This master thesis studies how ethnic minority boys in Denmark construct their trainee identity within the social site vocational education, and what this identity means for the trainee’s educational success. An insight into the individual meaning constructions of ethnic minority boys shall challenge the problematization of these boys in the Danish society and contribute to a more nuanced understanding of them. The empirical materials of this study are observations and picture-based interviews with five boys and one girl attending a car mechanic training. These materials are analyzed with regards to the individual trainee identities and their respective collective identities. Social constructivist theories about identity constructions provide the analytical framework of this thesis. A transnational perspective on social fields is used to understand how the informants’ identities are constructed in several national and/or social fields simultaneously. Also, the thesis analyzes the meaning of the social categories ethnicity and gender for these identity constructions. Firstly, with this analytical perspective at hand, the identity constructions in the studied class are found to be in a trainee category with determination and vocational competency as reference points. It is shown how the competent trainee is constructed by demarcations from those trainees, ’that don’t work’, and how the competent trainees can produce a collective identity as ’appropriate trainees’ in opposition to those trainees, whose trainee identity is ’wrong’. But also the trainees ’that don’t work’ produce a collective identity, which is constructed around a hard masculinity category, which makes laziness at school a natural thing within the group. Nevertheless, these trainees are as well preoccupied with the category ’competent trainee’, which makes it a powerful category at the car mechanic education. Secondly, relations are ascribed significance for vocational school motivation, and help, cooperation and humor are constructed as important symbols of group identity in the class. Thirdly, an implicit norm about Danishness with regards to trainee identity is constructed in some ethnic minority boys’ narratives about their minority positions. Thereby, Danishness is not constructed as ethnic, but as an implicit part of the category ’appropriate trainee’. Finally, the thesis shows that an appropriate trainee identity does not come into existence within a vacuum, but with reference to the norms and values about the appropriate trainee both in the class, inside the vocational education site and within the Danish society. Therefore, these social settings have to be considered when working with ethnic minority boys’ success in vocational education sites, instead of solely focusing on the boys’ individual problems regarding their educational success.
|Uddannelser||Kultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||8 sep. 2010|
|Vejledere||Lise Paulsen Galal|