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Marginalized youth - In the school, the city and society

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Jonas Lindbäck
Publicerad i Goldsmiths Graduate Festival 2013, 29 April - 17 May, London.
Publiceringsår 2013
Publicerad vid Institutionen för pedagogik, kommunikation och lärande
Språk en
Ämnesord Marginalization, urban youth, dropout, segregation, territorial stigmatization
Ämneskategorier Pedagogik, Ungdomsforskning


Over the last two decades the equivalence between schools in the Swedish educational system has severely diminished. These changes are most apparent in relation to the immigrant-dense and disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the major cities. Urban segregation and processes of territorial stigmatization contribute to a high degree to the life in these areas and the situation for the schools there. The focus of this study is on some of these neighbourhoods at the outskirts of Gothenburg, and in particular the students there who finish nine-year compulsory school without sufficient grades for upper secondary school. In many of the schools this is a reality for as many as half of all students, and without post-compulsory education they are much more likely to face unemployment or other social problems in the future. Studies also show how the society tends to blame these young people for being ‘at risk’, and the young people also tend to blame themselves and/or lose faith in society. But there are also signs of resistance and a ‘partial penetration’ of the schools and educational system. The aim for this study is to investigate, through interviews and participatory observations, the ways in which youth that are unlikely to continue to post-compulsory education give meaning to and interpret their position in the educational system and in the hierarchically structured urban space of contemporary Sweden. In contemporary debate around schools and youth ‘at risk’ questions around pedagogy, teachers and economic resources are recurrent themes. But to understand the situation in the areas of study it’s necessary to look beyond the walls of the school to the circumstances that shapes the lives for these youths. Central questions are: the role and function of the school in these young peoples lives? How does it relate to their understanding of themselves, their possibilities, and their place and position in the city and society?

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