The hyphen in between: children’s intersectional understandings of national identities
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This paper examines how children are able to think intersectionally in a context of imagined nationalist discourses and geographies that shape children’s understandings of hyphenated and ethnic identifications. We draw on data from three different field studies we have carried out during the last two decades in a divided Cyprus which examine how Greek-Cypriot children categorize and understand the labels ‘Greek’, ‘Turkish’ and ‘Cypriot’ and their hyphenated versions (i.e. ‘Greek-Cypriot’ and ‘Turkish-Cypriot’). Through its focus on children’s intersectional identities, our paper illustrates how children’s ability to border cross on the island allow for more nuanced understandings of both ‘self’ and ‘other’. The paper situates children’s emerging intersectional identities within the geographic realities of political and territorial division on the island. We argue that the dimension of ‘generation’ is an important intersectional addition to the concepts of gender and race. The paper shows that children’s spatial engagements during their visits to the ‘other side’ gave rise to a new, more intersectional understanding of themselves and others.