07 SES 11 A, Identities in the Margin
The aim of the project is to study young people´s (age 18-24) life views and values in a multicultural society in Iceland and how they respond to and view diversity. The three year project (2011-2013) is located within a broad theoretical framework and uses interdisciplinary approaches in religious studies and religious education, globalisation and multicultural studies (Bauman, 2007; Parekh, 2006) and pedagogy. Questionnaires and focus groups are used for data collection in altogether seven upper secondary schools in different areas of Iceland. In the questionnaire, participants are asked about background information on gender, age, nationality, mother language and religious affiliation and respond to altogether 77 different statements about their life views and life values, identities, well-being, communication, equality and diversity. .
The project is located within a broad theoretical framework and uses interdisciplinary approaches in religious studies and religious education, globalisation and multicultural studies (Bauman, 2007; Parekh, 2006) and pedagogy. The broad theoretical framework of critical multiculturalism is an important basis for the project as it critically considers power positioning within particular settings, within or between societies, communities or schools (Banks, 2007; Hanna Ragnarsdóttir, 2007; Nieto, 2010; Parekh, 2006). Nieto (2010) has emphasized that „learning begins when students begin to see themselves as competent, capable, and worthy of learning“. Over the last decades with the increasing plurality of the multicultural society and more fluid and unclear frames of reference and values, there has been increased discussion of the crisis of meaning in modern society. Berger and Luckmann (1995) claim that questions of cultural orientation are among the most urgent issues of modern society. Parekh (2006) presents similar understanding of culture. He points out that human beings seek to make sense of themselves and the world and ask questions about the meaning and significance of human life, activities and relationships.
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