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The Politics of Citizenship and Difference in Sri Lankan Schools


Birgitte Refslund Sørensen is associate professor at the Department of Anthropology, Copenhagen University. She has carried out extensive research on Sri Lanka, including issues such as development-induced displacement and resettlement, community and capacity building, postconflict social reconstruction, and humanitarian assistance (


This article explores the formation of citizenship in Tamil-medium minority schools in Sri Lanka. It is argued that although the new curriculum aims to construct an inclusive notion of national citizenship, the influence of politics on education in reality creates dominant experiences of discrimination and marginalization. I argue, however, that in the more resourceful communities, social networks are effectively put to work to generate an alternative authoritative notion of peripheral citizenship. [citizenship, minorities, education, Sri Lanka]

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