London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

The discourse of difference

Author(s) Persson, S.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2008  
Editor A. Ross & P. Cunningham, Reflecting on Identities: Research, Practice and Innovation  
Age group -  
In this paper I reconstruct research with the explicit aims of exploring and analysing processes of normalisation and integration of children with immigrant backgrounds into pre-school. By placing empirical results from research in a new theoretical context, I want to understand how dominant discourses of ethnotism and essentialism produce difference making in the educational system. The results presented are a part of a major project, sponsored by the Swedish Research Council, on conditions for learning in pre-school. The aim of this paper is to: • explore the production of difference in pre-school, as it is presented in research; • show how processes of separation, ascription and internalisation work within discourses of essentialism and ethnotism; • discuss resistance to the dominant discourses of essentialism and ethnotism.

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