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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Welply, O. (2018). ‘I’m not being offensive but…’ intersecting discourses of discrimination towards Muslim children in school. Race Ethnicity and Education 21(3): 370-389.

Author(s) from Durham


This article examines forms of implicit discrimination towards Muslim children in children’s discourses of Otherness. Findings in this paper draw on qualitative data exploring the discourses of 17 children from a Year 6 class in a culturally diverse primary school in the East of England. Building on Critical Race Theory and Critical Discourse Analysis, this article shows that children’s discourses of Otherness acted in tacit discriminatory ways by constructing difference as problematic, which positioned Muslim children as the ‘bad Other’. These findings show the intersectionality of discrimination experienced by Muslim children in school, and offer a reflection on the role of multiculturalism in schools and the limitations of uncritical discourses of tolerance in fostering an understanding of difference and Otherness.

School of Education