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The aim of my on-going research is to conduct a multi-level and contextual analysis of the perceived role of education in relation to young people’s life chances. This will be done by looking beyond the nation-state and highlighting examples of outlooks from the perspective of local communities and global bodies of education. Perceived restrictions and possibilities associated with education will be identified and explored in relation to gender differences and employment strategies. The study is an attempt to shed light on the perceived value of education in different places and in different parts of the world. This may enrich the understanding of how life chances are negotiated in relation to local, national and international opportunities as well as of the perceived function of education to achieve set-out goals. The research is carried out within the research program at Uppsala University, Department of Social and Economic Geographies. I started as a Ph.D. candidate in the fall of 2011, and according to plans, I will be finished in the spring of 2015. The working title of the thesis is: Local communities and global worlds -Negotiating life chances through the lens of education.
I have a background in Social and Economic Geography, with Sociology as my second subject. My master thesis concerned girls’ perceived exclusion from education in Kampala, Uganda, which gave me experiences from doing field work in a – for me - new context. After graduating I worked as an intern, all together one and a half year, at the OECD as well as UNESCO headquarters in Paris. I was developing a quality framework for the physical and psychosocial learning environment as well as organizing the first “International conference of Education for Sustainable Development and Educational Buildings” held in Slovenia 2009. The latter is a continuation of interest that arose during my bachelor thesis, which was a comparison of school environments in two socio-economically dispersed communities in Stockholm.
Throughout the years, my interest in education has shifted from school, and the school building, towards the search of a contextual understanding of education put into a local and global perspective. Geographies of education is a growing field of research where the role of education in a “knowledge society” is explored in relation to the concepts of place and space.
Key words: Geographies of education, children and youth, local and global interrelations.
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