This article describes the experiences and the creative identity development of A., an 11-year-old bicultural and bilingual boy who attended school in two different cultural contact zones (CCZs), in South Africa and Germany. The study is anchored in a single case qualitative research paradigm and follows an ethnographic approach by using qualitative interviews, observation and field notes. Findings show A.’s identity development within the two CCZs. The article discusses how A. develops creatively to manage himself in the different CCZs by focusing on expanding or minimizing selected identity parts to create “safe zones”. It concludes that to grow within the two school environments, identity needs to be developed creatively and flexibly in correspondence with the schools’ approaches to diversity.
identity development, creativity, cultural contact zones, school system, Germany, South Africa
Full text article
Badat, S. (2016). Deciphering the meanings and explaining the South African Higher Education Student Protests of 2015-16. Pax Academica, 1(1): 71-106.
Berger, P.L. & T. Luckmann (1966). The Social Construction of Reality. Penguin Books.
Berry, K. (2007). Embracing the catastrophe: Gay body seeks acceptance. Qualitative Inquiry, 13(2): 259-281. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800406294934
Bhabha, H.K. (2015). Foreword, in P. Werbner & T. Modood (eds.), Debating Cultural Hybridity: Multicultural Identities and the Politics of Anti-Racism. London: Zed Books.
Baker, C. (2011). Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Bamberg, M., A. de Fina & D. Schiffrin (2011). Discourse and identity construction. In S. Schwartz, K. Luyckx & V.L. Vignoles (eds.), Handbook of Identity Theory and Research, Vol. 1 (177-200). Springer Science & Business Media.
Beghetto, R.A. & K.C. Kaufman (2007). Toward a broader conception of creativity: A case for "mini-c" creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, 1(2): 73-79. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/1931-3818.104.22.168
Beghetto, R.A. (2010). Creativity in the classroom. In J.C. Kaufman & R.J. Sternberg (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (447-463). Cambridge University Press.
Bethany, M. & S. Dryden-Peterson (2017). Responses to cultural diversity in Botswana’s schools: Links between national policy, school actions and students’ civic equality. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 50(3): 364-386. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2017.1398353
Canagarajah, A.S. (2013). Introduction. In A.J. Canagarajah (ed.), Literacy as Translingual Practice: Between Communities and Classrooms (1–10). Routledge.
Chang, H. (2007). Autoethnography: Raising cultural consciousness of self and others. In B. Jeffrey, G. Walford & G. Troman (eds.) Methodological Developments in Ethnography: Volume 12 of Studies in Educational Ethnography (207-221). London: Emerald Group.
Civitillo, S., M. Schachner, L. Juang, F.J.R. van de Vijer, A. Handrick & P. Noack (2017). Towards a better understanding of cultural diversity approaches at school: A multi-informant and mixed methods study. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 12: 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2016.09.002
Clarke, S. & T. O’Donoghue (2017). School leadership and borderlands: Crossing into uncharted territory. International Journal of Leadership in Education, Theory and Practice, 22(4): 486-497. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603124.2017.1394499
Cloete, N., I. Bunting & P. Maassen (2015). Research universities in Africa: An empirical overview of eight flagship universities. In N. Cloete, P. Maassen & T. Bailey (eds.), Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education (18-31). Cape Town: African Minds.
Cloete, N., P. Maassen, R. Fehnel, T. Moja, T. Gibbon & H. Perold (2006). Transformation in Higher Education: Global Pressures and Local Realities. Springer.
Coté, J.E. & C.G. Levine (2015). Identity Formation, Agency, and Culture: A Social Psychological Synthesis. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Csíkszentmihályi, M. (2014). The Systems Model of Creativity: The Collected Works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Springer.
Csíkszentmihályi, M. & R. Wolfe (2014). New conceptions and research approaches to creativity: implications of a systems perspective for creativity in education. In M. Csikszentmihalyi (ed.), The Systems Model of Creativity: The Collected Works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (161-184). Springer.
Denshire, S. & A. Lee (2013). Conceptualizing autoethnography as assemblage: Accounts of occupational therapy practice. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 12(1): 221–236. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F160940691301200110
Denzin, N.K. (1989). Interpretive Biography. Sage.
Department of Labour (1998). Employment Equity Act, No. 55 of 1998. Retrieved 26 April 2021 from http://www.labour.gov.za/DocumentCenter/Acts/Employment%20Equity/Act%20-%20Employment%20Equity%201998.pdf
Dewilde, J. & T.-A. Skrefsrud (2016). Including alternative stories in the mainstream: How transcultural young people in Norway perform creative cultural resistance in and outside of school. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(10): 1032-1042. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2016.1145263
Ellis, C., T.E. Adams & A.P. Bochner (2010). Autoethnography: An overview. Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung, 36(4 (138)): 273-290. Retrieved 26 April 2021 from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23032294
Fine, M., E. Tuck & S. Zeller-Berkman (2008). Do you believe in Geneva? Methods and ethics at the global-local nexus. In N. Denzin, Y. Lincoln & T. Smith (eds.), Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies (157-180). Sage.
Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.
Frost, H.D. & G. Regehr (2013). “I am a doctor”: Negotiating the discourses of standardization and diversity in professional identity construction. Academic Medicine, 88(10): 1570-1577. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182a34b05
Furnham A. & J. Marks (2013). Tolerance of ambiguity: A review of the recent literature. Psychology, 4(9): 717-728. https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2013.49102
Glăveanu, V.P. (2015). Creativity as a sociocultural act. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 49(3): 165-180. https://doi.org/10.1002/jocb.94
Gralewski, J. & M. Karwowski (2018). Are teachers' implicit theories of creativity related to the recognition of their students' creativity? The Journal of Creative Behaviour, 52(2): 156-167. https://doi.org/10.1002/jocb.140
Hage, G. (2012). White Nation: Fantasies of White Supremacy in Multicultural Society. Routledge.
Jeldtoft, N. & J.S. Nielsen (2014). Methods and Contexts in the Study of Muslim Minorities: Visible and Invisible Muslims. Routledge.
Karakayali, S. (2018). The Flüchtlingskrise in Germany: Crisis of the refugees, by the refugees, for the refugees. Sociology, 52(3): 606-611. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0038038518760224
Kühnhardt, L. (2018). Multi-German Germany. In M. Mertes, S. Muller & H.A. Winkler (eds.), In Search of Germany. Taylor & Francis.
Longerbeam, S. (2016). Challenge and support for the 21st Century: A mixed-methods study of college student success. Journal of the First-year Experience and Students in Transition, 28(2): 33-51.
Mahalingam, R. (2008). Power, social marginality, and the cultural psychology of identities at the cultural contact zones. Human Development, 51(5-6): 368-373. Retrieved 26 April 2021 from https://www.jstor.org/stable/26764878
Mattei, P. & A.S. Aguilar (2016). The new challenges to the École laique: integrating Islam. In P. Mattei & A.S. Aguilar (eds.), Secular Institutions, Islam and Education Policy (7-29). Springer Nature.
Mayer, C.-H. (2008). Managing Conflict Across Cultures, Values and Identities: A Case Study in the South African Automotive Industry. Marburg, Germany: Tectum Verlag.
Mayer, C.-H. (2011). The Meaning of Sense of Coherence in Transcultural Management. Münster, Germany: Waxmann.
Mayer, C.-H. (2015). Travelling inner landscapes: A longitudinal study on intercultural identity development. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 34(4): 272-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-08-2012-0072
Mayer, C.-H. &. A. Barnard (2015). Balancing the scales of gender and culture in contemporary South Africa. In S. Safdar & N. Kovakowska (eds.), Psychology of Gender through the Lens of Culture: Theories and Applications (327-249). Springer.
Mayer, C.-H. & L. Louw (2013). “Who are you?” Constructing managerial identities in post-Apartheid South Africa. Management Revue, 24(4): 289-308. Retrieved 26 April 2021 from https://www.jstor.org/stable/23610655
Mayer, C.-H. & A.-P. Flotman (2017). Constructing identity: Implications for reflexive HRM. In J. Mahadevan & C.-H. Mayer (eds.), Muslim Minorities, Workplace Diversity and Reflexive HRM (61-76). Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Mayer, C.-H. & D. Maree (2018). A writer’s creativity across the life span: Paulo Coelho in Psychobiographical Perspective. Journal of Genius and Eminence, 3(1): 85-98.
Meier, C. & C. Hartell (2009). Handling cultural diversity in education in South Africa. SA Educational Journal, 6(2): 180-192. Retrieved 26 April 2021 from http://www.puk.ac.za/opencms/export/PUK/html/fakulteite/opvoed/educ/artikels/SpecialIssue2009/SpecialEd_SouthAfrica.pdf
Naples, N.A. (2008). Crossing Borders: Feminism, Intersectionality and Globalization. Magill, Australia: Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies, University of South Australia. Retrieved 26 April 2021 from https://www.unisa.edu.au/siteassets/episerver-6-files/documents/eass/hri/working-papers/wp36.pdf
O’Sullivan-Lago R., G. de Abreu & M. Burgess (2008). “I am a human being like you”: An identification strategy to maintain continuity in a cultural contact zone. Human Development, 51(5-6): 349-367. https://doi.org/10.1159/000170897
Palmer, D.K., C. Cervantes-Soon, L. Dorner & D. Heiman (2019). Bilingualism, biliteracy, biculturalism and critical consciousness for all: Proposing a fourth fundamental goal for two-way dual language education. Theory into Practice, 58(2): 121-133. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2019.1569376
Pratt, M.L. (1991). Arts of the contact zone. Profession, 1991: 33–40. Retrieved 26 April 2021 from https://www.jstor.org/stable/25595469
Pratt, G. (2007). Working with migrant communities: Collaborating with the Kalayaan Centre in Vancouver, Canada. In S. Kindon, R. Pain & M. Keyby (eds.), Participatory Action Research: Connecting People, Participation and Place (95-103). Routledge.
Runco, M. (2015). Meta-creativity: Being creative about creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 27(3): 295-298. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2015.1065134
Runco, M.A. & R.S. Albert (2010). Creativity research: A historical view. In J.C. Kaufmann & R.J. Sternberg (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (3-19). Cambridge University Press.
Runco, M.A. & G.J. Jaeger (2012). The standard definition of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 24(1): 92-96. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2012.650092
Saad, C.S., R.I. Damian, V. Benet-Martinez, W.G. Moons & R.W. Robins (2012). Multiculturalism and creativity: Effects of cultural context, bicultural identity, and ideational fluency. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4(3): 369-375. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1948550612456560
Sandhu, P. & C. Higgins (2016). Identity in post-colonial contexts. In D. Peece (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity (179-194). Routledge.
Schneider, J. (2018). Ausländer (foreigners), migrants, or new Germans? Identity building processes and school socialization among adolescents from immigrant backgrounds in Germany. New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development, 2018(160): 59-73. https://doi.org/10.1002/cad.20241
Schulte, C.M., P. Webster, E. Anttila & B. Haseman (2018). Fostering culturally responsive schools: Student identity development in cross-cultural classrooms. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 19(3): 1-23. Retrieved 26 April 2021 from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1172393.pdf
Schönwälder, K. (2010). Germany: Integration policy and pluralism in a self-conscious country of immigration. In S. Vertovec & M. Wessendorf (eds.). The Multicultural Backlash: European Discourses, Policies and Practices (152-169). Routledge.
Singh, P. & C. Doherty (2012). Global cultural flows and pedagogic dilemmas: Teaching in the global university contact zone. TESOL Quarterly, 38(1): 9-42. https://doi.org/10.2307/3588257
Sleeter, C.E. (2018). Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the overwhelming presence of whiteness. Journal of Teacher Education, 52(2): 94-106. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0022487101052002002
Sleeter, C.E. (2018). Multicultural education past, present, and future: Struggles for dialog and power sharing. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 20(1): 5-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.18251/ijme.v20i1.1663
Soja, E. (2010). Seeking Spatial Justice. University of Minnesota Press.
Sternberg, R.J. (2005). The WICS Model of Organizational Leadership. Retrieved 26 April 2021 from https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/55937/CPL_WP_05_06_Sternberg.pdf
Sternberg, R.J. & T.I. Lubart (1995). Defying the Crowd: Cultivating Creativity in a Culture of Conformity. New York: The Free Press.
Stets, J.E. & P.J. Burke (2000). Identity theory and social identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63(3): 224-237. https://doi.org/10.2307/2695870
Terre Blanche, M., K. Durrheim &. K. Kelly (2006). First steps in qualitative data analysis. In M. Terre Blanche, K. Durrheim & D. Painter (eds.), Research in Practice: Applied Methods for the Social Sciences (321–344). University of Cape Town Press.
Torre, M.E., M. Fine & N. Alexander (2008). Participatory action research in the contact zone. In J. Cammarota & M. Fine (eds.), Revolutionizing Education: Youth Participatory Action Research in Motion (23-44). Routledge.
Vertovec, S. (2007). Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30(6): 1024–1054. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870701599465
Wahab, N.A., P. Nathan, N. Hasnida, C.M. Ghazali, N.M. Rabi & A.H. Dawi (2018). Teachers’ perspective on cultural diversity in school: A case study. International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development, 7(3): 497–506. https://doi.org/10.6007/ijarped%2Fv7-i3%2F4568
Welsch, W. (2017). Kultur aus transkultureller Perspektive. In D. Treichel & C.-H. Mayer (eds.). Lehrbuch Kultur (149-157). Münster, Germany: Waxmann.
Werning, R., J.M. Löser & M. Urban (2008). Cultural and social diversity: An analysis of minority groups in German schools. The Journal of Special Education, 42(1): 47-54. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0022466907313609
Wood, J.T. (2009). Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture. Wadsworth.
Yin, R.K. (2009). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (2nd ed.). Sage.