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Translating validation of prior learning in practice

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This article contributes to the critical literature in the field of validation of prior learning by framing the idea of validation as a tool for integrating immigrants in the labour market as concerning issues of organizational change. Using a perspective from the sociology of translation, I examine how the idea of validation is translated in practice as part of a labour market project run by municipal and state organizations in Western Sweden from 2006–2008. The project aimed at developing methods for validating recent immigrants’ prior learning to support more than 500 immigrants into employment. Based on an ethnographically inspired field study, I focus on how the validation procedure materializes as a result of the organizing practices in the project. The article suggests that the difficulties currently experienced in the work with validation of recent immigrants’ prior learning in Sweden may be explained by its emphasis on procedural efficiency over a more comprehensive understanding of the heterogeneous nature of the immigrants’ skills.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Gothenburg Research Institute, Gothenburg, Sweden

Publication date: 2013-08-01

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