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Race, Ethnicity and Childhood: An Ethnography of 'Chinese-English' Children.

Wong-Sirhan, Yin Tak. (2006) Race, Ethnicity and Childhood: An Ethnography of 'Chinese-English' Children. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

‘Race’, ‘ethnicity’, ‘nation’ and ‘identity’ are commonly deployed in everyday discourses, and many believe that we now have entered a ‘post-race’ era where ‘race’ has been replaced by ‘ethnicity’. Focusing on a group of six to twelve-year-old ‘Chinese-English’ children - children of Chinese parentage growing up in Britain - this research examines children’s construction of meanings of racial and ethnic matters. This qualitative study deploys innovative task-based research techniques along with interviews and observations to explore current understandings of ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’. This research has a commitment to give primacy to the voices of children, and respect for children as competent social agents with valuable experiences, perceptions and emotions, and contributions to different aspects of society, but at the same time it is with the recognition of children’s generally marginalised status in society. In drawing upon sociology of childhood and race and ethnicity studies, this thesis interrogates concepts of ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ within children’s subjective worlds, from children’s perspectives and in relation to their own experiences and concerns. Grounded analysis of children’s narratives highlights the complex and dynamic nature of racial and ethnic matters in children’s lives. The findings challenge the simplistic conceptions of‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ in terms of fixity against malleability and biology versus culture. This thesis shows how children use, rework and create racial and ethnic ideas to make sense of their relationships, experiences and their own and others’ identities. More importantly, it demonstrates the ways in which these discourses only partially inform children’s diverse and multiple senses of who they are, and have to be understood in relation to the body, their relationships with other children and adults both inside and outside the family sphere and within the local and global contexts. The importance of engaging children in the production of knowledge in understanding the social world reveals itself throughout the thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Wong-Sirhan, Yin Tak.
Date : 2006
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2006.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 15:44
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:53
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856930

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