Fixed Narratives and Entangled Categorizations: Educational Problematizations in Times of Politicized and Stratified Migration

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Fixed Narratives and Entangled Categorizations: Educational Problematizations in Times of Politicized and Stratified Migration


  • Kenneth Horvath Department of Sociology, University of Lucerne, Switzerland


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Abstract:  Western European migration and citizenship regimes have undergone profound transformations over the past decades. The massive politicization and stratification of migration are key features of these dynamics. Focusing on the case of Germany, this article investigates how these developments affect logics of educational practice. It is argued that teachers, faced with increasingly complex and uncertain situations, systematically draw on categories that combine political and educational logics. These “entangled categories” do hardly allow to unravel the complex configurations currently at stake at the intersection of migration and education. A secondary analysis of TIMSS-2015 data is performed to substantiate the article’s core hypothesis: these forms of categorization have crystallized into patterns of educational problematization that couple perceptions of educational challenges, professional self-images, and didactic approaches. These fixed narratives disproportionally affect migrant children from underprivileged social backgrounds. They hence have important implications both for our understanding of educational inequalities in times of politicized and stratified migration and for furthering professional reflexivity.

Keywords:  differentiated citizenship; educational classification; educational problematization; migration regimes; politicization of migration; TIMSS-2015

Published:   30 August 2018


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v6i3.1541


© Kenneth Horvath. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.