Multiculturalism, Immigrants’ Integration, and Citizenship: Their Ambiguous Relations in Educators’ Discourse in Greece

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This study aims to explore the ways in which multiculturalism, integration, and citizenship are constructed in interview discourse of educators working in primary schools attended by immigrants in Greece. Interest to explore the ways in which educators construct multiculturalism, integration and citizenship was generated (a) by immigration policy changes in Greece which put the issue of citizenship acquisition by second generation immigrants in the center of public dialogue; and (b) by recent developments in social psychology aimed to approach citizenship and multiculturalism “on the ground,” as they are represented and negotiated by social actors. For the purposes of the study, 22 interviews with primary-school educators were conducted and analyzed through the use of tools and concepts of critical discursive social psychology and rhetorical psychology. Analysis pointed out shared ways of accounting which (a) create various hierarchies of inclusion/exclusion; and (b) construct multifaceted and ambiguous relations between citizenship, multiculturalism, and immigrants’ integration. It also indicated, however, how these flexible and complex constructions become bounded by hegemonic assumptions of (Greek) nationalism.

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