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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1080/01596306.2019.1594171

Kicking the can down the road? Educational solutions to the challenges of divided societies: a Northern Ireland case study

04 Mar 2021-Discourse: Studies in The Cultural Politics of Education (Taylor & Francis)-Vol. 42, Iss: 2, pp 170-183
Abstract: There is considerable literature concerning the impact of education in divided societies. Some seek to defend separate schools, often for different faith groups, while others stress the benefits of...

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Topics: Intercultural relations (53%), Faith (51%)
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12 results found


Open accessPosted Content
Robbie McVeigh, Bill Rolston1Institutions (1)
Abstract: This article addresses the nature of contemporary racism and sectarianism in Northern Ireland in the context of the Good Friday Agreement and its outworking. The article responds to the increasing dominance of the ‘good relations’ model for understanding and addressing race and sectarian division in Northern Ireland. It debunks the gathering support for the notion that Northern Ireland is somehow ‘post-sectarian’ - finding instead a state formation hiding its incapacity to address rising racism and sectarianism with the fig leaf of ‘good relations’. It locates these key developments in the specific new formation of the statelet which has emerged from the GFA.

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Topics: Good Friday Agreement (65%), Sectarianism (59%), Irish nationalism (52%) ... read more

57 Citations


Open accessJournal Article
Abstract: Abstract The Good Friday Agreement (1998) between the UK and Irish governments, and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland, heralded a significant step forward in securing peace and stability for this troubled region of the British Isles. From the new-found stability, the previous fits and starts of education reform were replaced by a determination for modernisation and innovation, infused with a new energy and momentum. This sense of purpose embraced a complex weave of ideas and ideals; all designed variously to smooth, celebrate and harness community differences for the collective good. Much progress has been made in the intervening years since 1998, particularly in political structures and relationships. However, the euphoria of the new dawn of the Agreement had barely begun to shape the future before entrenched ‘tribal’ tensions reproduced the same political and legislative impasses of former years and visited their all-too-familiar blight on the economic, cultural and educational landscapes. This paper focuses on two signature dimensions of education that have been sustained by this partisanship: segregation by religion and segregation by academic selection.

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Topics: Kabuki (54%), Macabre (52%)

25 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1080/00071005.2019.1666083
Abstract: Education is a key mechanism for the restoration of inter-community relations in post-conflict societies. The Northern Ireland school system remains divided along sectarian lines. Much research has...

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Topics: Cultural diversity (50%)

15 Citations



Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/CURJ.2
01 Sep 2020-Curriculum Journal
Abstract: Curriculum change is an intricate, lengthy process, requiring commitment, co-operation and compromise amongst the agencies and stakeholders involved; its development is more complex in divided societies, particularly when the subject content is open to contention. The addition of Local and Global Citizenship to the Northern Ireland curriculum in 2007 was intended to prepare students for life in a post-conflict and increasingly diverse society, and the precariousness of current events locally and globally have reinforced its relevance. Yet, the initial curricular aspirations underpinning citizenship education have been largely unfulfilled and its diminished status within the education system reflects the divergences that beset its development and implementation. This paper employs Fullan’s change model of implementation to critically reflect on the interplay of factors that informed and influenced the design and introduction of the Local and Global Citizenship curriculum in Northern Ireland. Using Fullan’s framework as an analytic tool, interviews with key stakeholders directly involved in curriculum reform at the time illustrate how the complexity of change motivated and undermined in equal measure. Whilst the paper assesses the implications of a dislocated citizenship curriculum and identifies lessons learned for Northern Ireland, the findings have wide-ranging relevance for education systems generally.

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Topics: Curriculum development (66%), Curriculum (62%), Local history (53%) ... read more

7 Citations


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44 results found


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.IJINTREL.2011.03.001
Abstract: Recent advances in intergroup contact theory and research are reviewed. A meta-analysis with 515 studies and more than 250,000 subjects demonstrates that intergroup contact typically reduces prejudice (mean r = −.21). Allport's original conditions for optimal contact – equal status, common goals, no intergroup competition, and authority sanction – facilitate the effect but are not necessary conditions. There are other positive outcomes of intergroup contact, such as greater trust and forgiveness for past transgressions. These contact effects occur not only for ethnic groups but also for such other groups as homosexuals, the disabled and the mentally ill. Intergroup friendship is especially important. Moreover, these effects typically generalize beyond the immediate outgroup members in the situation to the whole outgroup, other situations, and even to other outgroups not involved in the contact. They also appear to be universal – across nations, genders, and age groups. The major mediators of the effect are basically affective: reduced anxiety and empathy. And even indirect contact reduces prejudice – vicarious contact through the mass media and having a friend who has an outgroup friend. Of course, negative contact occurs – especially when it is non-voluntary and threatening. Criticisms of the theory and policy implications are also discussed.

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Topics: Contact hypothesis (66%), Outgroup (56%), Prejudice (52%) ... read more

846 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1177/0002764207302462
Daniel Bar-Tal1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The article presents a conceptual framework that concerns the sociopsychological foundation and dynamics of intractable conflict. First, it defines and characterizes the nature of intractable conflict, and then it describes how societies involved in this reality adapt to the conditions of intractable conflict. This adaptation meets three fundamental challenges: satisfying the needs of the society members, coping with stress, and withstanding the rival. In trying to confront them successfully, societies develop appropriate sociopsychological infrastructure, which includes collective memory, ethos of conflict, and collective emotional orientations. This infrastructure fulfills important individual and collective level functions, including the important role of formation, maintenance, and strengthening of a social identity that reflects this conflict. Special attempts are made to disseminate this infrastructure via societal channels of communication and institutionalize it. The evolved sociopsychological inf...

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531 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1037/A0018553
Abstract: Although intergroup contact is one of the most prominent interventions to reduce prejudice, the generalization of contact effects is still a contentious issue. This research further examined the rarely studied secondary transfer effect (STE; Pettigrew, 2009), by which contact with a primary outgroup reduces prejudice toward secondary groups that are not directly involved in the contact. Across 3 cross-sectional studies conducted in Cyprus (N = 1,653), Northern Ireland (N = 1,973), and Texas (N = 275) and 1 longitudinal study conducted in Northern Ireland (N = 411), the present research sought to systematically rule out alternative accounts of the STE and to investigate 2 potential mediating mechanisms (ingroup reappraisal and attitude generalization). Results indicated that, consistent with the STE, contact with a primary outgroup predicts attitudes toward secondary outgroups, over and above contact with the secondary outgroup, socially desirable responding, and prior attitudes. Mediation analyses found strong evidence for attitude generalization but only limited evidence for ingroup reappraisal as an underlying process. Two out of 3 tests of a reverse model, where contact with the secondary outgroup predicts attitudes toward the primary outgroup, provide further evidence for an indirect effect through attitude generalization. Theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed, and directions for future research are identified.

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Topics: Outgroup (60%), Ingroups and outgroups (52%)

184 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/J.1467-873X.2005.00315.X
Majid Al-Haj1Institutions (1)
01 Mar 2005-Curriculum Inquiry
Abstract: The role of the school curriculum in multicultural societies is a central issue in the sociology of education. One of the main debates has to do with the relationship between education for multiculturalism and the use of curriculum for shaping the collective memory and strengthening the national ethos. This article deals with the state of multicultural education in Israel in light of the oscillations between conflict and peace in Israeli-Palestinian relations. It is based on a content analysis of the new history textbooks in Jewish schools. These textbooks were produced after the signing of the Oslo peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and were introduced to junior and senior high schools in 1999.The analysis shows that the new textbooks endeavor to innovate regarding the Israel-Arab conflict in the sense of presenting a more open and complex perspective than the previous curriculum did. But the new textbooks, like the old ones, present a typical Zionist narrative that aims to safeg...

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Topics: Multicultural education (55%), Curriculum (55%), Sociology of Education (54%) ... read more

134 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1080/1740020042000253712
Abstract: As the integrated education movement in Northern Ireland passes its twenty‐first anniversary, it is pertinent to explore the legacy of mixed Catholic and Protestant schooling. This paper summarises the findings of different studies regarding the impact of integrated education in Northern Ireland on social identity, intergroup attitudes and forgiveness and reconciliation. The research is discussed in relation to its implications for the theory and practice of integrated education in Northern Ireland and also for other societies with a legacy of ethnopolitical conflict. It proposes that integrated education in Northern Ireland impacts positively on identity, outgroup attitudes, forgiveness and reconciliation, providing hope and encouragement for co‐education strategies in other countries that have suffered from prolonged conflict. Despite a number of challenges, it is clear from the research presented here that integrated education holds great potential both for building social cohesion and for promoting fo...

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Topics: Forgiveness (54%), Social identity theory (54%), Conflict resolution (53%) ... read more

130 Citations