A struggle for equitable partnerships: Somali diaspora mothers’ acts of positioning in the practice of home-school partnerships in Danish public schools
Drawing on positioning theory this study investigates how Somali diaspora mothers actively struggle to be recognized by teachers in Danish public schools as equitable partners in their children’s education. The study takes into account the historically and politically constituted conditions for positioning work and argues that these mothers navigate skillfully in these conditions explicitly positioning themselves as both ‘supportive assistants’ and ‘responsible parents’. However, the analysis shows that these mothers have narratives of unjust treatment of both themselves and their children in schools, but the struggle to be recognized as equitable partners inhibits their possibilities of taking up the position of ‘advocate for their child’. They are thereby drawn into a position of ‘passive complacency’. Additionally the article argues for a more encompassing understanding of positioning theory that takes into account the constituted conditions as well as embodied and material aspects of constitutive here-and-now negotiations.
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