Fulvia Antonelli

Mena and the other girls. A portrait of lower-class girls with regard to social and school exclusion

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This article reflects upon some outcomes of an extended applied ethnographic study carried out inside and outside some scholastic institutions in the city of Bologna (Italy). It focuses on the trajectories and school experiences of young and very young lower-class girls: it analyzes their aspirations, representations, explicit and implicit languages, and oppositional cultures with their codes of value and expression. In school, not only individual and psychological factors - often overestimated by institutional actors - influence these girls' school investment or disinvestment, but also class, gender, and social and cultural capital. These factors act in a non-neutral school space, closely intertwined with urban space and its exclusion dynamics.


  • Social Inequality Reproduction
  • Gender and Education
  • Urban Segregation
  • Bologna (Italy)
  • Ethnography


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