Prudence L. Carter

in Stubborn Roots

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199899630
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199951147 | DOI:

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Using the stories of various students, this introductory chapter describes the social context of the educational issues discussed: how school desegregation as an educational policy and practice has occurred in two dissimilar socio-demographic contexts: one a white-majority and the other a black-majority society. Second, it discusses important theoretical frameworks and concepts associated with the subsequent analyses of how to shape the cultural environments of schools to better incorporate previously disadvantaged groups. This chapter argues that the convergence of practices in mixed schools within both societies owe to the universal nature of deeply rooted ideas about the “other.” The main argument is that “social” and “symbolic” boundaries in schools impede the development of cultural flexibility among students and educators in terms of identities, social relationships, academic behaviors, and school practices.

Keywords: cultural flexibility; identities; school desegregation; social & symbolic boundaries

Chapter.  6367 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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