ERG SES C 05, Learning and Education
Youth emigration is a concern in rural areas generally in Sweden (Svensson, 2006; Vilhelmsson & Thulin, 2015), and a European as well as a global problem (Baillergeau, Duyvendak & Abdallah, 2015). It causes a demographic imbalance in rural areas with negative consequences for the local economies and welfare-systems. Previous Swedish studies have shown that a strong urban norm is reflected in Swedish popular culture, and that not least young people often hold stereotypical notions of the countryside and the opportunities there (Eriksson, 2010). This is a background to the study, that is partly funded by a rural municipality in Sweden struggling to find ways to challenge these negative stereotypes and encourage young people to explore and consider the local community as a resource in forming their future aspirations. The focus is on school-professionals’ work with students’ aspirations, and how it can be sensitized to the young peoples’ concerns.
The study explores how young people form their aspirations and choices for the future, how teachers and counsellors work to support them, and how learning from students’ own voices may help school professionals develop their counselling to enable students to see opportunities independent of stereotypical notions of gender, class and place. The study further explores how norms associated with gender, class, and ethnicity and of the local culture impact the students’ views and aspirations, but also the professionals’ discourses. Lastly, a central concern is what happens when students’ views and voices on these issues are used as the basis for reflection in inter-professional groups. Could the systematic use of students’ perspectives thus facilitate the development of professional discourses and models for counselling that enable young people form their aspirations more independent of stereotypical notions of gender, class, ethnicity and place?
Three major perspectives form the basis of the theoretical framework of my study: sociology (of space and place and social reproduction), youth studies (of identity processes and forming of aspirations), and work-integrated learning (focusing the professional and inter-professional work and learning-processes). When applied to the focal concerns of the study, these perspectives often intersect.
Concerning the students’ formation of their aspirations, the study draws on Pierre Bourdieu’s theories about social reproduction (Bourdieu & Waquant, 1992), but also on the writings of Beverly Skeggs (2000) and Paul Willis (1977). Baillergeau et al (2015). who has specifically studied young peoples’ forming of future aspiration in regard to gender, class and local conditions, and Puaca (2013) have also provided to the sociological dimension of the theoretical framework of my study. Margeret Archer’s (2007) theory about concerns is central in explaining how the young people act and prioritize when navigating between the present and the apprehended future, as is also Marcus’ & Nurius’ (1986) notion of possible selves. Concerning the teachers’ and counsellors’ inter-professional work and learning, I find that Lipsky’s classical theory Street Level Beaurocrats, that has been applied B Bolin (2011) in a Swedish study of inter-professional work would provide useful analytical tools. The literature on the processes of inter-professional collaboration and learning, and how it can be facilitated (e.g. Edwards, Lunt & Stamou, 2009; Olson, Lewis, Rappe, Hartley, 2015) has grown quite rapidly in the last decade, and provides tools and inspiration for the current study. However, I have not yet found studies that specifically investigate how e.g. clients’, students’ or patients’ voices are systematically used as means for inter-professional learning.
Archer, M (2007). Making our way through the world: Human reflexivity and social mobility Baillergeau, E, Duyvendak, J.W. & Abdallah, S (2015). Heading towards a desirable future: aspirations, commitments and the capability to aspire of young Europeans. Bolin, A. (2011). Shifting subordination: co-located interprofessional collaboration between teachers and social workers. Diss. Göteborg : Göteborgs universitet, 2011. Göteborg. Bourdieu, P. & Wacquant, L.J.D. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. Markus, H., & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves. American Psychologist, 41(9), 954–969. Olson, M.D., Lewis, M., Rappe, P., Hartley, S. (2015) Innovations in Social Work Training: A Pilot Study of Interprofessional Collaboration Using Standardized Clients. In International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, v27 n1 p14-24 2015. Puaca, Goran (2013) Educational choices of the future. A sociological inquiry into micro-politics in education avhandling. Skeggs, B. (2000). Att bli respektabel: konstruktioner av klass och kön. Göteborg: Daidalos. Svensson, L. (2006). Vinna eller försvinna: drivkrafter bakom ungdomars utflyttning från mindre orter. Willis, P.E. (1977). Learning to labour: how working class kids get working class jobs. Farnborough: Saxon House.
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