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Negotiating achievement: Students’ gendered and classed constructions of (un)equal ability
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research. Mälardalen University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6201-9135
2014 (English)In: Educational inequalities: Difference and diversity in schools and higher education / [ed] Uvanney Maylor and Kalwant Bhopal, London, UK/New York, US: Routledge, 2014, 87-101 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this chapter is to examine privileged young peoples’ gendered and classed constructions of achievement and ability. The analysis draws from an actor-oriented study of two upper-secondary-school classes in Sweden. Like other Nordic countries, Sweden has long been associated with equality—not least in education. Many statistics now point to a negative change in respect to equality in education both over time, and compared with other countries: ‘Sweden is one of the few countries where both average scores and equity in the system have decreased’. Although gender stratification has been more of a focus for national policy debates, increased inequalities are primarily concerned with school and student categories in terms of class (intersecting with ‘race’). This relative decline is not primarily due to other countries catching up. The main reason is that the level of equality in Sweden has declined during this period. Not only has the gap between high- and low-performing students increased, but differences between high- and low-performing schools have also increased, and the socio-economic background of students has become more important. The main focus of the analysis presented in this chapter is a group of White upper-middle-class young men and the question of how their identity as ‘superior’ or ‘bright’ was negotiated via peer group interactions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, UK/New York, US: Routledge, 2014. 87-101 p.
, Routledge Research in Education
Keyword [en]
Educational achievement; effort; gender; class; inequality
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Sociology of Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-244168ISBN: 0415539986ISBN: 9780415539982OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-244168DiVA: diva2:788001
Available from: 2015-02-12 Created: 2015-02-12 Last updated: 2016-03-17

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Nyström, Anne-Sofie
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