You are here

Negotiating the Global and National

Title: Negotiating the Global and National: Immigrant and Dominant Culture Adolescents' Vocabularies of Citizenship in a Transnational World.
190 views
126 downloads
Name(s): Myers, John, author
Zaman, Husam, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2009
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Background/Context: The current national debate over the purposes of civic education is largely tied to outdated notions of citizenship that overlook its changing nature under globalization. Civic education is based on a legalistic understanding of citizenship that emphasizes patriotism and the structures and functions of government. This study examined adolescents' civic beliefs and affiliations, drawing on theories of transnational and global citizenship. Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: The purpose was to examine diverse adolescents' vocabularies of citizenship, a concept that captures the tensions in their civic beliefs and affiliations. Their vocabularies were explored in terms of two topics at the intersection of national and global affiliations: universal human rights and global citizenship. The central question asked was: How do adolescents from immigrant backgrounds understand the tensions between national and global civic affiliations, and do they differ from dominant-culture adolescents' understandings? Setting: The research setting was the Pennsylvania Governor's School for International Studies, a 5-week summer program for high school students that emphasizes current scholarship and skills in international affairs, cultural studies, and foreign language. Research Design: A mixed-method case study design was employed to collect detailed and rich data on the students' beliefs about citizenship. Findings/Results: The findings showed that the students from immigrant backgrounds favored universal positions and were the only students to call attention to national economic inequalities. In contrast, a majority of the dominant-culture students gave a more central role to national affiliations. However, over half of the students switched between universal and nationally oriented positions for the issues of global citizenship and human rights. It is argued that these switches represent a strong indication of the tensions in civic affiliations in light of globalization. Conclusions/Recommendations: The findings presented here suggest that the question of either national- or global-oriented civic education makes little sense. This research suggests that differentiated forms of civic education are needed if all youth will have access to full citizenship and the range of civic affiliations needed in the world. Two approaches for reconceptualizing civic education are proposed: Civic education curricula should focus on the intersection of national with global issues and affiliations, and civic education should address, in addition to civic attitudes, skills, and knowledge, a conscious effort to help adolescents build flexible and multiple civic identities.
Translational Abstract: In this case study, the civic beliefs and affiliations of high-school students were examined by looking at their vocabularies during a 5-week summer program on international affairs, cultural studies, and foreign language. The two topics of interest were universal human rights and global citizenship. Results from this study showed, overall, that students from immigrant backgrounds favored universal positions and called attention to national economic inequalities, whereas students with dominant-culture backgrounds favored national affiliations. In the context global citizenship and human rights, however, over half of the students switched between universal and nationally oriented views. These findings suggest that framing citizenship education in terms of national vs. global interests is misguided. The authors proposed that civic education should re-focus instead on the intersection of national and global issues and affiliations, and help adolescents build flexible and multiple civic identities.
Identifier: FSU_migr_ste_faculty_publications-0006 (IID)
Note: This is a pre-print of an article published in Teachers College Record. The final version is available online at: http://www.tcrecord.org/content.asp?contentid=15445.
Citation: Myers, J.P. and Zaman, H.A. (2009). Negotiating the Global and National: Immigrant and Dominant Culture Adolescents' Vocabularies of Citizenship in a Transnational World. Teachers College Record, 111(11), 2589-2625.
Subject(s): Education
Study and teaching
Teachers -- Training of
Teaching -- Vocational guidance
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_ste_faculty_publications-0006
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: School of Teacher Education Faculty Publications.
Is Part Of: Teachers College Record.
Issue: 11, 111

Choose the citation style.
Myers, J., & Zaman, H. (2009). Negotiating the Global and National: Immigrant and Dominant Culture Adolescents' Vocabularies of Citizenship in a Transnational World. Teachers College Record. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_ste_faculty_publications-0006