Reflections on Exclusion Dynamics in Education and Training in the Danish Context: Democratic Egalitarian Orientation versus Meritocratic Elitist Orientation

John Andersen, Peder Hjort-Madsen

Research output: Working paperResearch

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Abstract

The first part of this paper suggests a theoretical framework w.r.t. basic assumptions on inequality and social exclusion. Inspired by Bourdieus relational and conflict oriented understanding of social fields and the struggles between dominating and dominated rationales within the fields. The dominating rationality of the educational system favor certain cultural and social capitals and reproduces social inequality, but socially creative strategies / SCS can challenge the dominating principles. The conflicting principles and orientations of the Danish educational system are summarized in table 1 (Table 1).

The second part has focus on Lifelong Learning (LL) and present research on education and training of low-skilled women and men. In Denmark Lifelong Learning has been a key policy perspective with regard to preventing exclusion on the post-industrial labour market. The low-skilled groups - most at risk - and the problems they encounter will be presented and analyzed. Research on education and training considering the life experiences and needs of the participants will be presented as examples of socially creative strategies.

The last part discusses exclusion of ethnic minorities in the primary and secondary school system. With regard to social exclusion of ethnic minorities, we discuss the necessity for policy makers and teachers to take into account other strategic perspectives then applied to the ‘classical’ disadvantaged social groups excluded because they lack ‘school capital’. Ethnic minorities might have ‘school capital’ and school experiences very different from what is being valued in a Danish context. Therefore in order to include ethnic minorities, educational strategies need to broaden its perspective on who are included socially and culturally.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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