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This paper focuses on the role of dominant school discourses in structuring how students position themselves and others relative to a community centered on science. The study was conducted in a diverse, eighth grade classroom in an urban magnet school. I argue that dominant discourses portray a limited view of available subject positions, in that the purpose of learning science is associated with a dichotomous view of people as being either college-bound or not. I explore how these limited subject positions can pose contradictions with some students' interests, constrain students' visions of possibilities, exacerbate disadvantages based on race and class, and interfere with students acquiring identities as science learners. However, there are also possibilities for resistance, agency and self-definition through students' talk.


Pre-print, post-refereed version of article available in institutional repository.

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