231 Local partnerships and the role of civil society in education

231 local partnerships and the role of civil society

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2.3.1. Local partnerships and the role of civil society in education Interdisciplinary research team: Aleksandra Ålund, Magnus Dahlstedt, Ali Osman and Susanne Urban A change in the system of grants geared to ‘partnership for integration’ is targeted at promoting cooperation between civic associations and municipal institutions, NGOs, business and social movements. Preliminary findings indicate a need for a broader understanding of the role of ‘ethnic associations’ in the changing system of welfare, institutional differentiation of education and on the labour market (Ålund and Reichel 2005, Dahlstedt and Hertzberg 2005, Dahlstedt 2006 ) . On this background three extended case studies will examine partnerships with focus on the role of ‘civil society’. How do civic initiatives perceive ethnic disadvantage and which strategies and practices are developed in order to gain influence? The studies are conducted in multiethnic Stockholm examining partnerships including institutions of education and civic initiatives, and which are linked to public and private actors in the city’s dynamic labour markets. Participant observation, interviews and document analysis will be complemented by analyses of the urban op- portunity structure in terms of jobs and education based on register data. The REMESO CSN- survey will provide complementary background data as to the social capital, networks, civic involvement and career strategies of youth more generally and focused on groups of different backgrounds. The project is situated in a research tradition that relates new forms of educational work to civic agency and an ambivalent position of education between market and citizenship (Carnoy 1985; Ålund 2003; Aronowitz 2001; Barry 2001; Maclaren 2003; Giroux 1999). This traditionally class-related issue has found new currency in multi-ethnic society, as a result of cultural differentiation, ethnic discrimination, and urban segregation (Carnoy 1985; Ålund 1997). The first extended study on Changing Frameworks in School Governance: Partnership in Theory and Practice compares partnerships in the context of primary and secondary schools with different orientations and practices. The study relates to changes in the wider framework of school governance in Sweden in terms of a decentralisation of responsibility for the application of national educational goals, a policy change motivated in both economic and democratic terms (Lindblad and Popkewitz 2001), and aimed at fostering partnerships with civic associations, public institutions, and business. What are the effects of local partnerships in terms of democratic participation in different settings? What are the conditions of influence for parents and pupils of M&EM background? What is the impact of gender? In which ways do different constellations of and local conditions for partnerships influence the educational orientations among pupils and their actual opportunities?
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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