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Many liberal-minded Western democracies pride themselves on their commitments to egalitarianism, the fair treatment of immigrants, and the right to education. These environments would seem to provide a best-case scenario for the reception of immigrant youth. But that is not always the case. Coercive Concern explores how stereotypes of Muslim immigrants in Western liberal societies flow through public schools into everyday interactions, informing how Muslim youth are perceived by teachers and peers. Beyond simply identifying the presence of racialized speech in schools, this book uncovers how coercive assimilation is cloaked in benevolent narratives of care and concern. Coercive Concern provides an ethnographic critique of the "concern" that animates integration policy in Danish schools. Reva Jaffe-Walter focuses on the experiences of Muslim youth at a public school where over 40% of the student body is of immigrant descent, showing how schools operate as sites of governance. These efforts are led by political leaders who promote national fears of immigrant take-over, by teachers in schools, and by everyday citizens who are concerned about "problems" of immigration. Jaffe-Walter exposes the psychic and material costs immigrant youth endure when living in the shadow of social scrutiny, but she also charts a path forward by uncovering the resources these youth need to attain social mobility and success.
Nationalism, Liberalism, and the Schooling of Muslim Youth
Author: Reva Jaffe-Walter
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Category: Social Science
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Advancing a rapidly growing field of social science inquiry—the anthropology of policy—this volume extends and solidifies this body of work, focusing on education policy. Its goal is to examine timely issues in education policy from a critical anthropological, ethnographic, and comparative perspective, and through this to theorize new ways of understanding how policy "does its work." At the center is a commitment to an engaged anthropology of education policy that uses anthropological knowledge to imagine and foster more equitable and just forms of schooling. The authors examine the ways in which education policy processes create, reflect, and contest regimes of knowledge and power, sorting and stratifying people, ideas, and resources in particular ways. In contrast to conventional analyses of policy as text-based, dictated, linear, and rational, an anthropological perspective positions policy at the interface of top-down, bottom-up, and meso-level processes, and as de facto and de jure. Demonstrating how education policy operates as a social, cultural, and deeply ideological process "on the ground," each chapter clearly delineates the implications of these understandings for educational access, opportunity, and equity. Providing a single "go to" source on the disciplinary history, theoretical framework, methodology, and empirical applications of the anthropology of education policy across a range of education topics, policy debates, and settings, the book updates and expands on seminal works in the field, carving out an important niche in anthropological studies of public policy.
Ethnographic Inquiries into Policy as Sociocultural Process
Author: Angelina E. Castagno,Teresa McCarty
Publisher: Taylor & Francis