(Re)constructing Nationalisms in Schools in the Context of Diverse Globalized Societies

  • Elizabeth Mavroudi
  • Louise Holt
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)


Schools are key battlegrounds between competing ideas of national identity, belonging and nationalism on four key, interconnected grounds. First, in many societies, there is an increasing ethnic diversity of students, associated with global migration, globalization and past waves of migration. Second, schools are sites wherein competing ideas of national identity are habitually circulated in non-conscious and non-deliberate ways. Third, deliberate attempts are made to “teach” children specific ideas of nationalisms, which can be more or less inclusive or exclusive, via formal curricula. Fourth, schools are arenas wherein attempts are made to teach children and young people to be more accepting and tolerant of difference. As Mitchell (2003) and others (Arnott & Ozga, 2010; Kong, 2013; Kotowski, 2013) have argued, schools remain key sites where national belonging and identity and specific types of nationalism are taught. Clearly, there is a tension between “the two roles of the educational system as, on the one hand, a mediator of the dominant culture, commemoration of imagined nationality and, on the other hand, a promoter of democracy, multiculturalism and ethnic and cultural divergence” (Hjerm, 2001, p. 38). Given the importance of schools as sites of the reproduction of different and sometimes competing ideas of nationalism and national identity, the study of nationalism in schools is crucial.


Young People Education Policy National Identity Asylum Seeker Migrant Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Elizabeth Mavroudi and Louise Holt 2015

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  • Elizabeth Mavroudi
  • Louise Holt

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