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I am just me!: Children talking beyond ethnic and religious identities
Stockholm University, The Stockholm Institute of Education, Department of Curriculum Studies and Communication .
2009 (English)In: Childhood, ISSN 0907-5682, E-ISSN 1461-7013, Vol. 16, no 1, 31-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores how five children born in Sweden whose parents were born in Iran talk about their own cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and the role these play in their lives. The different ways in which they do so exemplify the complexity involved in the ongoing construction and performance of identities when certain identity options seem compulsory while others are made unavailable to them. The findings show that agency and choice are crucial issues for these children, and that they resist oversimplification, reductionism and categorization based on their cultural or ethnic backgrounds. Furthermore they draw attention to the fact that their reflective choices and self-chosen identities are often challenged both at home and in their schools. This study is intended to expand knowledge of children's lives and experiences and would be useful for both teachers and other professionals working with children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 16, no 1, 31-48 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24605DOI: 10.1177/0907568208101689OAI: diva2:197869
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7210Available from: 2007-11-22 Created: 2007-11-22 Last updated: 2010-07-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Negotiating Identities: Exploring children’s perspectives on themselves and their lives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Negotiating Identities: Exploring children’s perspectives on themselves and their lives
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation consists of four empirical studies as well as a framework of intersecting perspectives. The aim of this thesis is to describe and explain children’s perspectives of themselves and their lives within and outside of the school walls: at home, and in their diaries on the internet.

To illuminate children’s perspectives and experiences an ethnographic approach is used: data is collected from a range of sources such as observations, informal conversations and frequent interviews, as well as texts written by children in school and on the Internet.

The dissertation has been written within the framework of various intersecting theoretical and methodological perspectives, with a steady focus on children’s involvement in the formation of new meanings in their own social sphere. It is inspired by the sociology of childhood, as theorised by William Corsaro, but it also relies on Bronwyn Davies’ and Stuart Hall’s theories which regard identities as fluid and ongoing processes.

The common goal of the investigations is the study of children’s perspectives on themselves and their own lives, with the aim of contributing to new methodologies for understanding child and youth culture. Children are in focus as research collaborators and encouraged to take the initiative in introducing themes that are of interest to them. Asking children to contribute with knowledge they considered to be important to them is the thesis’ overall strategy for making sense of children’s lives and their concerns.

The main view of children is traditionally related to their dependency on the protection of, and provision from adults. As a result, we frequently get caught in the trap of viewing childhood as a period of deficiency and children as immature and incompetent individuals who are disconnected from the social world. On the contrary, studies in this thesis focus on the social and cultural capacity of children in constructing their own meanings and negotiating their own identities. The use of the term “negotiating” is intended to draw attention to the fact that although children are exposed to different cultural identities in many ways, they do not passively adopt them. Rather, they make use of negotiations in order to modify and alter limitations to their identities and are actively involved in constructing new perceptions and possibilities in relation to their social positions and cultural identities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: HLS Förlag, 2007. 139 p.
Studies in educational sciences, ISSN 1400-478X ; 105
Children, perspective, identity, school and Internet
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7210 (URN)978-91-7656-647-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-12-14, Dahlströmssalen, Hus D, Rålambsvägen 26D, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2007-11-22 Created: 2007-11-22Bibliographically approved

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