(Re)Turning Home: An Exploration in the (Re)Claiming of Identity and Belonging

  • Theresa Smith
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 27)


A journey to the Philippines to lay my grandmother’s remains to rest not only signified a return to the land that she called home but also called to question which lands I (can) call home. As a first-generation Canadian of mixed ethnicity, I reflect on how meaning is brought to my experience of the Philippines by locating self and claims of belonging.

Using an autoethnographic arts-informed narrative, I explore the “middle ground” of belonging and identity that first-generation Canadians experience both within Canada and in the home country of their families.

In doing so, I attempt to explore how and in what ways our social location dictates our ability to claim certain identities, histories, and lands and the intersections of race, class, privilege, and nationality. My experiences underscore the imperative need to maintain a commitment to reflection as well as action to guide one’s critical antiracist education praxis.


Teachable Moment Light Skin White Supremacy Spending Power Family Plot 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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