assistant professor jin hui li at university of oulu: “Feeling Strange” – Oral histories of newly arrived migrant children’s experiences of schooling in Denmark from the 1970s to the 1990s
The Geography Research Unit of University of Oulu, Finland, hosts a colloquium November 28th revolving around the preliminary findings of oral history interviews conducted as a part of the interdiscplinary research project "Global Flows of migrants and their impact on North European Welfare States (FLOW)" presented by assistant professor Jin Hui Li. Jin Hui Li is part of the FLOW work package 3 together with professor Mette Buchardt and research assistant Nanna Ramsing Enemark.
University of oulu has described li's work and the colloquium as follows:
The talk presents a study that historicizes the schooling experiences of migrant children with a nonwestern background from the 1970s to the 1990s in the Danish education system. The focus is on how the students experienced their reception in the school institution and how schools were preparing students for the transitions between elementary school, further education and the labor market. The main methodology is oral history interviews with people who entered into the Danish education system as children. Historically, education has, especially since the emergence of the modern nation-states, been linked to the state and the production of its work force and citizenry and thus of belonging to national space (Popkewitz, 2000). The educational political efforts since the 1970s in Denmark that were directed toward newly arrived migrants and their children can also be viewed as a means to circumscribe welfare distribution (Buchardt, 2018), as a double register of inclusion and exclusion (Popkewitz, 2007), and as a hierarchy of inclusion. A central, recurring theme that all of the informants address in their experiences of social inclusion is ‘feeling strange’ when arriving to the Danish schools without the ability to speak Danish. Hence the analytical focus of this presentation is: How have migrants become and sometimes overcome being a ‘stranger’ in Danish schooling since the 1970s? Theoretically, the study illuminates the historical development of the internal bordering of the nation in the context of the Danish welfare-state model (Kettunen, 2011; Suszycki, 2011) by exploring how the historical hierarchies of inclusion and exclusion in education are experienced by students under shifting policies from the 1970s to the 1990s.
The colloquium is open for all students and researchers, and it is free of charge. To learn more about upcoming seminars, colloquiums and conferences follow Centre for Education Policy Research on Twitter.