Migrant Students at Elite Schools
19 fevereiro 2020 | 13h30 - 14h30 | Iscte


Aud. C1.04, Ed. II, Iscte

Migrant Students at Elite Schools

Between positive and negative - privileged migration perspectives on student biographies in Germany


Migrant students are often seen as a marginalised student group lacking educational success, not properly adapting to school requirements and having a great deal of trouble in school. This deficit construction of problematic migrant students with language issues and social problems in school requires more in-depth research to examine more closely migrant students who do well in school (e.g., in elite schools). The investigation will reveal what they are faced with and offer deeper insights into migrant students in general, rather than just the problematic disadvantaged group who struggle to attain success. I conducted student biographical interviews with 8th-grade students in different elite schools and schools without an elite profile in Germany. The interviews were analysed reconstructively to create a typology about how students deal with their migratory background in elite schools. My theoretical background is about Bourdieu’s habitus theory.


This work offered a sideways view on reflections of definitions of migration in the field of transnational biographies and mobility as concepts. This allowed me to develop a broader perspective on migration without differentiating between privileged and non-privileged students according to social background. Thus, I gained deeper insights into their school life and the family issues involved in dealing with elite school requirements. 

Katrin Kotzyba
Investigadora Visitante CIES

Research Associate - Center for School and Educational Research

Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg



Anne Schippling

Investigadora CIES