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Diversity, difference, and communities in English secondary schools

Tsouroufli, Maria; Davies, Ian; Hampden-Thompson, Gillian; Sundaram, Vanita; Lord, Pippa; Jeffes, Jennifer


Maria Tsouroufli

Ian Davies

Vanita Sundaram

Pippa Lord

Jennifer Jeffes


This paper discusses secondary school pupils? understandings and experiences of diversity and communities in England. It draws on qualitative data from a field study conducted in 8 schools as part of a larger project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The larger project, which included a review of literature, analysis of Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LYPSE) data and a national survey of school staff, aimed to explore current thinking and practice about citizenship and community cohesion. For this article field notes, and 16 audio-recorded focus group discussions with year 10 and year 11 students were analysed thematically, through multi-disciplinary team dialogue, informed by literature on diversity, community cohesion, belonging and citizenship education. Despite some variation in responses across schools, the results clearly demonstrate that student discourses of diversity grapple with notions of sameness and assimilation. We argue that citizenship education practice must be informed by robust research that addresses boundary notions and practices of identity and citizenship.


Tsouroufli, M., Davies, I., Hampden-Thompson, G., Sundaram, V., Lord, P., & Jeffes, J. (2014). Diversity, difference, and communities in English secondary schools. International Journal of Community Diversity, 13, 1-17

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Sep 5, 2014
Publication Date 2014
Deposit Date Sep 5, 2023
Journal The International Journal of Community Diversity
Print ISSN 2327-0004
Publisher Common Ground Research Networks
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Pages 1-17
Keywords Diversity, Difference, Communities
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