Citizenship and the Place of Nonreligion in Everyday School Life

Joanna Malone, Anna Harriet Block Strhan, Peter Hemming, Sarah Neal

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper draws from a three-year study examining the significance of religion in how schools in Britain foster notions of citizenship – at national, local, and global scales, as well as how these intersect – and how children experience these processes. The question of how schools should prepare children to be citizens of a society that is both increasingly nonreligious and increasingly religiously diverse is subject to ongoing contestation. Yet while there have been numerous studies oriented towards the content and practice of religious education, we know little about how religion, nonreligion and citizenship become interrelated through everyday practices in schools, or what this means for children’s sense of belonging or exclusion. Drawing on ethnographic research and interviews conducted with children, parents, and teachers in primary schools in four different areas of the UK, we explore how these schools seek to promote particular values and ideas of citizenship, and examine how this relates to non-religious children’s own practices of citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 7 Jun 2023
EventNonreligion and Secularity Research Network Conference - University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
Duration: 6 Jun 20239 Jun 2023


ConferenceNonreligion and Secularity Research Network Conference
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