Between ethnonational and international curricula: competing identity discourses in the Armenian school in Jerusalem

Lance Levenson*, Julia Resnik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use of international curricula by minority diaspora communities poses a paradox for the construction of student identities that juxtaposes ethnonational and global discourses. Positioned in the throes of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the Armenian School in Jerusalem utilizes a global curriculum while also attempting to sustain collective Armenian identity among its students, who study four languages. This ethnographic case study of the Armenian School analyzes the impact of competing discourses on identity construction. Findings reveal a pervasive ethnonational discourse based upon key ethnosymbols which promotes a powerful sense of belonging to an imagined Armenian transnation. Simultaneously, the international curriculum champions English as a dominant language and prevents the anchoring of Armenian identity within local society. Global discourses associated with the international curriculum, coupled with a lack of attachment to a concrete homeland, tend to orient graduates away from the Jerusalem community and toward opportunities abroad.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)213-228
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Armenian diaspora
  • International education
  • Israeli–Palestinian conflict
  • ethnography
  • student identity

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