How and When Belongings and Living Conditions Is Made (in)Visible in School

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:24 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Karina PETERSSON , Department of Social Studies, LinnŠus University, Sweden, Vńxj÷, Sweden
This paper explores how and when principles of categorizing groups related to residential area and living conditions, are present and are of importance in education and social relationships in school practice. The background to the study is that on the one hand, there is openness and a welcoming of immigrants in Swedish society and in schools, for example, through policy and political objectives. On the other hand, there are clear structural differences and segregation in schools related to the area affiliation and ethnic origin. Interest in gaining an understanding of and explanations for the ambiguity that emerges between policy and what happens in the school's daily life have contributed to the study's aim. The aim of this study is to investigate and analyze whether, and if so, how and when students in a secondary school in a medium-sized town in southern Sweden, are identified and categorized in relation to the belonging residential area and living conditions within education and social relationships, as well as its relevance for pupils in school practice. The focus is on how the changing demands and social relations are managed, organized and perceived by different actors, when school is becoming a common arena for students from different areas and with different living conditions. The analysis is based on an ethnographic study based on observations, interviews and informal conversations in school practice. The study’s result show that pupils belonging and living conditions is made visible and contributes to categorization in certain contexts in school practice, while it is made invisible to categorization in other contexts, where other factors connects pupils to a group or network. It is also found that the different categorizations overlap each other.