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Urban Schools in Sweden - Between Social Predicaments, the Power of Stigma and Relational Dilemmas


  • Bunar, Nihad

    () (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)


Multicultural urban schools in Sweden are facing two major challenges. First, the communities they serve are typically stigmatized and economically impoverished, leading to growing concerns regarding the quality of education, lack of credibility an outflow of students. The second challenge is the ambivalent relations with students’ parents (presumable consumers and partners, but who are also regarded as culturally conservative) and with a broader community, such as public authorities and universities. I argue that we cannot understand the practical operations and outcomes of multicultural schools if we only look at curriculum, individual attitudes or freedom of choice policy and do not examine the broader challenges facing these institutions. What is needed is a more relational approach linking together the interests of different groups, policy changes, modes of representation and the educators’ practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Bunar, Nihad, 2008. "Urban Schools in Sweden - Between Social Predicaments, the Power of Stigma and Relational Dilemmas," SULCIS Working Papers 2008:3, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sulcis:2008_003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Margaret A. Meyer, 1991. "Learning from Coarse Information: Biased Contests and Career Profiles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 15-41.
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    5. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Evidence of ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market using experimental data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 716-729, August.
    6. Arai, Mahmood & Billot, Antoine & Lanfranchi, Joseph, 2001. "Learning by helping: a bounded rationality model of mentoring," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 113-132, June.
    7. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    8. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
    9. Mahmood Arai & Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2009. "Renouncing Personal Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 127-147, January.
    10. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
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    More about this item


    Urban education; community; stigma; relations; multicultural;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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