Drop-in Counseling: counseling of socially vulnerable ethnic minority youth

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Drop in Counseling: counseling of socially vulnerable ethnic minority youth
Ph.D. Jamshid F. Gholamian
The purpose of this paper is to examine the counseling of socially vulnerable high school students with ethnic minority backgrounds. Inspired by Bakhtin (1981) theory of chronotop, and in order to capture the aspect of change in the lives of students, I redefine the concept of socially vulnerable students by introducing a new concept: students on the threshold. This concept describes a chronotopic time and space specific sociocultural form of representation used in connection with crisis and turning point.
The focus is on an analysis that can identify signs, which may be seen as the students’ identification of a turning point in the process from crisis to change. I will focus on questions such as: Which modes of representation do students on the threshold use at school? What characterizes these students’ communication styles? How do they make contact with school counselors? How do they present their situation in consultations with their counselors? What are their needs in terms of counseling?
The analysis demonstrates gender-based communicative strategies as used both before and during counseling sessions. The content of these strategies is identical: A vital decision, indecisiveness, a fear of crossing the threshold, distrust, and fear of opening up. Time seems to constitute a significant identification sign and is an illustration of students’ trust-oriented examination strategies, where they try to make an experience-based image of the counselor's sincerity and reliability.
What is essential in the context of counseling ethnic minority students on the threshold is the counselor’s personal and human qualities. A key aspect regarding this issue is that the students are in a disorientated and emotionally charged situation, which means that they need help from counselors to handle their emotions and thoughts. This means that the students need the counseling sessions to create a space of clarity in relation to their options, socially as well as personally. The students’ experiencing a sense of control over their emotions and thoughts is a necessary condition for them to eventually to be able to strengthen their academic engagement and participation in school.
Translated title of the contributionDrop-in vejledning: Vejledning af socialt udsatte unge med etinske minoritetsbaggrund
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • learning, educational science and teaching

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