Dissertation Abstracts

Emotions and Bonds in School Experience: The Case of “Reentry Secondary School” in the City of Buenos Aires

Author: Nobile, Mariana , mariana.nobile@gmail.com
Department: Education / Social Sciences
University: Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) - Argentina, Argentina
Supervisor: Guillermina Tiramonti
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: Spanish

Keywords: Secondary School , Personalization , Emotions , Social Bonds
Areas of Research: Education , Youth , Biography and Society


My PhD research seeks to make a contribution to the sociological studies on emotions and affects by means of a qualitative analysis of the bonds between teachers and students in so-called "Reentry Secondary Schools” (ER, in Spanish, Escuelas de Reingreso) in the city of Buenos Aires. The ERs emerged as the result of a policy to integrate youngsters of secondary schooling age, who come mainly from popular sectors, and who are otherwise excluded from the school system. These institutions introduce certain variations on the classic organization of secondary schools so as to allow for more flexible ways to attend school. These variations favor the encounter between teachers and students in the school environment and allow the personalization of bonds between them.
The relationship between the structural processes of educational segregation and biographical experiences is analyzed. That is, the study looks at the influence of macro and institutional factors on the agency of students from the most disadvantaged sectors. Three lines of inquiry are followed. First, life trajectories of those graduating from these schools are analyzed in order to know who this integration policy affects. Second, the study considers the structural conditions and interactional patterns that enable the construction of a particular bond configuration between teachers and students, which leads to bonds that are considered gratifying. Lastly, emotional experiences are analyzed from a sociological perspective, along with the implications of teacher-student bonds, both in the reintegration into the school system and the senses constructed regarding the work of teachers.
This research sheds light on the extent and limitations of an integration policy of this sort. It shows who this policy affects: youngsters who are excluded from schooling, but who are integrated into other institutions (like family, community, and religion) that give them support and make it possible for them to make the decision to go back to school. Moreover, by studying the emotional experience of those attending an ER, we are able to better understand why teachers find it gratifying to work with populations that are considered vulnerable. The study also allows us to observe how affects and emotions work in the completion of a project to finish high school and to imagine other projects of inclusion at various social levels. By analyzing the life stories of reentry school graduates, my investigation found that a gratifying school experience, one that is the product of personalized bonds between teachers and students, makes it possible for those confined to an otherwise unequal educational context to reintegrate and build biographical narratives that justifies both the failures and successes in their educational trajectories.
After completing my dissertation, I continue to research the emotional dimension of schooling among young people, taking into account how this affects the processes of social and educational inclusion, in order to understand the relationship between emotions, individuation processes, and social stratification.

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