This article focuses on the dynamics of ethnicity in the desegregated classroom. The author examines the role of ethnicity in peer culture and finds that it is usually mediated and intersects with other categories (gender, age) and social identities of students (e.g. the friend identity). She also seeks to determine in what contexts and what directions these intersections occur and what kind of integrative or exclusionary effects ethnicity has in the classroom. She argues that ethnicity primarily becomes visible during ritualised symbolic performances in which the significance of different identities is accentuated. Against the backdrop of an ethnographic description of the role of ethnicity in the classroom she analyses the position in the classroom of Roma students, whose distinctiveness can serve as a source of exclusion or a means for selfassertion. At the intersection of the low status that Roma students are given in their role as students and the high status in their role as friends, ethnicity and ethnicisations in the classroom are to be contradictory in their effects.
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