School Involvement: Refugee Parents’ Narrated Contribution to their Children’s Education while Resettled in Norway

Kari Bergset

Abstract


In the majority of research, resettled immigrant and refugee parents are often considered to be less involved with their children’s schooling than majority parents. This study challenges such research positions, based on narrative interviews about parenting in exile conducted with refugee parents resettled in Norway. Cultural psychology and positioning theory have inspired the analyses. The choice of methodology and conceptualisations have brought forth a rich vein of material, which illuminated agency and active positions in the parents’ narratives about involvement with their children’s education. Involvement narratives of success achieved by parents taking action are presented as well as narratives of thwarted agency. Parents’ narrated action includes also involvement outside officialdom, such as informal contact with teachers. It is assumed that the latter involvement forms have become invisible in the majority of earlier research on refugee parents’ school involvement due to methodological choices, and may have contributed to deficit positioning of refugee parents as passive in school involvement. This article’s agency narratives form a sharp contrast to such deficit positioning. 


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ISSN: 1904-0210

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