The lived experience of Black, Asian and Mixed-race girls in predominantly white secondary schools

Aujla-Jones, A.K., 2022. The lived experience of Black, Asian and Mixed-race girls in predominantly white secondary schools. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

Amir Kaur Aujla-Jones 2022.pdf - Published version

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This thesis explores the experiences of racialised girls in predominately white secondary schools in England. Using multiple qualitative methods, thematic analysis and informed by feminist Critical Race Theory, the thesis gives centre stage to the voices of girls who, seen through a 'white gaze', describe being racialised in schools using stereotypes, racial and gendered tropes, and constructions of 'outsider' and otherness. It addresses gaps in empirical data necessary to substantiate understandings of feminist Critical Race Theory with reference to Black, Asian and Mixed-race girls in relation to the specific context of the English predominantly white secondary school.

I present evidence that reveals the effect of visible difference in fuelling assumptions and stereotypes about different racial groups. Racialisation leads to failures to 'see' each girl as an individual. This thesis therefore extends theoretical understandings of racialisation and racism as gendered, dependent on context, and experienced differently depending on which racial group individuals are visually most associated with, as seen through a white lens.

Having established the importance of context and visual difference, I examine how white privilege, marginalisation, racism, racialised sexism and classism function in school. Still based on the thematic analysis of racialised girls' narratives, I present evidence which extends the understanding of key tenets of intersectionality and Critical Race Theory. Consideration of what constitutes a 'hostile environment' leads to an exploration of the ability of racism to morph and remain deeply embedded in structures and business-as-usual practices of schooling. I also develop empirically-based understandings of Critical Race Theory’s concepts of interest convergence, interest divergence, and retrenchment, showing the applicability of these concepts to understand a specifically UK context, and useful for analysis of the predominantly white secondary school as a hostile environment for Black, Asian and Mixed-race girls.

Nonetheless, in this thesis, I argue that cognisant of constraints, racialised girls resist the harmful effects of a hostile environment. Despite wanting change, they do not centre all their efforts of resistance on addressing individual, institutional or systemic racism or sexism. Black, Asian and Mixed-race girls remain agentic, able to fashion their own individual and collective expressions of resistance to the circumstances that they face in the predominantly white secondary school, creating opportunities centred on their sense of who they are and their ambitions for the future.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Aujla-Jones, A.K.
Date: March 2022
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 08 Nov 2022 16:47
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 16:47

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