The post-school pathways of Russian-speaking students in Ireland: a longitudinal study
Citation:FOLEY, HOLLY ANN, The post-school pathways of Russian-speaking students in Ireland: a longitudinal study, Trinity College Dublin.School of Social Sciences & Philosophy.SOCIOLOGY, 2018
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This thesis explores the post-school pathways of Russian-speaking young people in Ireland. In the previous two decades, Ireland has experienced exponential growth in immigration. This is due to several co-occurring processes. Firstly, the economic boom known as The Celtic Tiger required a rapid, significant increase in the labour force. Secondly, EU enlargement gave EU citizens the right to take up residency and employment in other EU member states. In addition to returning Irish emigrants, large numbers of economic migrants came from Central and Eastern Europe to Ireland, a sub-set within this group of Eastern European migrants are ethnic minority Russian-speaking migrants. Due to the relatively recent history of immigration Ireland?s education system was not necessarily prepared for an influx of migrant students and was ill-equipped to cater for a growing diversity within the student population. The aim of this study is to explore the decision-making processes involved in post-school planning for Russian-speaking young people in Ireland. Through two waves of interviews I assess the role of the school, family and the individual in decision-making while acknowledging structural and socio-cultural barriers that influence decision-making and post-school planning. To guide the research the study uses Bourdieu?s social and cultural reproduction theories in conjunction with rational action theory as the theoretical framework for the study. The research also draws on several theoretical concepts, including agency, resilience, immigrant optimism and temporality which help to give a greater understanding of the nuances and complexity of the processes involved. The qualitative longitudinal study explores the experiences of 14 Russian-speaking students. Semi-structured interviews were conducted over two waves, first during the students? final year of second-level school and second, approximately one year later when they had made the move from second-level to higher education or the labour market. This is the first longitudinal study of immigrant youth in Ireland. The three main findings of the dissertation are: first, the cultural capital possessed by Russian-speaking students can be utilised in the Irish education system to increase Leaving Certificate outcomes. Second, parental level of education was a key influence and predictor of academic success for the participants in this research. Finally, above any external influences, personal resilience was the defining feature in making a successful transition from second-level education. This thesis contributes to our understanding of the post-school pathways of migrant youth in Ireland with specific focus on Russian-speaking students. It raises the issue of studying Russian-speakers as a distinct group within broader migration research on Eastern European economic migrants as there can be additional push factors for migration for Russian-speakers.
Author: FOLEY, HOLLY ANN
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Social Sciences & Philosophy. Discipline of Sociology
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available