The Yin-Yang Relationship Between Essentialist and Non-essentialist Discourses Related to the Participation of Children of Migrants, and Its Implication for How to Research

Sara Amadasi,

Adrian Holliday


There is a complex relationship between the essentialist and non-essentialist discourses that respectively fail to and succeed in recognising the potential for participation which the children of migrants bring with them into new cultural settings. These competing discourses curl around each other within the structures of educational settings and within all the people involved, including the children themselves. A yin-yang framework helps us to see the nature of this entwined relationship and the hybridity which is the key to untangling it. It helps researchers to understand that getting to the bottom of what is going on is not straightforward and requires that they reassess who they are and how they should proceed. Sometimes it takes unusual and unexpected circumstances, such as those brought about by the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic to shake their thinking-as-usual and to see the unexpected.

Słowa kluczowe: discourses of culture, yin-yang, migrant children, agency, participation, COVID-19

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