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Dampened Voices: A Comparative Look at Roma Adolescents’ Discourses on Being ‘Othered’ at School

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Migrant, Roma and Post-Colonial Youth in Education across Europe

Abstract

There exists a considerable body of work in sociology and anthropology which addresses the issues of educational disadvantages and poor school performance of ethnic minority children. According to an influential paradigm resulting from an anthropological approach to the study of the educational process, significant differences in the cultural and religious backgrounds of minority and majority students provide the primary explanation for the achievement gap between these two groups. This assumption is challenged by John Ogbu, who has demonstrated that underachievement is characteristic of the members of communities who are integrated formally but who are actually restricted in their upward mobility (Ogbu 1991). Gibson’s work has proved that children of identical ethnic background, or originating from the same country, can obtain different achievement levels at different schools, even more in different national educational systems, depending on the relationship of the immediate and wider social environment towards them (Gibson 1996).

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© 2014 Margit Feischmidt

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Feischmidt, M. (2014). Dampened Voices: A Comparative Look at Roma Adolescents’ Discourses on Being ‘Othered’ at School. In: Szalai, J., Schiff, C. (eds) Migrant, Roma and Post-Colonial Youth in Education across Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137308634_8

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