|Editor||A. Ross, The Experience of Citizenship|
This paper looks at the construction of identities of children of Turkish Cypriot (TC) origin examining the evaluations of their in-groups. Children who evaluate their in-groups positively develop positive social identities (Alexandre and Monteiro, 2003). In multicultural communities, valued by the mainstream society, children from the majority group usually evaluate their in-group positively (Milner, 1983). Many studies have evaluated the consequences of positive self-evaluation (Tajfel, 1978). It is suggested that positive self-evaluation shapes social identity, resulting in an increase in cognition and sensitivity towards discrimination hence a reaction towards the members of the out-group. On the other hand when the minority group is treated negatively this results not only in negative self-evaluation, but has an emotional significance for individual members. It affects the way members evaluate their in-group functions and their view of those who threat them negatively. In this article I explore the development of social identities of TC children from an educational perspective. I do this by firstly exploring the relationship between the so called 'multicultural/ inclusive school practices' and the way these affect TC children's constructions of social identities. Secondly, I look at language and its use exploring TC identity in relation to how Turkish Cypriot variety is perceived in relation to Standard Turkish in the community supplementary schools. I argue that both of these contexts affect the construction of social identities of TC children.