This thesis deals with the construction of social representations about “being part of the school” in a public institution of secondary education in a quarter of the outskirts of Buenos Aires city. Research has been motivated by the recent enactment of the obligatory condition of the level and the inclusion in high school of young people belonging to popular classes with family trajectories weak in links with the educational level.
In this context, the aim of the research presented here is to reconstruct the social representations of the actors (teachers, students and former students) about the condition of being young and of being a student, about game rules and school rules and about the dynamics of the neighborhood. Through this course is intended the analysis of the ways in which, from these representations, a certain “we at school” takes shape and therefore “others” remain outside of institutional dynamics.
There took place here a case study which considered as an empirical referent a public high school located in a quarter inhabited mostly by people of popular classes of the Moreno district, in the west outskirts of Buenos Aires city. A methodological strategy of qualitative characteristic was used giving priority to the completion of interviews in depth and also a relational approach to analyze both the juvenile condition as well as the shaping of the sense of the school experience; thus assumed, the voices of the adults and of the young people are put into dialogue through the various topics covered.
Firstly the way of defining the senses of the school experience and the student status are defined, seeking to account for the current configuration of the meritocratic logic. Then it is analyzed how rules are constructed and spread and standard institutional game rules are likewise described starting from the study of different written records of the institution, taking as main point of analysis the perceptions about juvenile condition which emerge from them. Finally there stands the relationship established between school and neighborhood and the representations about the neighborhood dynamics and its relations with the school.
The itinerary of research presented here let us come to the conclusion that the ways of configuring the “we at school / others” blocks up the full inclusion of young people in the neighborhood high school, accounting for the persistence of unequal opportunities for access and stay in the institution which act as a constraint on the incorporation at high school of all young people who have the right to be in it.