Accepted Paper:

Immigrant girls and boys: navigating between the ideal student   


Maribel Ponferrada (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

The paper shows how immigrant youth of different origins negotiate with the implicit notion of ideal student promoted in Catalan schools and the youth citizenship created in those processes.

Paper long abstract:

This paper will analyze how immigrant youth negotiate between diverse models of femininity and masculinity in relation to a notion of the ideal student and the identity of youth citizenship that is specific to a local school culture, as part of a particular society, and penetrates the relationship between the process of identity construction, performance and strategies for social integration. We want to know which kind of citizenships are offered and possible for immigrant girls and boys in a context where most practices and values in the school create a gendered ideal student that promote a quiet, silent and non participative identity and, simultaneously, where social popularity is based in anti-school culture and peer solidarity. The analysis draws on ethnographic data gathered in my fieldwork with immigrant youth from different origins (Bangladesh, China, Morocco, Ecuador and Venezuela) around Barcelona (Spain) and is illuminated by a theoretical framework including literature from the anthropology of education, feminist and gender research in working class and minority youth.

Key words: school experience, ideal student, youth citizenship, gender identities, immigrant youth

Panel W076
Children and migration in Europe: between new citizenships and transnational families