The art of self-making: identity and citizenship education in late-modernity

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Taking the English National Curriculum as its main example, this article
argues that an overly nationalistic, normative and ‘fact-based’ citizenship
education curriculum is failing to engage the dimensions of young people’s
identities which they experience as deeply meaningful. There is thus a
chasm – albeit a false one – between official discourses and pedagogies of
citizenship and what young people consider to be their ‘real’ selves. I argue
that citizenship education must develop a more sophisticated understanding
of the complexities of how identities are formed and performed, especially
in light of globalisation and increasing migration. I also make a somewhat
unorthodox argument for conceptualising ‘relating-to-otherness’ in the same
way that we think of music consumption. This has implications for how we
experience, interpret, value and create ‘others’. The article also makes some
recommendations for how these ideas can begin to be implemented in
educational settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-811
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number6
Early online date6 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2017


  • Citizenship education
  • self-making
  • performativity
  • consumption
  • identity
  • global citizenship


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