Assimilation Vs. Inclusion—An Anti-oppressive Perspective on the Experiences of Participants in Integration Educations

  • Tobias PötzschEmail author


This chapter explores how an anti-oppressive practice (AOP) perspective can inform contested understandings of social inclusion within the LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) integration program at NorQuest College in Edmonton, Canada. Based on research findings obtained during case study fieldwork, it examines how inclusion is negotiated by program participants and juxtaposes this with AOP principles. In so doing, it offers valuable perspectives for critical and anti-racist discourses in adult education. The data for this studies includes in-depth individual interviews with LINC teachers, administrators and counsellors, group interviews with students and 1.5 months of participant observation. Interview transcripts and observation logs were analysed using inductive content analysis. The empirical findings illustrate the need for educational providers seeking to implement policies of inclusion to transcend their institutional boundaries by adopting structural, cross-sectorial and distinctly political responses. These include creating more egalitarian educational partnerships with all stakeholders comprising teachers, students and community organisations involved in LINC. Responses further entail re-examining institutional procedures, curricular mandates, as well as promoting public education programs and collective political mobilisation to address the structural factors circumscribing the lives of migrant students. A complementary finding in furthering inclusion suggests that components of social criticism and critical citizenship focusing on students’ own experiences should become more entrenched within NorQuest’s integration educations.


Anti-oppressive practice Inclusion LINC integration education programs Antiracism Assimilation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism, Swedish School of Social ScienceUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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