Deconstructing otherness: social studies teachers' classroom discursive representations of African and Middle Eastern populations
Osborn, Daniel Joseph
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This Critical Discourse Analysis examined the classroom discourse of six secondary social studies teachers during lessons dedicated to the study of Africa and the Middle East. The study focused on the phenomenon of otherness and the ways in which teachers contribute to or challenge the depiction of various African and Middle Eastern populations as the other. The study found that no normative discourse existed within or across classrooms whereby teachers consistently portrayed African or Middle Eastern populations as the other. Teacher employed multiple contending discourses that both promoted perceptions of otherness while also explicitly challenging and deconstructing such notions. The study found that teachers tend to frame the study of Africa and the Middle East around narratives of conflict. These narratives restrict the classifications available for understanding certain communities and reinforce associations of violence, radicalism, and terrorism with Africa and the Middle East.