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Abstract

This article looks at peer dynamics in the mainstream classroom to explore the ways Russian-speaking children/adolescents in Ireland negotiate their cultural identities and their otherness outside the home. The article presents the analysis of semi-structured interviews with thirty parents and their children between 10 and 18 years of age from Russian-speaking families from Russia and Latvia. The participants dwell on how comfortable they feel at Irish schools and what factors impact their feeling of sameness/otherness. The interviews with both generations contribute to creating a multi-dimensional picture which reveals that the perspectives of the agents involved in this study are not always in keeping with each other. While many of the interviewed children/adolescents believe that it is possible to be different and, yet, feel the same as others at school, their parents are often of the opinion that otherness should preclude the feeling of comfort.

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