The Inclusion Paradox - An Examination of Travellers’ Place in an East Coast High School

Cator, Angela (2019) The Inclusion Paradox - An Examination of Travellers’ Place in an East Coast High School. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis explored the place of formal education in the lives of five Traveller young people in a new high school in the East of England, and the place of the Traveller community and young people at the school. It focused on inclusion from an educational perspective but also as a socio-cultural process.

It adopted a case study research design, which led to the development of five case studies, one for each young person. Methods of data collection included the Mosaic method, which exposed the complex thoughts and attitudes of these young people through different activities around a single theme. This data was complemented with interviews with the school’s founding governors and senior leaders as well as an analysis of relevant aspects of its website pertaining to citizenship and values. Finally, a survey offered insights into staff perceptions of and practices regarding diversity and inclusion.

This group of Travellers shared commonalities which they termed ‘the Traveller ways’, which enabled them to act collectively (though not planned in concert with each other) in negotiating power relations between themselves and the school. Young people and school staff navigated their relationship by employing ‘strategic ignorance’, that is to say by maintaining metaphorical distance between each other.

The thesis concludes that inclusion is a paradox; it is subjective and intangible. It exacerbates Travellers’ ‘placelessness’, both by amplifying the uneven power relationship between Travellers and the authorities and by risking exclusion from the family or wider Traveller community. Inclusion requires assumptions to be constantly challenged, and the majority society’s willingness to ‘do differently’.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Jennifer Whitaker
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2020 14:38
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2020 14:38


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