and the ethnographic approach are of relevance in understanding the complexity of teacher-pupils and peer interaction in a multicultural classroom as well as the influence of the cultural rules and habits of the school on learning by immigrants' or Roma children, she supports her view through ethnographic research conducted among Sikh youth in the North and among the Roma in a Turin school. Her conclusions stress the intellectual contribution of ethnographic research to a thorough questioning of "race" and "racial" theories and of naturalisation of cultures. (Contains 25 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy