Pilar Cucalón Tirado



Pilar Cucalón Tirado

Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC

c/ Albasanz 26-28 (despacho 1F-18)

28037 Madrid, España




My name is Pilar and I am part of the Inter Group since September 2007. I met then Margarita del Olmo at the II Conference on Ethnography and Education, held in Barcelona and organized by Grupo EMIGRA. This was the first conference in which I participated giving a talk. I explained the results of my research in the AULAS de ENLACE (specific classes for immigrant students/newcomer foreigners established at the schools of the Community of Madrid, literally “Linking Classrooms”). Margarita suggested to me to apply to pre-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences of the CSIC (Spain). I agreed delighted and unexpectedly my proposal was accepted. Since September 2008 I am enjoying this pre-doctoral fellowship thanks to which I am writing my PhD dissertation. My research topic will be explained below.

I started my college life with a Diploma in Social Work. During the second year, I decided to continue studying, reading and reflecting on those first inputs of socio-anthropological analysis that the Diploma gave me. Finally, I decided to change my life and moved from Zaragoza to Madrid, where I enrolled at the University Complutense of Madrid and started studying for a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology.

Since then, Social Anthropology permeated many of my life experiences, not only professional ones. One of these experiences in which my professional and personal experiences are interweaved was my stay at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) which I enjoyed thanks to a fellowship from UNAM and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. I stayed through the academic year 2007-2008, while waiting for the resolution of predoctoral scholarship at the CSIC. In Mexico, I conducted an ethnographic work in a primary school in Mexico City. My fieldwork in a school, my classes at the Gender Studies Program at the UNAM, and my readings, fostered my desire to continue my work on Education from from the perspective of Social Anthropology and Ethnography. My doctoral thesis aims at combining these three aspects (Education, Anthropology and Ethnography) through the research at the “Aulas de Enlace”. To this end, I have conducted fieldwork in two different schools analyzing representations and social practices of both teachers and students in these classes.

As part of the project "Social Participation Strategies and Racism Prevention in Schools", I will continue doing fieldwork in one of the schools in the city of Madrid. However, I hope to go beyond daily life in the Aulas de Enlace seeking to follow the paths of those students who have been enrolled in these classes and then have leave the school. This interest leads me to conduct participant observation in their reference courses, and reconfigure their school experiences through interviews and informal conversations with them and their teachers.