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Contextualizing recognition, absence of recognition, and misrecognition: the case of migrant workers' children in daycares in Israel

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This paper advances the analysis of multiculturalism by examining multiculturalism in a contextualized manner. To understand multiculturalism and assess its effects on the recognition of migrant children, researchers need to analyse multicultural practices in schools by taking into account the social mirrors resulting from different social and structural conditions, such as national ideologies and the ethos of reception. The analysis of multicultural policies in four different types of daycare centres enrolling migrant workers' children in Israel—community, Catholic, municipal, and those supported by private associations—points to three types of contextualized multicultural models: contextualized misrecognition, contextualized recognition, and de-contextualized recognition. By juxtaposing recognition or misrecognition appearing at the daycare level with legal and ideological social mirrors, multicultural patterns can acquire a different meaning. Municipal daycares with a few migrant children as well as daycares supported by private associations that adopt a 'blind-homogenizing' approach reflect an absence of recognition that is contextualized in the larger society. Community daycares adopting a survival approach, Catholic daycares applying a 'business as usual' approach, and municipal daycares enrolling a large number of migrant children adopting a multicultural approach reflect different degrees of cultural and religious recognition. However, when analysed in the larger local or national context, this recognition results in a de-contextualized recognition that suppresses the beneficial character of the multicultural education provided.
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Keywords: Israel; daycare; migrant workers; multiculturalism; national ideologies; recognition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Publication date: 01 October 2009

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