Beyond the colour line: post-race theory as a research framework in education

Sanada, Satoshi (2010) Beyond the colour line: post-race theory as a research framework in education. In: Proceedings of AARE 2010 International Education Research Conference. pp. 1-12. From: AARE 2010 International Education Research Conference, 28 November - 2 December 2010, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

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The essentiality and centrality of race persists as a cultural norm in education research. While critical race theory (CRT) has successfully addressed the unaccounted pedagogical biases which created structural and cultural disadvantages for students of minority backgrounds, it has not provided adequate discussion on how to wrestle with the perplexing concept of race. A limitation of CRT studies which uses minority counter-stories and other personal narratives as a research framework (Gillborn, 2009) is that discussions of race becomes restricted to a particular type of racial discourse which focuses on difference, otherness, separatism and victimhood (Litowiz, 2009). Minority discourses tend to portray race and ethnicity as fixed, unitary and essential category, although this is not necessarily how people of racial minority and mixed-race groups perform and experience race (Dewan, 2008; Weedon, 2004). Complexity, fluidity and multidimensionality of individual identities are compromised through ethnographic inquiries which construct people’s racialised identities (Nayak, 2006). Through this process, binaries of "good / bad" and "non-white victims/guilty whites" also continue to be reproduced and emphasised (Zink, 2007), and they can become a barrier to structural study of race and racism, as researchers' motives may be subverted by "personal concerns over how they are perceived as individuals" (Leonardo, 2009, p. 264). A Need for evaluating the way we, as educators and education researchers, view race and conduct race researches has been suggested (Pollock, 2004; Warmington, 2009). This paper will focus on contemporary discourses of race (see Spencer, 2006) and address constraints and paradoxes which race researchers have faced in dealing with concepts of race, ethnicity and culture. Drawing on an emerging theoretical perspective called post-race which "offer[s] an opportunity to experiment, to re-imagine and to think outside the category of race" (Nayak, 2006, p. 427), I will discuss pedagogical benefits and methodological importance of challenging the category of race itself, and of questioning whether there is a gap between 'race' as represented in educational research and race as "a lived experience, a lived relationship" (Warmington, 2009, p. 283). Critical discussion of applying post-race perspective in educational research in Australian context has not been offered. It will contribute to important contemporary discussions on educational policy, social integrity, racism, and national identity.

Item ID: 16967
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
ISSN: 1324-9320
Keywords: post race theory, immigration, education, globalisation
Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 02:20
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130307 Ethnic Education (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Maori and Pacific Peoples) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology @ 100%
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