WP109 Complementary schools as ?safe spaces? to practise hybridity?: Language, power and resistance

Collection: Key word


The discourses around complementary schools in the UK seem to emphasise a positive atmosphere created within these institutions for exploration of various identity positions. Yet, my main argument in this paper is that these schools are not such ?safe? places to try out or demonstrate hybrid ethnicities because their aims of ?preserving culture/identity? and ?maintaining language? assume by default that there is a well-defined or fixed form of culture and language to be preserved and protected, and later to be handed over to the younger generations. This assumption creates tensions with the everyday hybrid experiences of young people in a superdiverse context such as London.? My analysis of one particular Turkish complementary school in London revealed that a dominant mono-ethnic model of ?Turkishness? was intended to be reproduced by organisers and other community members. This was done through the imposition of particular linguistic practices and the delegitimisation of certain others. Similar findings were reported by Archer, Francis and Mau (2010) with respect to Chinese complementary schools in the UK. So in this paper, my main focus will be on the way young people respond to specific linguistic impositions within one Turkish complementary school in London, in order to understand how young people deal with such cases of tension/negotiation.