Sunday, Sep 27 2020

School redistribution policies of immigrant students promote xenophobia

Original posted by Harkaitz Zubiri

I want to report this post

Scientific Articles

Explanation of the Post

There is scientific evidence demonstrating that school redistribution policies of immigrant students promote xenophobia.

Other sources

I want to report this post



    This article analyces some integration/redistribution policies in UK and it’s outcomes:

    1) Increase of racism

    “Racial violence against Muslim pupils was just the starkest reaction to this
    forced integration. An analysis of letters published in the local press reveals how
    the policy of school mergers managed to engender a generalised white backlash
    against what was quickly seen as ‘integration by stealth’ and ‘social engineering’.
    An excerpt from a letter to the local paper encapsulates the way school desegre-
    gation, an idea believed to be imposed by political elites on to white working-
    class neighbourhoods, was seen as a belligerent force with the potential to foster
    racial divisions:”

    2) Xenophobic vote and xenophobic activism:

    “The Burnley ward was a particular electoral stronghold for
    the BNP, which became the official opposition party on Burnley Council during
    the run-up to the May 2003 local elections. The BNP also won its first ever county
    council seat in 2009 by ending twenty years of Labour control. Currently, the BNP
    has just one council seat, but this does not reflect the extent of far-right activity,
    given the rise of the popular street activism of the English Defence League (EDL),
    as seen through a number of high-profile public demonstrations by the EDL
    Burnley division.”


    Miah, S. (2012). School desegregation and the politics of ‘forced integration.’ Race & Class, 54(2), 26–38.

  2. In the United States of America, the first desegregation policies were initiated. The forced redistribution by buses of blacks to white schools generated great riots because of the rejection by the white community. The desegregation unleashed outbreaks of interacial violence not seen until then.

    Hornburger, J. M. (1976). Deep are the Roots: Busing in Boston. The Journal of Negro Education, 45(3), 235–245.

  3. South Asians in London, 1963-1981. Bussing.

    “Separating South Asian students at bussing points often made them vulnerable to isolation and racial violence. In a letter to the Indian Workers’
    Association, a group of children trekking to Watford Secondary School from
    Southall and Ealing complained: “Every morning and evening we change
    buses . . . Because we are of Indian or Asian origin (or putting it simply coloured),
    this gang of white boys from Vincent School beat every coloured boy they get
    hold of and spit on the girls. Because of this some boys and girls don’t attend the
    school or are unable to attend regularly.”62 These cruelties reflected emergent
    racisms in increasingly diverse districts, but the practicalities of bussing also con-
    centrated South Asian students into specific areas making them easier targets for

    Brett Bebber, “We Were Just Unwanted”: Bussing, Migrant Dispersal, and South Asians in London, Journal of Social History, Volume 48, Issue 3, Spring 2015, Pages 635–661,


    In the case of the Roma in Europe, school segregation is very pronounced. Prejudice against the Roma community is deeply rooted throughout Europe and this produces a strong reaction to sharing schools with Roma. When school desegregation policies act on this population, new forms of intraschool segregation automatically arise. These forms of intraschool segregation are the product of the anti-Gypsy reaction of families and heads of studies of other ethnic groups in the schools where they are integrated. Those are the effects:

    “However, in schools where intraschool segregation came about as a consequence of anti-Roma prejudice of the principal persistent stigmatization, interethnic bullying, teachers’ neglect of Roma classes and their unwillingness to teach, as well as their consistent negative feedback, resulted in the short run in Roma students’ antischool attitude, their lack of respect for the school and the teachers. It also damaged their self-perception, identity formation, and future ambitions.”


    Vera Messing (2017) Differentiation in the Making: Consequences of School Segregation of Roma in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia, European Education, 49:1, 89-103, DOI: 10.1080/10564934.2017.1280336


    The case of apartheid in South Africa is known worldwide. There was also a process of school desegregation that caused more pronounced situations of racism against minors.The more prior racism exists against the community to be integrated, the worse the reaction will be in the desegregation process. In my opinion, a latent racism awakens in an interracial contact that is unwanted or forced by the authorities. Teachers from the mainstream community do not fully display their racist behavior until an interracial context exists.

    “Until 1991 the school was all-white by law but by 1996 the school’s student
    population had become sixty per cent white and forty per cent black. The ethos
    of the school remains quite traditional with its emphasis, for example, on
    uniform and ceremonies. The change in the racial composition of the school
    has been a troubling one for students and staff brought up under apartheid.
    In 1994, for example, students were asked to write about their feelings towards
    the school. The following were some of the statements from the students at
    the time:
    There were times when I got back home crying, not only because of the pain I had
    endured from racial tension in the school but also from the pain of seeing how
    much hatred young people can have in them. Because of the colour of my skin I
    am expected to fight and sweat for what I want. All I want is to be treated equally.
    The blacks do not have any self-discipline.
    The teachers here are racist….”


    Harber, C. Desegregation, Racial Conflict and Education for Democracy in the New South Africa: A Case Study of Institutional Change. International Review of Education44, 569–582 (1998).


    This chapter provides a lot of scientific evidence that explains that unwanted and unequal contact has negative consequences in the relationship and in self-concept of lower status students.”

    “Thus, generalization of attitude to diverse situations as a result of interethnic contact is not the rule but the exception. In real-life situations, ethnic contact is generally not in conditions of equal status. In these cases contact can generate negative effects on attitudes as well as on the self-concept of the minority or low-status group member.”


  7. In order to analyze this statement, we look up some information about segregation programs, xenophobia and schools.

    We achieve one article, which explain this phenomenon in a mid-size Canadian city. The abstract of this article advertise about “how, after families are allowed to choose schools outside their designated catchment areas, the city’s high schools are racially and socially segregated, with the most affluent families with European backgrounds concentrated on its west side, and the low-income families with Indigenous and racialized backgrounds clustered on its east side. The west side also has specialized choice programs that facilitate the social reproduction of both the local residents and mobile students from the rest of the city who choose the programs and are from advantaged backgrounds. Based on these findings, we argue that school choice practices reinforce school (re)segregation”

    We also find another article, which put the focus on Asian Americans and desegregation in metropolitan Hartford. In this case the abstract highlights: “Little research examines the experiences and perspectives of Asian American parents who participate in K-12 desegregation efforts, such as magnet schools. Conceptually framed by research on Asian American racialization, this qualitative case study investigates 10 Asian American parents in metropolitan Hartford, Connecticut; and the motivations underpinning their decisions to choose magnet schools for their children. I find that most parents emphasized ‘diversity’ over ‘desegregation’ when explaining their decision to choose magnet schools. This pattern demonstrates parents’ limited engagement with racialized power structures and with how Asian Americans are situated within the American racial order. Findings reflect research on the invisibility and racial ambiguity of Asian Americans in policy and political discourses. Thus, findings point to the need for desegregation and other educational policies to center Asian American’ nuanced backgrounds and experiences”.



    Castillo, E. (2022). ‘More of the diversity aspect and less of the desegregation aspect’: Asian Americans and desegregation in metropolitan Hartford. Race Ethnicity and Education, 1-19.

    Yoon, E. S., Grima, V., DeWiele, C. E. B., & Skelton, L. (2022). The impact of school choice on school (re) segregation: settler-colonialism, critical geography and Bourdieu. Comparative Education, 58(1), 52-71.

Submit a Comment

I want to report a comment