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Title: Gypsies and travellers : secondary school and social inclusion
Author: Ryder, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 2516
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis centres on the relations between Gypsies and Travellers and school, and seeks to explore how these relationships encourage or discourage participation in mainstream education. School is an arena where conflicts can reflect wider tensions between marginalised groups and those who are dominant in society. The thesis reveals how policies aimed at increasing the educational inclusion of minorities like Gypsies and Travellers can in fact be undermined by core procedures and processes in the education system which promote certain forms of cultural capital and are culturally closed and inflexible. This, combined with institutional and overt racism, has marginalised Gypsies and Travellers in schools. This thesis demonstrates that racist and assimilatory policies have been met with resistance by some Gypsies and Travellers. This resistance has in some cases manifested itself in a counter-culture which contains rigid notions of cultural identity that encourage distance towards, and mistrust of, the wider community, including school. Others are attempting to acculturate and are embracing formal schooling. Both strategies have profound effects upon identity and relations with the wider community An ethnographic approach was adopted, which included participant observation, roletaking and interaction in schools and on Traveller sites. Much previous educational research has been normative. That is, there has been a focus on input variables such as intelligence measurement and social class, and a comparison of them with attainment. What happens between input and output has tended to be ignored. This is especially true for Gypsies and Travellers and explains why I adopted an ethnographic approach, and why this thesis adds new insights to the existing literature. I would also classify myself as a critical researcher. I have played an active role in the campaign for Travellers' rights and hope this thesis will impact on existing policies that affect this minority and promote positive change as well as raising important questions as to what educational and social inclusion mean in British society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available