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Lessons in Nationality: constructing identities at Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain

Segrott, Jeremy 2006. Lessons in Nationality: constructing identities at Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain. Contemporary Wales 18 (1) , pp. 122-139.

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This article explores how Welsh identities are constructed at Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain (the Welsh School, London), and is divided into three sections. First, it discusses the experiences of parents and their involvement in the school, and traces the connections between language, education and identity in their narratives. The second section examines how attempts to establish an 'authentic' Welsh school in London have created a form of Welsh identity that 'recreates' life back home, but embodies subtle differences from similar schools in Wales itself. It is argued that the significant problems that Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain has encountered in accessing sustainable funding point to the ambiguity of the Welsh as a collective group in England. Thirdly, the article explores the bilingual practices of children at the school, and the ways in which they locate their identities through attachments to multiple spaces and places. National identity might be seen as highly problematic when viewed in terms of homogenous cultural groups located exclusively within a single bounded territory (Gilroy, 1993). The article argues that a diasporic conceptualization of Welsh identity has significant theoretical and political potential because it recognizes the possibility of forging self and national identities through multiple geographical attachments, and because it highlights the problems of drawing neat boundaries around supposedly discrete cultural groups.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: University of Wales Press
ISSN: 0951-4937
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:16

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