Education without a shared language: dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in Norwegian introductory classes for newly arrived minority language students
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Education 
Based upon fieldwork in two upper secondary schools in Norway, this article offers an analysis of inclusion and exclusion processes for newly arrived minority language students. Minority language students are defined by policy as students who have a different mother tongue than the Norwegian and Sami languages, and students who are newly arrived in Norway are considered especially at risk for marginalisation. This article explores processes of inclusion and exclusion in two schools with segregated classes for this group, called introductory classes. The analytical framework is Niklas Luhmann’s theory of autopoietic social systems, where inclusion is defined as the requirements for participation set by a system, and exclusion accordingly as being unable to meet these requirements. The article displays different constellations of inclusions and exclusions for newly arrived students in the educational system: in school organisations, organisation-based interactions and informal networks of students. It will be showed that introductory classes erect several barriers towards newly arrived students’ inclusion, especially towards those students who are placed at the basic level of the schools’ hierarchy of performances. As a consequence of multiple educational exclusions, informal networks emerge as alternative socialities that include and exclude students on the basis of mother tongue.