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Reality Can Bite: Perspectives of Young People on the Role of Religion in Their World

Author(s): Marie von der Lippe

Journal: Nordidactica : Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education
ISSN 2000-9879

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Identity | Ethnicity | Diversity | Young people/adolescents | Discourse | School | Religious Education (RE)

Despite the vast research on young people and identity issues in recent years, little is still known about the role of religion in adolescents’ lives across various ethnic, religious, and belief-related scenarios. The overall sense is that young people in general do not care about religion, and religion is of little or no importance in their daily lives. This article contributes to that discussion through extensive qualitative interviews with students from different ethnic, religious, and non-religious backgrounds. An analysis of these interviews yields explanations that complicate and sometimes even challenge widely held assumptions about young people and religion, and add new information and nuances to the general understanding of the interplay between ethnicity, religion, and skin colour. This study is part of a larger European project on young people and religion in education (REDCo). Focusing on students aged 14-16, and their discursive constructions on religion and diversity, the findings also contribute important knowledge to school in general, and for religious education teachers in particular.
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