Barns ”växa vilt” och vuxnas vilja att forma : Formell och informell socialisation i en muslimsk skola

Sammanfattning: The aim of the thesis is to examine how children as social beings and actors form themselves within the framework of a school institution that adults have set up in order to shape them in deliberate ways through nurturing education. The study is based on long-term fieldwork in a Muslim faith school in Sweden.Muslim schools have aroused a great deal of debate in Swedish society.Opponents have argued that Muslim schools lead to segregation and social exclusion, that these schools risk not promoting the fundamental values of society and that children in these schools are met by religious propaganda. Advocates of these schools have maintained that in public schools the Muslim identity is eroded by ignorance, lack of understanding and racism. Muslim schools instead offer children knowledge of their culture and religion in a way that enhances their identity and makes them secure and whole human beings who can be integrated into society. The debate reflects that school institutions function as loci for contested forms of socialisation in society; national, ethnic, religious, or the struggle of other groups for cultural production and social reproduction in which they are united in the role and importance attached to the school institution in the shaping of young people. In the debate children appear as passive receivers and products of adults’ upbringing and education, which represents both threat and opportunity.The debate around Muslim schools reflects adult-centred ideas of socialisation, where the adults’ upbringing and education is placed at the centre of the process in which children are formed into social persons. What emerged from this study is that children are social actors who shape themselves and that this shaping is more of an informal social process than a formal education process. The study raises the profile of how the school constitutes an environment in which children are in the majority and adults in the minority; a social environment in which children have significantly more social contact and a greater number of social relations with each other than with adults. The school as a child-centred social environment is reflected in the fact that it is principally children who shape each other rather than adults shaping children.