05 SES 13, Education Policy and Race in Europe in Times of Austerity: Recognising or Producing ‘Difference’?
There has been much reluctance among both academics and policy makers in European countries to see race as a determining factor in the education experiences of racial minorities, and many have argued that class, gender or citizenship are more relevant. In order to foreground race and race equality as an issue, researchers and practitioners in this field have responded with different approaches and analytical frameworks in the different national contexts. These include, among others, analysing racial ‘othering’, naming institutional racism, employing postcolonial theories, adapting Critical Race Theory and theories of whiteness from the US, and developing anti-racist and intercultural pedagogies. However, work on race and education continues to be marginalised in academia.
The papers in this symposium firstly argue collectively that despite the potency of post-racial discourses, race (still) matters in education, and secondly consider the interplay between race and education policy in the various national contexts. Rather than attempting to provide a comprehensive overview of education policy and race in each of the three countries, we provide a case study from each national context which interrogates educational policy in these times of austerity and asks how racial minorities are positioned by education policy, and whether it recognises or produces ‘difference’.
European countries have long histories of migration, each unique to their economic and cultural settings. The countries in our study, Britain, Germany and France, have experienced large numbers of guest workers, colonial workers, refugees, economic migrants, political exiles, students. Education policy has responded in different ways over the years to the (perceived) challenge of educating migrants and the children of migrants, including by aiming to assimilate them/us, by trying to compensate for perceived deficit, by ‘celebrating difference’. However, such approaches, which characterise education systems in all these countries, have been criticised for ultimately producing ‘difference’: the essentialisation and stereotyping of people according to (perceived) ethnic and cultural group, contributing to many minority groups continuing to under-achieve or being under-represented in more elite institutions or specific types of education and training. Young people from minority backgrounds have reacted in different ways, by achieving highly in education, by self-exclusion from the system, by explicit protest, by adopting oppositional identities.
In line with the conference theme of the past, present and future of education research, this symposium asks, where are we now? The theme of race and ‘difference’ is highly relevant to research in education, and yet remains a niche field of study. In these times of austerity, such issues are of more importance than ever: nationalist parties across Europe are on the rise, youth unemployment is unprecedentedly high across Europe, and higher among minority youth; the reduction in state welfare support mechanisms is hitting youth particularly hard; there is evidence to suggest that young people are experiencing high levels of surveillance and policing, even in education settings; education research in all three countries in recent years has identified ongoing racial discrimination; and yet there is also some evidence to suggest that in some groups and regions, young people themselves are challenging racial binaries.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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