14 SES 13 B, Family Education, Parenting and School-Family-Community Links IV
The transition from primary school to further education in Denmark is an important focus area both politically and pedagogically. This is partly due to about 15% of young people dropping out of the education system, or not get started training after secondary school. It has social, economic and human costs. Our research project "Transition from lower to upper secondary education among ethnic minority youth in Denmark - on the importance of family and community" should be seen in this context. It turns out that about 35% of young people (15%) who drop out of the education system, have an ethnic minority background. Dropout complexity thus has an ethnic bias ( SFI 2010).
Therefore, it is interesting and important to examine how ethnic minority youth handle the transition from school to further education in a so-called ghetto area in Copenhagen.
In this paper we want to argue that among ethnic minority youth there is a strong emphasis on the relation between further education/upper secondary and their notion of societal inclusion. We investigate how family, school and social relations influence minority youth’s understanding of social belonging and how thoughts on transition and choice is closely linked to family, social position and community. The main interest is how youth define,do and understand social community and in which way they use social community as a strategy of educational attachment. We are interested in the construction of the communities and how the procsess of social inclusion and exclusion is related to this.
The relation between further education among ethnic minority youth and societal inclusion and the expectation of social mobility is not an unknown relation (Coleman 1988, Wacquant 2008, Gilliam 2006) , but what we want to discuss in the paper, is how different actors play different roles in this relation; how the youth draw on a variety of understandings as to why it is important and also draw on a variety of central actors in order to achieve goals and future trajectories.
Our project is carried out in a suburb of Copenhagen in an area known as challenged/ghetto and with a heavy concentration of ethnic minorities. It is an ethnographic study with a focal point on understanding processes of education, inclusion and exclusion from a participant view, and it is therefore embedded in an understanding of the youth in question being experts in and on their own lives.
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