07 SES 10 JS, Critical Reflections on Social Justice and Equality in Education, Part I: Critical Ethnography in Nordic Context- with European Refelctions
Joint Session with NW 19
Nordic countries form a specific context in equality and social justice issues. They have a reputation as equal countries especially in terms of gender and social class. Neo-liberal reasoning, with its emphasis on individualism and self-responsibility, has changed Nordic Welfare States and their relations with their citizens. Even if these tendencies are overt in the Nordic countries, it still is justified to speak of the Nordic countries as a rather distinct group regarding education politics. Moreover, differences between the Nordic countries are often neglected when the Nordic Welfare model is celebrated. Therefore the Nordic case is interesting when reflected in relation to the general European trends that often have been analysed in the UK context.
This symposium is built in joint work conducted in a Nordic Research Network on Critical Perspectives on Children, Young People, Welfare and Education (NordCrit). The Network includes around 50 senior and post doc researchers and doctoral students from Finland, Norway and Sweden. In the Network we have tried to receive new understanding about the effects of restructuring, market orientation and neo-liberal governance into social-inclusive aspects of education, in terms of democratic values, participation, and the extent to which education is regarded as an element in welfare policies.
One of the main aims of the network has been in promoting Nordic collaboration between researchers that are interested in critical, empirically grounded analysis of education, especially in terms of equity, justice and other social divisions. The network aims also to build up empirically grounded theoretisations on teaching and learning in varied educational contexts. As a result, three papers include cross cultural analysis in the Nordic countries. The papers in the first session are planned to be published in a book for Tufnell Press, the second session in a special issue in Nordic Educational Research.
The papers in the symposium use a broad variety of research methods, such as ethnography, narrative research and document analysis.
Session1: Critical Ethnography in the Nordic Context – with European Reflections
The critical ethnographic perspective in this work means that power relations in education are addressed with the political aim of social inclusion and democracy through ethnographic data and analysis. Whilst a central focus in most of the papers of this session is in gender, diversities and differences are analysed and interpretations drawn informed by intersectional understanding.
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