Teachers' emerging stances and repertoires towards reconciliation: Potential and challenges in Greek-Cypriot education
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In this paper we examine Greek-Cypriot teachers' positions towards the - largely unfamiliar - concept of reconciliation within the Greek-Cypriot community. Looking at a set of 40 interviews conducted in spring 2009, this study is set against the broader historical context of the continuing Cyprus Problem and the development of ethnic rivalry between the two main ethnic groups (Greek- Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots). The data analysis is informed by theories from the fields of reconciliation and peace studies, and the assumption that teachers are influential in dealing with the legacy of ethnic strife and encouraging reconciliatory attitudes. The results of our analysis pointed to a polyphonic landscape, encompassing a range of diverse positions and arguments towards reconciliation, each with its own distinct 'logic' and underlying assumptions. These findings construct the teacher community as a largely politicised and ethnicised professional group - a group which aligns with various and often contradicting positions around the unresolved ethnic conflict, employs the different culturally available ethnic ideologies and, thus, actively partakes in the political affairs of Greek-Cypriot society. The implications for teacher education and educational policy are discussed.