WHY CAN’T I SIT WITH MY FRIEND? THE COMPLEXITY IN DIVERSE ANTI-DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES IN SCHOOL
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This presentation focus on the children's strategies in relation to the actions taken from the school. We will show how on the one hand the school strives to socialize the children, and on the other hand how the children can find refined ways of disregarding the schools organization and in a subtle manner move in accordance with their group belongings. The presentation is based on a study of children’s social relations and interactions in a school class of 23 children at the age of 10 years. They were observed and interviewed both individually and in focus groups during one school year. The study indicates that the formation and maintaining of friendship groups recurrently is in tension with how the school formally structure and organize their social behaviour. The results are interpreted as the school, in its structure, constrains the children’s ability to express their rights and frame their agency. By this presentation we will show the complexity in empowering the children and at the same time emphasize the children’s rights from their point of view. This not only impact the children’s possibility to plan and structure their everyday life in school but influence the ways in which teachers and school social workers can work with social relations and discrimination. In a wider sense it makes the school an arena of different antidiscriminatory practices, where the children and the adults display different strategies. The structures the school has constructed to work against discrimination can as a result become ineffective.