Diversity and conflict: Negotiating linguistic, ethnic and emotional boundaries in Greek-Cypriot literacy classrooms
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This article explores the interplay between discourses on diversity and the realities of interethnic conflict, through a study in the conflict-affected Greek-Cypriot context. Drawing on ethnographic data from Greek-Cypriot literacy classrooms, and particularly, on lessons about the ethnic conflict in Cyprus, it examines how children from diverse backgrounds, statuses, and experiences are introduced to a conflict Discourse, how they socialise and/or become literate in the conflict narrative, and with what implications. The findings show that although in ‘ordinary’ lessons diversity was mostly acknowledged and discussed unproblematically, when conflict figured as a topic in classroom interaction, teachers tended to resort to stereotypical representations of ‘us’ and ‘others’ which created further complexities for the children. This article points to the potentials and limitations of diversity, serving as a point of departure for the renegotiation of ethnic and emotional boundaries within a troubled context with implications for teachers and students.