Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
RN10_05b: Perceptions and constructions of vulnerability
Time:
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Mieke Van Houtte, Ghent University
Location: UP.3.211
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road

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Presentations

Interactive Constructions of Youth Vulnerability

Xavier Rambla

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

The paper draws on a recent study that conducted 160 interviews with 18-to-30 years-old youth in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK (Scotland). The respondents were included in the target groups of active labour market, education and welfare policies that aimed at tackling social vulnerability.

Drawing on the life course approach, the analysis focuses on the biographical experiences of the interviewees as well as on their construal of the policies. To start with, respondents suffered from very heterogeneous circumstances such as material deprivation, long-term unemployment, early school drop-out, mental health problems, traumatic experiences with bullying and other ones. However, most of them were satisfied with the programmes where they were participating. In the interviews, they showed how they endeavoured to overcome their problems. In addition, many interviewees felt deep uneasiness with the institutional arrangements that catered to their needs. Their feelings were mixed. While on the one hand they were proud to have developed new social skills, on the other hand, they thought they did not know their real opportunities. Significantly, the vast majority of policies did not take their views into account.

The paper draws on three strands of literature to account for these findings. First, sociology of education has unveiled the painful experiences of some students in compulsory education, as well as the significant impact of engagement and disengagement in secondary schools. Second, youth studies have discussed both the extent of stereotypes (e.g. associated to NEET) and the variable interpretations of the youth. Finally, policy studies have shown that programmes instil particular understandings of social problems into the routines of both street-level professionals and beneficiaries.



Sense of Futility as Subject of Disciplinary Action: do Students with Negative Attitudes toward the Educational System get disciplined more often?

Emma Degroote, Mieke Van Houtte

Ghent University, Belgium

Several studies on school discipline have pointed out that the labeling of student behavior as deserving of disciplinary action is far from a clear-cut process. From these studies it becomes clear that the labeling of student behavior as deserving of disciplinary actions is a selective process whereby school actors take into account other factors than just the characteristics of the behavior posed. Theory states that those students who do not fit well into the educational vision of the school are more likely to be labeled as behaving in a ‘troublesome’ way. In this study, we argue that not only students’ disruptive behaviors are subject of disciplinary actions, but also students’ attitudes toward the educational system. Specifically, we will examine if expressions of sense of futility cause students to receive official sanctions like detention and suspension more often. Multilevel analysis was carried out on data collected in 2015 from 1662 students in 28 Ghentian (Belgium) schools, that participated in the International Study of City Youth-project (ISCY). Results indicate that teachers with disciplinary actions do not react to students’ sense of futility directly, however, they impose disciplinary actions following disruptive behaviors on students displaying higher feelings of futility more often.



“Excessive” Bodies In The Secondary Classroom: (Short) Stories Of Students With Restricted Growth Of Their Secondary Education In The United Kingdom

Antonios Ktenidis

University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

The body is always already a political site in the classroom, yet many times the body

is ignored both as a significant site of pedagogical attention and as a key for

educational practice (Warren, 1999: 257).

Western schooling’s desire for bodily absence privileges certain bodies which embody the normative schooled body (white, male, heterosexual, able-bodied, middle class) while othering bodies e.g. disabled, queer, of colour, which are too visible and ‘excessive’ and which get punished or disciplined (Warren, 2005). Such an excessive body is the body with Restricted Growth (herein referred to as RG -restricted growth results in a stature of less that 4 feet and 8 inches), which defies the normative developmental milestones of growth and becomes the target of surveillance and normalisation in the school classroom.

Exploring the ‘excess’ of the body with RG, this paper draws on the embodied narratives of twenty-one young people with RG (11-30 years old) of their secondary education in the United Kingdom. These stories were generated through semi-structured narrative interviews. Analysed thematically, these stories demonstrated how students ‘fell short’ of their teachers’ and teaching assistants’ ableist expectations, that is how the former’s (lack of) height translated into the latter’s minds as a ‘problem’ that had to be dealt with.

References

Warren, J. T. (1999). The body politic: Performance, pedagogy, and the power of enfleshment, Text and Performance Quarterly, 19(3), 257-266.

Warren, J. T. (2005). Bodily excess and the Desire for Absence: Whiteness and the Making OF (Raced) Educational Subjectivities. In: B. K. Alexander, B.P. Anderson and G. L. Gallegos (Eds) Performance theories in education: power, pedagogy and the politics of identity, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 83-106.



Compensation of Educational Disadvantages as Social Service?

Éva Perpék1,2, Márta Kiss1,2

1Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Social Sciences, Hungary; 2Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

The manifestation of social inequalities as educational disadvantage, which are inherited through generations, is a kind of common knowledge today. At the same time, in Hungary, the family background has an extremely strong impact on students' efficiency, and there are very big differences between the results of educational competencies in different schools. Our research group is working in the most disadvantaged areas of Hungary, which characterized by a high rate of segregated schools, and very low level of basic educational competencies. This situation highlights the need to better target catching up of children. In the last years, the extracurricular catching up projects were carried out in the frame of tender sources in Hungary, while now these projects are starting to be organized as institutionalized social services. According to current tendencies in Hungary, the social sphere professionals are more and more actively involved in educational disadvantage compensation. In our research, we focus on insights of social services and developmental professionals on educational disadvantages and possible ways of their compensation. The presented preliminary results are based on a survey conducted in 2019. In our paper, we prevail the professionals' beliefs on the roots of educational disadvantages. The respondents expressed their opinion about the impact of the micro and macro level factors such as children and their families as well as the functioning of the education system as a whole. We also analyze the professionals' perception of the various forms of educational disadvantage compensation. We pay special attention to comparison by discovering insights of the professionals of different fields.