Academic Literature

Essentialism Versus Complexity: Conceptions of Racial Identity Construction in Educational Scholarship

2002
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Essentialism Versus Complexity: Conceptions of Racial Identity Construction in Educational Scholarship

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In this article, the North American education-related literature on identity construction among Black youth is reviewed. This body of scholarship is integrated to reveal an implicit two-pronged model for examining identity among racialized persons. The first level of analysis involves unveiling collective strivings for a coherent racial identity in the face of a racist society. The second level concerns the underlying complexity, rupture, and ambivalence that such collective quests for identity tend to mask. Multicultural and antiracism education fail to adequately consider the second level of identity, resulting in both approaches presenting an oversimplified and unsatisfactory view of racial and cultural diversity.

Gosine, K. (2002). Essentialism versus complexity: Conceptions of racial identity construction in educational scholarship. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l’education, 27(1), 81-99.

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