Language, Religion and Ethnicity at the Schools with Russian and Polish Language of Instruction in Lithuania: Practices of (Non)Recognition of Cultural Diversity

  • Kristina Šliavaitė
Keywords: ethnicity, language, religion, education, diversity


The paper focuses on the ethnic and religious diversity of school community members at the selected schools and investigates whether and how this diversity is acknowledged and managed in the schooling sector. The paper overviews how research participants perceive the interrelation between language, ethnicity and confession, as well as what ways schools use to deal with religious diversity in their communities. The empirical material comes from qualitative interviews with teachers of religion and members of administration at schools with the Polish and the Russian language of instruction in multi-ethnic urban sites in Lithuania, as well as interviews with members of Catholic or Russian Orthodox communities. The data indicates that school strategies to manage cultural diversity of school community are diverse, but schools where ethnicity and religion are seen as closely related can serve as agents of socialisation into a particular religious or ethnic group and in constructing ethno-confessional identities.
Ethnicity, Nationalism, Migration