07 SES 07 A, A Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 (Part 2): Educational Initiatives and Interventions
Symposium continues from 07 SES 06 A
The Swedish Delegation for Roma Issues states in its report from 2010 that “a majority of Roma children do not complete primary school, very few continue to secondary school and even fewer reach university level” (SOU 2010:55, p. 35). Although there are tendencies of change and school attendance is increasing among Romani pupils, the lack of knowledge about the history and contemporary situation of the minority among teachers hampers the teachers’ ability to fully understand and support their Romani pupils (Dimiter-Taikon & Rodell Olgaç, 2013). In 2012 the Swedish Government adopted a strategy for Roma inclusion 2012 – 2032. Five pilot municipalities were selected to develop good examples of working methods during 2012-2015 to be disseminated across the country. The first years of the strategy have resulted in more dialogue between Roma and different authorities in the country. However, a recent report from the County Administrative Board in Stockholm highlights the still existing discriminatory structures, ongoing antiziganism, and the need for Romani expertise and cooperation between Roma and the authorities (Länsstyrelsen i Stockholm, 2014). One of the state measures included in the strategy, was the training of Romani mediators. This study analyses a two year training course for 16 mediators from different Romani groups, mainly working in schools. The course was developed at Södertörn University and started in the end of 2012. The theoretical framework of the study draws from the conceptual system of Bourdieu (1993) and Bourdieu & Passeron (1990), especially the concept of cultural capital. The methodology is inspired by critical ethnography and action research (Cohen, Manion & Morrison 2000). The study is based on interviews with the mediators and some of their assignments, and in addition informal conversations with them and other teaching experiences during the course, as well as visits to their pilot municipalities. We present some examples and results from the course which illustrate the challenges and the expectations the mediators face in their work. In our conclusion we discuss the consequences of an increased cultural capital acquired by the mediators through the course, but also the risks they face in their work when they are seen as the solution of structural problems and the burden for the inclusion of Roma in the society at large is placed on their shoulders.
Bourdieu, P. 1993. Kultursociologiska texter. Stockholm/Stehag: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion. Bourdieu, P., Passeron, J.-C. 1990. Reproduction in Education. Society and Culture. London: Sage Publications. Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. 2000. Research Methods in Education. 5th Ed. London: Routledge Falmer. Länsstyrelsen i Stockholm. 2014. Nulägesbeskrivning av hinder och möjligheter för romers rätt: utbildning, arbete, bostad, hälsa, social omsorg och trygghet. Rapport 2014:22. Stockholm: Länsstyrelsen i Stockholm. Rodell Olgaç, C. & Dimiter Taikon, A. 2013. ”Mamma, ska jag säga att jag är rom?” En kartläggning av romska barns och elevers skolsituation i fem pilotkommuner för Skolverket. Bilaga i Skolverkets Delredovisning av regeringsuppdrag inom regeringens strategi för romsk inkludering till Länsstyrelsen, Dnr A2012/1387/DISK. www.skolverket.se SOU. 2010. Romers rätt: en strategi för romer i Sverige. Betänkande av Delegationen för romska frågor. Stockholm: SOU.
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