07 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session - NW 07
General Poster Session
Participation of young people with migrant background is considered a crucial dimension for the promotion of their integration, inclusion and development of community bonds (Eggert & Giugni, 2010). Immigrant associations, in particular, are recognized as crucial contexts for the study of migrants’ participation and integration in the host society (Schrover; Vermeulen, 2005; Sardinha, 2009). Overall, they have two broad aims: the integration of migrants into the host-society and the preservation, consolidation and expression of a cultural heritage which strengthen the bonds related with migrants’ origin countries (Albuquerque et al., 2000). Nevertheless, in the Portuguese context, the knowledge about the work that immigrant associations develop with and to migrant youth is scarce and inconclusive (Horta, 2010). Therefore, this poster intends to discuss the role played by immigrant associations located in Portugal in enhancing the social and educational inclusion of young people with migrant background.
The integration of people with migrant backgrounds - whose cultures, languages, religions and values may differ markedly from those of the host country - remains today one of the main challenges of European societies (Alba; Foner, 2017). Recent research with migrant children and young people has reported their struggles to belong to settlement societies, often facing discrimination, hostility and exclusion (Katarzi, 2017; Fassetta, 2015). Furthermore, a growing number of studies have shown that migrant youth continue to face major disadvantages in education. On average, all European OECD countries children of immigrants (both 1.5 and second generations) tend to have worse school performance than the children of non-immigrants. On the other hand, children of immigrants are more likely to fall into the group of young people on the margins of the labour market – that is, those who have few years of schooling and are neither studying nor employed or in training (Global Migration Group, 2014). Notwithstanding, the processes of educational exclusion are not only associated with results (knowledge or certificates) but also with crucial issues related to educational processes (belonging, recognition or representation) (Tarabini; Jacovkis; Montes, 2017).
Having in consideration this portrait, we will develop a typology of immigrant associations who works with young people, according to their goals, functions and activities. Secondly, through the speeches of coordinators and leaders of 9 immigrant associations, we will present the profile of the migrant youth who participate in the associations as well as the challenges and constraints the leaders of associations encounter in working with this population. Finally, we will examine the strategies developed by immigrant associations to address the migrant youth’s needs and interests, which may help their social and educational inclusion. For this purpose, we will use the notion “sense of belonging”. May (2013) defines this concept as a feeling at ease with one’s self and one’s social, cultural, relational and material contexts. Moreover, this sense is created through a process of establishing a sense of identification with, or connection to, cultures, people, places and material objects. Thus, we intend to discuss the social, cultural and educational concerns of associations as well as their possible practices that may promote in migrant youth a sense of belonging and identification with the school and with the local and national community. In this sense, this proposal assumes a significant interest to rethink about the importance of non-formal contexts of participation to promote the educational and social inclusion of young people with migrant background.
This paper is part of a larger study about the participation in immigrant associations of young people with migrant background aged between 15-25 years old. The study took place in nine immigrant associations located in the north, center and south of Portugal. Four associations constituted with young migrants with African origins (three from Cape-Verde and one from Guinea Bissau) and five associations constituted with young migrants with Eastern European origins (one from Romenia and Moldavia, two from Ukraine and two that encompasses migrants from different countries of East Europe). The selection of associations was done opportunistically and purposefully on the basis of the existence of young people with migrant background. We opted to include in our sample young people from African countries because most of the immigrant associations are inclined to this population. On the other hand, we opted to include associations with young people with Eastern European origins, because the research focused on this group is scarce (Horta, 2010). We chose nine different contexts to have a view of the associational landscape of Portugal as diverse as complex. This option enables us to compare the different forms of participation of young migrants that lives in different social and geographic contexts. Moreover, the findings may indicate differences and similarities between youth cultures and their types of participation, allowing us to achieve sound and accurate knowledge. The collected data was qualitative and relied mostly on interviews. After selecting and visiting the immigrant associations, we undertook individual interviews with coordinators and leaders of all those 9 associations. Then, we conducted individual and group interviews with young migrants that participate those associations.
With this paper we expect to develop an analytical framework of the strategies, practices and processes adopted by immigrant associations to promote the social, cultural and educational inclusion of young migrants. We expect to achieve sound knowledge on the ways migrant associations try to promote the young migrants' sense of belonging to school, to the local community, to the host society and inevitable to the culture of the immigrant community. In one hand, we expect to gain insights into the ways immigrant associations try to attract young people and support them in their educational pathways. On the other hand, we expect to achieve knowledge on the possible intercultural practices adopted by associations to provoke spaces and experiences of interaction and conviviality between young migrants and people that has a different migrant background or doesn’t have any migrant background. Thus, all the findings we imagine to achieve will enable us to rethink about the role of immigrant associations to deal with the many disadvantages and vulnerabilities of young migrant’s lives that hinder their inclusion in education and society. In the end, the knowledge we will achieve may help us to think globally about the phenomenon of immigration associations as crucial keys to the educative, cultural and social inclusion of young migrants.
1.Alba, R. and Foner, N. (2017) Strangers no more. Immigration and the challenges of integration in north America and western Europe. Princeton University Press. New Jersey 2.Albuquerque, R.; Ferreira, Évora, L; Viegas, T. (2000). O fenómeno associativo em contexto migratório. Duas décadas de associativismo de imigrantes em Portugal. Celta Editora: Oeiras 3.Eggert, N. and Giugni, M. (2010). Does associational involvement spur political integration? Political interest and participation of three immigrant groups in Zurich. Swiss Political Science Review, 16(2), 175-210. 4.Fassetta, G. (2015) Communicating attitudes: Ghanaian children’s expectations and experiences of Italian educational institutions. Childhood 22(1): 23–38. 5.Global Migration Group (2014) Migration and Youth: challenges and opportunities. United Nations Children’s Fund 6.Horta, A. P. (org.) (2010) Revista Migrações. Associativismo Imigrante. Acidi, Lisboa. 7.Katartzi, E. (2017) Young migrants’ narratives of collective identifications and belonging. Childhood. 1-13. 8.May, V. (2013) Connecting Self to Society. Belonging in a changing world. Palgrave Macmillan. New York 9.Sardinha, J. (2009) Immigrant Associations, Integration and Identity Angolan, Brazilian and Eastern European Communities in Portugal. IMISCOE Dissertations. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam. 10.Schrover, D. & Vermeulen, F. (2005) Immigrant Organisations, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 31:5, 823-832 11.Tarabini, A; Jacovkis, J.; Montes, M. (2017) Factors in educational exclusion: including the voice of the youth, Journal of Youth Studies.
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