Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Is the Sky Really the Limit? Exploring the Attitude-Achievement Paradox in the Belgian Context

Is the Sky Really the Limit? Exploring the Attitude-Achievement Paradox in the Belgian Context While immigrant students in Belgium have expressed high educational aspirations, if we compare them with ethnic majority students, those aspirations are not reflected in their achievement results. Ethnographic observations and semi-structured interviews with students from 10 class groups in three Flemish schools (northern part of Belgium) were used to understand why these high aspirations are not translated into actual examination results, also known as the attitude-achievement paradox. Our findings indicate that all students generally believe in the importance of education to get ahead in Belgian society. Analyses reveal, however, that although students of immigrant descent want to achieve in society, they perceive more barriers—such as labor market discrimination—than those of non-immigrant descent to becoming successful. They have figured out distinct defensive coping strategies to circumvent those barriers, such as choosing jobs that do not invite discrimination and attempting to achieve in school in order to prove one’s worth or prove someone wrong, all of which eventually seemed to affect their educational outcomes. The particular choices students made to deal with perceptions and experiences of discrimination should be understood within the local immigrant networks in which they live and depends on the (perceived) nature of discrimination. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

Is the Sky Really the Limit? Exploring the Attitude-Achievement Paradox in the Belgian Context

Loading next page...
 
/lp/sage/is-the-sky-really-the-limit-exploring-the-attitude-achievement-paradox-qkQE4M4ueF
Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2014
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/2332649214560439
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

While immigrant students in Belgium have expressed high educational aspirations, if we compare them with ethnic majority students, those aspirations are not reflected in their achievement results. Ethnographic observations and semi-structured interviews with students from 10 class groups in three Flemish schools (northern part of Belgium) were used to understand why these high aspirations are not translated into actual examination results, also known as the attitude-achievement paradox. Our findings indicate that all students generally believe in the importance of education to get ahead in Belgian society. Analyses reveal, however, that although students of immigrant descent want to achieve in society, they perceive more barriers—such as labor market discrimination—than those of non-immigrant descent to becoming successful. They have figured out distinct defensive coping strategies to circumvent those barriers, such as choosing jobs that do not invite discrimination and attempting to achieve in school in order to prove one’s worth or prove someone wrong, all of which eventually seemed to affect their educational outcomes. The particular choices students made to deal with perceptions and experiences of discrimination should be understood within the local immigrant networks in which they live and depends on the (perceived) nature of discrimination.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2015

There are no references for this article.