Performing Allegiance: An Adolescent Refugee's Construction of Patriotism in JROCT

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Drawing on a year-long qualitative study, this article examines how one refugee student from the Vietnamese Central Highlands negotiated social and cultural constructions of patriotism and citizenship in a Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps (JROTC) class at an urban high school. Data are analyzed using Butler's (1990) the theory of performativity, and illustrate how this student appropriated and transformed language and ritualized action to assert individuality in an otherwise rule- and routine-driven classroom context. I conclude by theorizing cultural practices of citizenship as they relate to the education of refugee and immigrant youth, and argue that researchers and practitioners must acknowledge the pedagogical and social impact of peripheral spaces in school, such as the JROTC classroom, in shaping many students’ trajectories in and beyond school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-463
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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