Neglected aspirations: Academic trajectories and the risk of early school leaving amongst immigrant and Roma youth in Spain

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Abstract

The children of immigrants and Roma youth are widely overrepresented in the ESL rates in most EU countries with the highest proportions found in Spain, where deep changes in economy and public policy cutbacks place them most at risk of unemployment and exclusion. In the prevention of ESL the need of raising aspirations and increasing support is usually highlighted while the paradox between high aspirations and low achievement persists among these groups. This chapter is aimed to reconstruct the processes experienced by a group of students considered at risk of ESL and focused on the relationship between students’ aspirations and families’ and teachers’ support as perceived by the youngsters themselves. The analysis draws on data from a longitudinal qualitative approach and is based on ten youngsters still in school, in out-of-school programmes and in NEET status. Our findings reveal that in spite of their families’ diverse support, students’ aspirations are often neglected. The kind of teachers’ support received along their trajectories did not play a decisive role in reducing their risk of becoming ESLers by compensating for the effects of systemic inadequacies in unfamiliar contexts, increasing the fragility of the non-leavers’ trajectories among the case-study youngsters.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationComparative Perspectives on Early School Leaving in the European Union
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Pages164-182
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781351691819
ISBN (Print)9781138048072
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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