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The past and the future in the present: Kenyan adult immigrants' stories on orientation and adult education in Sweden
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to find out how adult migrants with biographical experiences from Kenya orient themselves in Sweden.

Taking an individual perspective (how individuals orient themselves as opposed to what the state does to deal with a group of immigrants), and by using life (hi)story approach and reconstructing experiences on how individual adult immigrants orient themselves, this dissertation analyses the role educational and working experiences from Kenya play in the way the participants orient themselves. The analysis takes into consideration the opportunities and constraints in Sweden, whic impinge upon the participants' stories by either propagating or constricting past experiences. An analysis of this nature contributes to gaining deeper insights into, not only the role past experienceplay, but also the role the present Swedish structure play.

At the time migration took place all the participants used their familiar biographical experiences in orienting themselves. Each one of them hoped to either continue with their occupations from Kenya (for those who were interested to work) or to continue withigher education from the highest educational levels from Kenya (for those who wanted to pursue higher education). However, when participants found that this was not possible, and that they had to learn Swedislanguage, and subsequently acquire new credentials three narratives or orientations emerged. One group participated in adult education with an aim of working in Sweden, another participated in education with a hopof creating a career in the future in Kenya, while three participants who were employed without acquiring new knowledge through formal education, it is argued that work 'saved' them from the hassle going back to school. The author further argues that, stories of participants who were involved with what they defined as a meaningful activity (whether education or work), defined Sweden as a country with opportunities, whereas stories of participants who were not involved with a meaningful activity defined Sweden as a country full of obstacles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 182 p.
Uppsala Studies in Education, ISSN 0347-1314 ; 89
Keyword [en]
Education, Life (hi)stories, narratives, habitus, wage employment, educational and occupational experiences
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-478ISBN: 91-554-4757-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-478DiVA: diva2:165728
Public defence
2000-09-29, Sal 101, Odensgatan 8, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2000-09-08 Created: 2000-09-08Bibliographically approved

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