Young people from lower socioeconomic strata living in marginalized urban areas have substantially more difficulties in school. These difficulties have a negative influence on the transition to employment. From a cross-national perspective, this project aims to study if and how participation in civil society organizations may improve the educational achievements of young people in marginalized urban areas of two big cities of contemporary Sweden and Russia (Stockholm and St. Petersburg).
Bourdieu’s theory of social capital and Walzer’s theory of civil society organisation have influenced the theoretical basis of this project; it is further complemented by critical contributions, which incorporate perspectives on gender and ethnicity. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods will be used to analyse the roles and processes of social capital in the educational achievements of young people with different backgrounds.
The research questions of the project are: 1)What kind of civil society organisations are active in the field of education in marginalised urban areas of Stockholm and St. Petersburg?, 2) What are the processes relating to membership of civil society associations that may affect the educational achievements of young people in school? 3) How does the impact of membership of civil society organisations vary in terms of the educational outcomes of young people, taking account of issues such as gender, class and ethnic background? 4) To what extent does participation in civil society organisations restrict the freedom and mobility of young people and do such restrictions differ based on gender, class and ethnic background?
The answers will help us to grasp the significance of civil society organizations for young people’s educational achievements, and in continuation their labour market entry. Our data may be used in general educational policies, and to improve the situation for young people living in marginalized urban areas.