“Laboured Learning – Investigating challenged localities through a geography of vocational education” is Karin Topsø Larsen’s PhD thesis, published by Aalborg University in January 2017.
This thesis uses an approach that analyses the factors that influence the opportunity structures within the VET system, as well as an approach that examines young people’s perceptions of their opportunities in relation to the concrete provision structures.
Based on existing research on the historical development of the VET system in relation to theories on processes of unequal development, this thesis analyses the factors and processes that affect the provision of the VET education programmes in challenged localities. Empirically, the young students’ transition trajectories into and through the VET system are investigated through a combination of statistical analysis and interview-based studies. The statistical investigation analyses the mobility and education patterns of youth cohorts from three case municipalities
located in challenged localities in Denmark, including the young students’s use of the nearest vocational institution. The qualitative analysis is based on 23 narrative interviews of young vocational students about their transitions into and through the Basic and Main VET programmes.