I defended my thesis in 2014, at Child studies at Linköping University. Currently, I work at the Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning (IBL), where I teach and am course coordinator for a number of course in the Teacher Education Programme.
My research focuses on ethnicity in schools, both as a source of strength, and a cause of exclusion, in various school contexts.
The education system is often described in terms of being the gateway to success in Swedish society. But good grades and school achievements don't automatically lead to inclusion and acceptance.
Rather, high-performing students with experiences of migration describe a social exclusion from peers they term "the Swedes." Even though no one is outwardly abusive, students with minority ethnic backgrounds describe a subtle distancing, avoidance, and social exclusion.
This type of non-obvious acts I term "polite exclusion," a collection of subtle verbal and non-verbal acts directed at minorities. These acts do not necessarily stem from bad intentions, but they are hurtful to those exposed to them.
At the same time, school staff describe the class in question as inclusive and a group where everyone is accepted regardless of their background. How can we understand this discrepancy in how students describe their social reality compared to how staff describe the same student body?
This is the core of numerous of my articles, where I explore these divergent experiences and descriptions of a single class environment, where teachers' color blind approach renders them unable to note the polite exclusion their students experience, and connect with their ethnic background. This study is based on participant observation in, and follow-up interviews with, a well-reputed, high-performing high school class, and their teachers and administrative staff.