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The Manifestation of Race, Ethnicity, and Faith in British Education - Literature review Example

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In spite of the need for educational policies to counteract the effect of racial intolerance, ethnocentrism, and racism, such policies remain to be the object of criticism of neo-conservatives in Western societies. …
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The Manifestation of Race, Ethnicity, and Faith in British Education
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Download file to see previous pages Since the 1980s, the leading cultural fundamentalist group of the New Right in the United Kingdom has not just disparaged and ridiculed such policies, but has aimed to enforce its own chauvinistic and racist perspective of British national identity on England’s and Wales’s National Curriculum (Pathak 2008). Antiracist educators in the UK have not taken seriously the concept of ‘new racism’ introduced by Barker (1981 as cited in Cashmore & Troyna 1990). As far as the concept is considered at all in antiracist research, it is merely cited and its value to education seems never to have been taken into account.
This literature review will provide a brief review of literature on identity politics and multiculturalism, specifically concerning three of the most debated issues in the UK: (1) race, (2) ethnicity, and (3) faith in education. The author chooses the three abovementioned issues because of their persistent presence in the British society. These three issues are the major factors that put several social groups in a disadvantaged position, specifically in education and long-term employment (May & Sleeter 2010). As stated by Korn and Burzstyn (2002), access to wealth, influence, full involvement in economic, social and political life, or what may be referred to as complete citizenship, greatly relies on education. This is particularly factual for ethnic minority groups. Without a practical educational attainment they confront the double threat of exclusion and inadequate qualifications. Those who drop out from school and then fail to acquire additional training or education, are prone to become part of a marginalised group with potentially detrimental repercussions for race relations where in traditional perceptions about Asians and African-Americans (Mitchell & Salsbury 1996) are established. The first part of the literature review will discuss the distinctions between race, ethnicity, and faith. It will refer to the different definitions given by several authors. The second section will discuss the issue of race, ethnicity, and faith in the British education system. The issue of multiculturalism in education will take precedence in this literature review. Distinctions between Race, Ethnicity and Faith In this literature review, a brief description of the notion of race, ethnicity, and faith, as well as the distinctions among them, will be discussed. The concept of ‘ethnicity’ is quite new. Before the 1970s there was hardly any discussion of it in anthropology works and literature, even a mention of its definition (Faas 2010). Prior to the Second World War, the word ‘tribe’ was the chosen word for ‘primitive’ societies and the word ‘race’ for contemporary societies (May 1999). Because of the strong connection between the ideology of the Nazis and the concept of ‘race’, the word ‘ethnicity’ eventually succeeded ‘race’ in Europe and the United States (Spalek 2007). The discourse on ethnicity is confounded by a diversity of associated concepts applied to distinguish comparable trends, like nation, race, minority, and tribe. Several researchers and scholars apply these concepts synonymously while others use them as distinct terms (Spalek 2007). Nevertheless, the connection between race and ethnicity is complicated. Even though there is much continuity they are different notions. For instance, Pierre van den Berghe defines the term ‘race’ as a specific classification of ethnicity that makes use of genetic attributes as an indicator of ethnicity (Cashmore & Jennings 2002, 122). Although the connection between the two notions is more complicated than the above definition, his description is quite accurate (p. 122). British scholars normally exclusively attribute ethnicity to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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