05 SES 03, Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Our research project takes its point of departure in an interest in how youth define social community and how they use social community as a strategy in their educational attachment and school achievements. In the project, we are interested in finding out which communities the youth in question are included in and which they are delimited from or choose not to be part of. We are interested in investigating the significance of these communities in relation to education, and we are interested in understanding how professionals surrounding the youth perceive the communities.
This interest has led to the following questions:
- Which social networks and communities are the young people in question part of? How are they spoken of and how are they valued by professionals and by the young people themselves?
- How do professionals, institutions, pedagogical practice and the surrounding community support or complicate the social networks and communities of the youth?
- Which meaning are the communities given by the youth in relation to an understanding of being included or excluded for education and schooling?
The theoretical framework for the project draws on different orientations – one being the ethnographic approach to understanding practices and positioning, another being a more sociological approach: Since the problem of inclusion in and exclusion of educational settings is a far more complex problem, we need to understand it as an institutionally framed and therefore not a problem that can be solved or understood merely by focusing on the youth in question, but must be addressed by looking at the structural conditions in which it is embedded. In that way inclusion and exclusion must be understood as a dialectic relation between the participants in a given setting and the structural conditions of the setting itself. Furthermore, research shows that pre-categorization such as race, gender, ethnicity and class will add to the exclusionary mechanisms in the educational system (Gilliam 2006, Moldenhawer 1999, Mørch 2006).
In parts of educational research, there is a tendency to operate with educational settings and pedagogical institutions as a distinct area of investigation. Our interest is to open up that field and to try and understand the processes in which inclusion and exclusion as phenomena are constructed, since what goes on within institutional settings influence what goes on outside of institutional settings, and vice-versa (Sernhede 2011, Willis 1997). The hypothesis then becomes that the youth in question experience inclusion and exclusion in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings; which is why we need to study the youth in their environment (the ethnographic approach) as well as the mechanisms that apparently add to experiences of inclusion and exclusion (the micro-sociological approach)
Ambrosius, Ulla (2003) Pædagogisk etnografi . Klim. Atkinson, P. & Hammersley, M( 2007) Etnography. Principles in practice. New York Routledge. Gilliam, Laura ( 2006) De umulige børn og det ordentlige menneske - identitet, ballade og muslimske fællesskaber blandt etniske minoritetsbørn Moldenhawer, Bolette ( 2001) En bedre fremtid? : skolens betydning for etniske minoriteter / Bolette Moldenhawer København : Hans Reitzel. Mørch Lerche, Line ( 2006) Grænsefællesskaber : læring og overskridelse af marginalisering Roskilde Universitetsforlag, Sernhede, Ove (2007): .Forstadens .truende. unge mænd., Social Kritik, vol. 108. Sernhede, Ove 2009: .Territorial stigmatisering. Unges uformelle læring og skolen i det postindustrielle samfund., Social Kritik, vol. 118. Wacquant, Loïc (2008) Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality. Cambridge: Polity Press Wacquant, Loïc 2002: .Scrutinizing the Street: Poverty, Morality and the Pi falls of Urban Ethnography., American Journal of Sociology, 107 . Willis, Paul ( 1997/2007) Learning to Labour Saxon House
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