Jørn Ljunggren and Julia Orupabo: Moving beyond: narratives of higher educational aspirations among descendants of immigrants in vocational training
In British Journal of Sociology of Education, 2020
Jørn Ljunggren and Julia Orupabo
While the scholarly work on the second generation of immigrants has scrutinised both high educational achievers and marginalised groups, less attention has been paid to those in between and their aspirations. In this article, we draw on interviews with 35 adolescents pursuing vocational education in Norway. Our analysis takes as its point of departure a seemingly recurring paradox throughout the interviews. While all the interviewees are in their second year of vocational training, the majority express aspirations of moving beyond vocational occupations and attaining higher education. Building on the scholarship on class and moral worth, we argue that classificatory struggles about value represent an important but often overlooked context of integration. When the students position themselves as individuals who will move on to higher education, their aspirations can be understood as acts of self-constitution and moral boundary work.