Respecting the Presence of Others: School Micropublics and Everyday Multiculturalism

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Intercultural Studies, 2011, 32 (6), pp. 603 - 619
Issue Date:
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This paper critically engages with the concept of 'everyday multiculturalism', which advocates argue is a more productive way of understanding the reality of multiculturalism in contemporary Australia, as opposed to moral panics about 'home-grown terrorism', ghettoes and ethnic crime. Everyday multiculturalism, it is argued, can be found in 'micropublics' of cross-cultural encounter, in many of the social settings of everyday life, including schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods. This paper focuses on schools in particular, to show that everyday multiculturalism is highly uneven in its distribution, and that significant cultural polarisation is occurring within Sydney's secondary schools. However, it reiterates the importance of schools as potential micropublics, as they are ideal sites for fostering a respect for the presence of Others, which can coexist with tension and conflict. © 2011 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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