Becoming tolerable : Subject constitution of Roma mediators in Finnish schools

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Helakorpi , J , Lappalainen , S & Sahlström , F 2019 , ' Becoming tolerable : Subject constitution of Roma mediators in Finnish schools ' , Intercultural Education , vol. 30 , no. 1 , pp. 51-67 . https://doi.org/10.1080/14675986.2018.1537671

Title: Becoming tolerable : Subject constitution of Roma mediators in Finnish schools
Author: Helakorpi, Jenni; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Sahlström, Fritjof
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Åbo Akademi University
Date: 2019-01-08
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Intercultural Education
ISSN: 1467-5986
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/304215
Abstract: Although Finnish politics relating to the Roma tend to be perceived internationally as fairly successful, several obstacles exist for the Roma in education and the labour market. Training of Roma mediators has been actively promoted in Finland to improve the school performance and equality of Roma pupils. This article, based on ethnographic research, focuses on exploring how the current discursive terrain around the topics of tolerance and prejudice functions in the everyday work of mediators. It is argued that the present discourses in school expose the mediators to unequal power relations of tolerance. The terms for being tolerated are set by the potential tolerating actors, the school community. The mediators aim to supply knowledge about the Roma and try to address prejudices as representatives of the Roma. The study identified three different strategies that the mediators used when encountering prejudice: making sure one does not seem too different, parody and feigning naivety. The analysis suggests that the present discursive terrain creates obstacles to addressing inequalities, discrimination and racism in educational contexts. The responsibility for tackling discrimination is placed on the shoulders of individual Roma - not the whole school community.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
Finnish school
Roma
Roma mediator
tolerance
ethnography
NATIONED-RELIGIONED SUBJECTS
BUTLER THINKING ALTHUSSER
PERFORMATIVE POLITICS
EUROPE
EDUCATION
MULTICULTURALISM
INTELLIGIBILITY
DISCOURSE
FOUCAULT
AGENCY
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