Social Inequalities on the Urban Periphery? Vocational Education, Ultras’ Participation and Cultures of Resistance in the Classroom

This project seeks to analyse processes of class production as manifest through educational ‘sorting’ mechanisms alongside passive/active forms of resistance present amongst pupils enrolled in vocational education (strukovne škole) on the urban periphery of Zagreb. The aim is to make a unique contribution to anthropological studies of educational ‘failure’ (Willis 1977; Evans 2008) alongside football youth subcultures, drawing on my previous work on all of these topics (Hodges and Stubbs 2016; Hodges 2016; 2015; 2014). Through semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observation, I will examine the relationship between the organised practices of a fan group (the Bad Blue Boys, hereon BBB) supporting the Zagreb based team GNK Dinamo and oppositional cultures of resistance in the classroom. These practices will be examined in the context of pupils’ life trajectories relating to the transition between school and work/unemployment, with a specific focus on class production. The urban peripheral context, where hierarchies associated with urban belonging are contested, adds a further class-related component to the study, as well as a distinctly post-Yugoslav flavor which will be contrasted and compared with the UK focused literature on class, educational failure, and fan practices.