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The Geographies of Education and Relationships in a Multicultural City Enrolling in High-Poverty, Low-Performing Urban Schools and Choosing to Stay There
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
2010 (English)In: Acta Sociologica, ISSN 0001-6993, E-ISSN 1502-3869, Vol. 53, no 2, 141-159 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Given the institutional and financial opportunity to choose any school public or private/independent - in the city, how are we to understand students choosing to stay in their low-performing, high-poverty schools with bad reputations? Drawing on interviews with 53 students from two urban schools in Stockholm and Malmo, as well as on the secondary literature and theoretical perspectives on community discourse and the freedom of choice policy, I argue that we will never understand why students choose to stay if we consider only the values of the pedagogical commodities exchanged in the educational quasi-market. The analytical gaze ought to embrace sociological perspectives on the local community and schools, including individual strategies in relation to school choice and the power of relations, categorization and stigmatization. Thus, I conclude that neither deficiency in information, transportation costs and time nor some murky cultural-religious incentives are behind the decision to stay. The major incentive can be found in the ongoing negotiations between different aspects of community and school discourse that young people develop, whereby, among other things, the prospect of losing a network and the feeling of safety and becoming an outsider in exchange for gaining access to a 'Swedish' middle-class school is, for the time being, not deemed a fair deal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 53, no 2, 141-159 p.
Keyword [en]
community discourse, multicultural, school choice, stigmatization, urban schools
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-48977DOI: 10.1177/0001699310365732ISI: 000279377700003OAI: diva2:376286
authorCount :1Available from: 2010-12-10 Created: 2010-12-10 Last updated: 2010-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Bunar, Nihad
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