Merit-based exclusion in Finnish music schools
Elmgren, H. (2019). Merit-based exclusion in Finnish music schools. International Journal of Music Education, 37(3), 425-439. https://doi.org/10.1177/0255761419843990
Published inInternational Journal of Music Education
© 2019 SAGE Publications
In this article I analyse merit-based exclusion in Finnish music schools for children and young people. I base my study on my earlier research on meritocracy and written data collected online from current and former music school students in the autumn and winter of 2015–2016. I am able to show there are implicit and explicit merit-based hierarchies in the music school. Hierarchies and exclusion are shown to be connected to the institution’s meritocratic features. As the hierarchies are merit-based, it is hard to question them. The hierarchies justify excluding students from certain practices such as performances. These practices are in fact learning opportunities, as has been established by earlier research. In addition to this, the hierarchies also influence students’ views of their potential and this, combined with limited learning opportunities, hinders their development. The hierarchies thus produce self-fulfilling prophecies of the students’ advancement. This is how the meritocratic system can in fact produce the failure it pretends only to reflect. ...
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.
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Additional information about fundingThis publication has been undertaken as part of the ArtsEqual research initiative, financed by the Academy of Finland’s Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland from its Equality in Society program (project number 293199).
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