Advertisement

Using Symbolic Resources to Overcome Institutional Barriers: A Case Study of an Albanian-Speaking Young Woman in Switzerland

  • Teuta MehmetiEmail author
  • Tania Zittoun
Chapter
Part of the Cultural Psychology of Education book series (CPED, volume 10)

Abstract

The school failure of migrant children is often explained by their supposed cultural deficit and by mechanisms of social inequalities reproduced by the school institution. However, such hypotheses fail to account for learning trajectories that would escape from social or cultural determinism. For this, we need to turn to students’ own school experiences, about which little is known. In this chapter, we draw on a sociocultural psychological approach that considers the interdependency between sociocultural contexts and personal life trajectories to go beyond a deficit approach. More specifically, we examine how migrant children’s uses of cultural elements can support their meaning-making when confronted to settings preventing their involvement. By means of a case study, we show how a young Kosovar woman in Switzerland performed well at school, overcoming social and institutional barriers. We, moreover, show how rather than nurturing a conflictual relationship with the school institution, she could draw on different symbolic resources that favored her involvement at school. We thus argue for the necessity to study school experiences of migrant children as dynamics involving a creative dialogue between home and school through the use of cultural and symbolic resources, and discuss theoretical and practical implications of such a perspective.

References

  1. Aarburg, H.-P. (2002). L’émigration albanaise du Kosovo vers la Suisse. Ethnologie française, 32(2), 271–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abbey, E., & Bastos, A. C. (2014). Creating bridges to the future: The poetic dimension through family life. Culture & Psychology, 20(2), 232–243.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X14527840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bautier, E., & Rochex, J.-Y. (1998). L’expérience scolaire des nouveaux lycéens. Démocratisation ou massification ? Paris, France: Armand Colin.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, R., Jäpel, F., & Beck. (2011). Statistische und institutionelle Diskriminierung von Migranten im Schweizer Schulsystem. Oder: Werden Migranten oder bestimmte Migrantengruppen in der Schule benachteiligt? Bern, Switzerland: Universität Bern.Google Scholar
  5. Bernstein, B. (Ed.). (1973). Class, codes, and control: applied studies towards a sociology of language (Vol. 2). London, UK: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  6. Bøttcher, L. (2014). Transition between home and school in children with severe disabilities —Parents’ possibilities for influencing their children’s learning environment. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 3(3), 195–201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2014.02.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boudon, R. (1979). L’inégalité des chances (Librairies Armand Colin). Paris.Google Scholar
  8. Bourdieu, P. (1966). L’école conservatrice. Revue Française de Sociolgie, 7(3), 325–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Questions de sociologie. Paris, France: Les éditions de minuit.Google Scholar
  10. Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J.-C. (1964). Les héritiers: les étudiants et la culture. Paris, France: Les Editions de Minuit.Google Scholar
  11. Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J.-C. (1970). La reproduction: éléments pour une théorie du système d’enseignement. Paris, France: Les Editions de Minuit.Google Scholar
  12. Bruner, J. S. (1977). The process of education. Cambridge, MA & London, UK: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Bruner, J. S. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, UK: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Bruner, J. S. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge, MA & London, UK: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Burri Sharani, B., Efionayi-Mäder, D., Hammer, S., Pecoraro, M., Soland, B., Tsaka, A., & Wyssmüller, C. (2010). La population kosovare en Suisse. Berne-Wabern, Switzerland: Office fédéral des migrations (ODM).Google Scholar
  16. César, M., & Kumpulainen, K. (Eds.). (2009). Social interactions in multicultural settings. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  17. Charlot, B. (1999). Le rapport au savoir en milieu populaire. Paris, France: Anthropos.Google Scholar
  18. Charlot, B., Bautier, E., & Rochex, J.-Y. (1992). École et savoir dans les banlieues et ailleurs. Paris: Armand Colin.Google Scholar
  19. Chronaki, A. (2009). An entry to dialogicality in the maths classroom: Encouraging hybrid learning identities. In M. César & K. Kumpulainen (Eds.), Social interactions in multicultural settings (pp. 117–143). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cole, M. (1996). Cultural psychology. A once and future discipline. Cambridge, MA/London, UK: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Cole, M., & Bruner, J. S. (1971). Cultural differences and inferences about psychological processes. American Psychologist, 26, 867–876.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Consortium PISA.ch. (2010). PISA 2009 : Les élèves de Suisse en comparaison internationale. Premiers résultats. Berne et Neuchâtel: OFFT/CDIP et Consortium PISA.ch.Google Scholar
  23. Consortium PISA.ch. (2014). PISA 2012: Études thématiques. Berne et Neuchâtel, Switzerland: SEFRI/CDIP et Consortium PISA.Google Scholar
  24. Coradi Vellacott, M., & Wolter, S. (2005). Chancengerichkeit im Schweizerische Bildungswesen. Aarau: Schweizerische Koordinationsstelle für Bildungsforschung.Google Scholar
  25. Crafter, S., & de Abreu, G. (2010). Constructing identities in multicultural learning contexts. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 17(2), 102–118.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10749030802707895.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dahinden, J. (2010). Are you who you know? A network perspective on ethnicity, gender and transnationalism. Albanian-speaking migrants in Switzerland and returnees in Kosovo. In C. Westin, J. Bastos, J. Dahinden, & P. Gois (Eds.), Identity processes and dynamics in multi-ethnic Europe. IMISCOE research series (pp. 127–147). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  27. de Abreu, G., & Elbers, E. (2005). The social mediation of learning in multiethnic schools: Introduction. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 20(1), 3–11.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03173207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. de Abreu, G., & Hale, H. (2011). Trajectories of cultural identity development of young immigrant people: The impact of family practices. Psychological Studies, 56(1), 53–61. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12646-011-0061-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. de Haan, M., & Elbers, E. (2004). Minority status and culture: Local constructions of diversity in a classroom in the Netherlands. Intercultural Education, 15(4), 441–453.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1467598042000313458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. de Haan, M., Keizer, R., & Elbers, E. (2010). Ethnicity and student identity in schools: an analysis of official and unofficial talk in multiethnic classrooms. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 25(2), 176–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Delcroix, C. (2009). Transmission de l’histoire familiale et de la mémoire historique face à la précarité. Migrations Société, 123–124(3), 141–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Duru-Bellat, M., & van Zanten, A. (2002). Sociologie de l’éducation (Armand Colin). Paris.Google Scholar
  33. Duveen, G. (2001). Representations, identities, resistance. In K. Deaux & G. Philogène (Eds.), Representations of the social: Bridging theoretical traditions (pp. 257–270). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  34. Felouzis, G., & Charmillot, S. (2013). School tracking and educational inequality: A comparison of 12 education systems in Switzerland. Comparative Education, 49(2), 181–205. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050068.2012.706032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Felouzis, G., & Goastellec, G. (Eds.). (2015). Les inégalités scolaires en Suisse. Berne, Switzerland: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  36. Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five Misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2), 219–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Flyvbjerg, B. (2011). Case study. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (4th ed., pp. 301–316). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. Gillespie, A., & Zittoun, T. (2010). Using resources: Conceptualizing the mediation and reflective use of tools and signs. Culture & Psychology, 16(1), 37–62.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X09344888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gomensoro, A., & Bolzman, C. (2015). The effect of the socioeconomic status of ethnic groups on educational inequalities in Switzerland: which “hidden” mechanisms? Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 7(2), 70–98.Google Scholar
  40. Gonzalez, N., Moll, L. C., & Amanti, C. (2005). Funds of knowledge: Theorizing practices in households, communities, and classrooms. Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  41. Gorgorio, N., & de Abreu, G. (2009). Social representations as mediators of practice in mathematics classrooms with immigrant students. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 72(1), 61–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Grossen, M., Zittoun, T., & Ros, J. (2012). Boundary crossing events and potential appropriation space in philosophy, literature and general knowledge. In E. Hjörne, G. van der Aalsvoort, & G. de Abreu (Eds.), Learning, social interaction and diversity—exploring school practices (pp. 15–33). Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Haug, W. (2006). Les migrants et leurs descendants sur le marché du travail: vue d’ensemble. Neuchâtel: OFS.Google Scholar
  44. Hviid, P. (2015). Borders in education and living—a case of trench warfare. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 50(1), 44–61.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-015-9319-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hviid, P., & Villadsen, J. W. (2014). Cultural identities and their relevance to school practice. Culture & Psychology, 20(1), 59–69.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X13515938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Jovchelovitch, S., & Priego-Hernandez, J. (2013). Underground sociabilities: Identity, culture and resistance in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. Paris, France: Unesco.Google Scholar
  47. Kronig, W. (2003). Eléments d’interprétation du faible taux de réussite scolaire des enfants immigrés dans le degré primaire. In CDIP (Ed.), Le parcours scolaire et de formation des élèves immigrés à “faibles” performances scolaires. CONVEGNO 2002: Rapport final (Conférence suisse des directeurs cantonaux de l’instruction publique (CDIP), pp. 24–33). Berne.Google Scholar
  48. Kronig, W., Haeberlin, U., & Eckart, M. (2000). Immigrantenkinder und schulische Selektion. Pädagogische Visionen, theoretische Erklärungen und empirische Untersuchungen zur Wirkung integrierender und separierender Schulformen in den Grundschuljahren (Haupt). Bern & Stuttgart, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  49. Kucera, M., Rochex, J.-Y., & Stech, S. (Eds.). (2001). La transmission du savoir comme problème culturel et identitaire. Prague, Czech: Universite Charles de Prague: Editions Karolinum.Google Scholar
  50. Leuenberger, U., & Maillard, A. (1999). Les damnés du troisième cercle. les Kosovars en Suisse, 1965–1999. Genève, Switzerland: Livre Metropolis.Google Scholar
  51. Lewin, K. (1936). Principles of topological psychology. (F. Heider & G. M. Heider, Trans.). New York/London, UK: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.Google Scholar
  52. Marková, I. (2016). The dialogical mind: common sense and ethics. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mehmeti, T. (2013). Réussite scolaire de jeunes femmes kosovares: quels processus psycho-sociaux? Dossiers de Psychologie et Éducation, 70, 5–125.Google Scholar
  54. Meyer, T. (2015). Inégalités dans le(s) système(s) d’éducation suisse(s): facteurs systémiques et devenir individuel. In G. Felouzis & G. Goastellec (Eds.), Les inégalités scolaire en Suisse (pp. 161–177). Berne, Switzerland: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  55. Ogbu, J. U. (1992). Understanding cultural diversity and learning. Educational Researcher, 21(8), 5–24.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1176697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Piguet, E. (2005). L’immigration en Suisse depuis 1948 - Une analyse des flux migratoires. Zurich, Switzerland: Seismo.Google Scholar
  57. Prokopiou, E., Cline, T., & Abreu, G. de. (2012). Rethinking ethnic minority young people’s participation in multiple sociocultural contexts and its impact on their cultural identities. In E. Hjörne & G. Van der Aalsvoort (Eds.), Learning, social interaction and diversity—exploring identities in school practices (pp. 35–52). Rotterdam: SENSE Publishers.Google Scholar
  58. Radišić, J. (2011). “What do you mean by that?” How personal meanings are developed and constructed in literature classes at upper secondary level. In A. Baucal, F. Arcidiacono, & N. Buđevac (Eds.), Studying interaction in different contexts: A qualitative view (pp. 153–186). Belgrade, Serbia: Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade.Google Scholar
  59. Ratner, C. (2012). Macro cultural psychology. A political philosophy of mind. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Rochex, J.-Y. (1998). Le sens de l’expérience scolaire. Paris, France: Presses universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  61. Rochex, J.-Y., & Crinon, J. (Eds.). (2011). La construction des inégalités scolaires. Au cœur des pratiques et des dispositifs d’enseignement. Rennes, France: Presses universitaires de Rennes.Google Scholar
  62. Rosenthal, G. (2004). Biographical research. In C. Seale, G. Gobo, J. F. Gubrium, & D. Silverman (Eds.), Qualitative research practice (pp. 48–64). London, UK: Sage. Retrieved from http://www.ssoar.info/ssoar/handle/document/5672.
  63. Schader, B. (Ed.). (2006). Albanischsprachige Kinder und Jugendliche in der Schweiz. Hintergründe, schul- und sprachbezogene Untersuchungen (Pestalozzianum Verlag). Zürich.Google Scholar
  64. Teo, T. (2015). Critical psychology: A geography of intellectual engagement and resistance. American Psychologist, 70(3), 243–254.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Valsiner, J. (1999). I create you to control me: A glimpse into basic processes of semiotic mediation. Human Development, 42(1), 26–30.  https://doi.org/10.1159/000022606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Valsiner, J. (Ed.). (2012). The Oxford handbook of culture and psychology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Valsiner, J. (2014a). An invitation to cultural psychology. London, UK: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Valsiner, J. (2014b). Needed for cultural psychology: Methodology in a new key. Culture & Psychology, 20(1), 3–30.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X13515941.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Valsiner, J., Marsico, G., Chaudhary, N., Sato, T., & Dazzani, V. (Eds.). (2016). Psychology as the science of human being: The Yokohama Manifesto. Cham, switzerlad: Springer. Retrieved from  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-21094-0.Google Scholar
  70. Valsiner, J., & Rosa, A. (Eds.). (2007). The Cambridge handbook of sociocultural psychology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Zéroulou, Z. (1988). La réussite scolaire des enfants d’immigrés. L’apport d’une approche en termes de mobilisation. Revue Française de Sociologie, 447–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zittoun, T. (2006). Transitions. Development through symbolic resources. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  73. Zittoun, T. (2014). Trusting for learning. In P. Linell & I. Marková (Eds.), Trust and language (pp. 125–151). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publisher.Google Scholar
  74. Zittoun, T. (2016a). Living creatively, in and through institutions. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 12(1), 1–11.  https://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v12i1.1133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zittoun, T. (2016b). Modalities of generalization through single case studies. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 1–24.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-016-9367-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Zittoun, T. (2016c). Symbolic resources and sense making in learning and instruction. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 1–20.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-016-0310-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2015a). Integrating experiences: Body and mind moving between contexts. In B. Wagoner, N. Chaudhary, & P. Hviid (Eds.), Integrating experiences: Body and mind moving between contexts (pp. 3–49). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  78. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2015b). Transitions in the lifecourse: Learning from Alfred Schütz. In A. C. Joerchel & G. Benetka (Eds.), Biographical ruptures and their repairs: Cultural transitions in development (pp. 147–157). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publisher.Google Scholar
  79. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2016). Imagination in human and cultural development. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  80. Zittoun, T., & Grossen, M. (2012). Cultural elements as means of constructing the continuity of the self across various spheres of experience. In M. César & B. Ligorio (Eds.), The interplays between dialogical learning and dialogical self (pp. 99–126). Charlotte, NC: InfoAge.Google Scholar
  81. Zittoun, T., Valsiner, J., Vedeler, D., Salgado, J., Gonçalves, M., & Ferring, D. (2013). Human development in the lifecourse. Melodies of living. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations