Childhood, School and Inequality in the Nordic Countries (Unequal Childhood)

Childhood, School and Inequality in the Nordic Countries (Unequal Childhood)

Illustrative Photo: Two pupils studying a book together
Photo: Esben Krogstad Kamstrup/NTNU

About the project

 

An important objective of the research is to study economic, political and institutional framework conditions for children and upbringing. The project also aims to make a bridge between children´s life world and the system world, with survey data and in-depth interviews in high and low SES school areas.


The project “Childhood, School and Inequality in the Nordic Countries” (CSI) represents a research umbrella. It currently includes a subproject in collaboration with the municipality of Trondheim, a Nordic subproject in cooperation with the universities in Tampere and Norrköping, and a Nordic-US subproject in collaboration with sociologists at University of Berkeley.


In the Nordic and international part of the project Trondheim is just one among several cases to be compared. The research focus is on childrens´ well-being and inclusion in a school- and welfare perspective. This is a study including information about schools in socioeconomically privileged and less privileged areas in each town as well as how these schools are integrated with local welfare and health agencies. In addition to an actor focus this also includes an interest in the governance of childhood and the status of children and youth in policy and public planning. 


In addition to the Trondheim group the CSI-project includes a collaboration with FAFO (Oslo), Tampere University and Tampere Town, Linköping University - Campus Norrköping and Norrköping municipality, and University of Berkeley. The Nordic - US collaboration started in 2019 and have received  research grants from the Peder Sather Center for Advanced Study in 2019 and in 2020. 


The CSI project is part of the research group Welfare and Inequality at the Department of Sociology and Political Science, and the research group Inequality, Welfare and Organization with our main partner Department of Teacher Eduacation at NTNU. The Trondheim project and Nordic project are also strategic partners in  Oppink – Center for Research on Social Inclusion in School and Childhood (Gemini project at NTNU Social Research).


The research design in the Trondheim project and the Nordic project is based on a mixed method approach that combines questionnaires, interviews, document analyses, analysis of living conditions and socio-demographic data with organizational analyses. It also adds analyses based on register data.


The university-municipality collaboration is supported by the Nordic Ministry with a three year grant (2020-2023) and a joint platform aimed for communication, dissemination of results, seminars, workshops, etc. 

Some of the key topics are:

  • Identification and analysis of children's lifeworld, well-being and integration. The project will carry out a systematic survey and analysis of factors that help promote or counteract children's quality of life and integration. Here we are concerned with children's own experiences of their lifeworld through security, trust, well-being and social affiliation.
  • Schools' handling of social inequality and social exclusion. The project explores the organization of the schools based on socio-demographics and living conditions as well as cultural aspects linked to territorial stigmatization. The organization of the collaboration between school and municipality. 
  • How the school's conditions and priorities have been changed since 2000. New educational programs and development projects have been introduced in light of policy objectives. We therefore want to study how the municipality and school maintain the welfare of the students through these processes of change.
  • Children and young people with health limitations encounter and experiences with the health services in a social inclusion and participation perspective. Based on existing health inequalities research, we know there exists a strong, systematic relationship between educational level and health. An important aim of the project is therefore to produce in depth knowledge on how the health services are organized, and in what ways they contribute to reduce or strengthen social participation. Another central aim is to study how the organization and integration of municipal services corresponds to children and young peoples' various needs.
  • Children and young people's living conditions in Trondheim after the millennium. An important aim is to establish a new database of existing data and register data on the living conditions of children and young people in Trondheim.

Publications

Publications

The first reports from the project are expected to be ready spring 2021


External partners

External partners

  • Joakim Caspersen, Head of Research, NTNU Social Research
  • David Harding, Professor of Sociology, University of California-Berkeley
  • Raimund Hasse, Professor of Sociology, University of Lucerne
  • Christian Imdorf, Professor of Sociology, University of Leibniz, Hannover
  • Teo Keipi, Postdoctoral Researcher, Aalto universitetet i Helsingfors
  • Samuel Lucas, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley 
  • Harri Melin, Professor of Sociology, University of Tampere
  • Dimitris Michailakis, Professor, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. University of Linköping 
  • Atte Oksanen, Professor of Social Psychology and Finnish Project Leader, University of Tampere
  • Jon Rogstad, Research Director FAFO
  • Sigrunn Tvedten, Assistant Professor, University of South-Eastern Norway