ERG SES D 07, Pecha Kucha Session
Pecha Kucha Session
Integrating persons to existing systems has been one of the most prominent topics all over Europe in the past few years. Since a great number of immigrants had to leave their home countries and arrived in Europe – for example, in 2016, Germany was by far the leading asylum application receiving OECD country per capita, with a ratio of over 9 000 per million (OECD, 2017) – the question of possibilities to integrate these people became more and more urgent. But not only policies, but also the education sectors, and especially schools, have to deal with the integration of newly arrived immigrants, since one way of integration is accomplished through education (Fossati, 2011).
There are several theoretically integration approaches. One prominent German example is the migration theory of Hartmut Esser (1999). He distinguishes between system and social integration: Following Esser`s (1999) view on social integration, it can be seen as an expanded term of a system integration, adding the perspective of interpersonal relationships as well as the relationship between individuals and the system as a whole.
Esser (2006) identifies the following four dimensions of social integration:
- The cultural dimension means to acquire knowledge,
- the structural dimension stands for placement in positions, e.g. in the educational system,
- the social dimension means to initiate contact and social relations
- and the emotional dimension stands for identification (sense of belonging to the host society).
The central requirement to develop a sense of belonging of recently immigrated persons to the whole of society – which is the highest level of social integration – is to have the opportunity to interact and create relationships (Esser, 1999). However, there is a lack of adequate empirical research in this field. It requires further research in what sense frequently discussed factors, such as intercultural friendships (Stoessel et al., 2012) or languages, e.g. mother tongue, have an impact on the recently immigrated student body’s feeling of belonging to social groups.
Even though little is known about the social integration capacity of the education sector, there is some evidence that schools in North Rhine-Westphalia follow various measures to integrate recently immigrated students (Otto et al., 2018). Although it can be shown that the schools have numerous measures of interactions to the recently immigrated students, however, it remains unclear, if these measures have an influence on the students’ sense of belonging, since the data used in this qualitative study could not be operationalized to answer this question. Research is guided by the question to what extend interactions between recently immigrated students and their peers take place and if these interactions can be seen as a precondition for a sense of belonging, which - as a result - can be seen as elements of social integration.
This submission takes a qualitative and explorative approach to adequately consider the personality and individual character of those recently immigrated students. To answer the research questions, eleven guideline-based interviews (September/October 2017) with recently immigrated students at the age of 11 to 17 who visit four different comprehensive schools in North Rhine-Westphalia are being analysed. Basic methodical approach for data evaluation is the content analysis (Mayring, 2010). Thereby and as a first step, deductive main categories are being constructed which contentwise follow up on Esser’s (1999) theory of social integration. The content of those main categories is then being redefined by inductively generated categories.
Results are expected to illustrate that factors such as intercultural friendships and joint activities help to increase social relations as well as the sense of belonging of recently immigrated students and thus social integration.
Esser, H. (1999) ‘Inklusion, Integration und ethnische Schichtung’. Journal für Konflikt- und Gewaltforschung. 1 (1), 5–35. Esser, H. (2006) Migration, Language and Integration. AKI Research Review 4. Fossati, F. (2011) ‘The effect of integration and social democratic welfare states on immigrants’ educational attainment: a multilevel estimate’. Journal of European Social Policy 21 (5), 391–412. Mayring, P. (2010) Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Grundlagen und Techniken. Weinheim: Beltz. OECD (2017) International Migration Outlook 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris. Online. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/migr_outlook-2017-en (accessed 12 December 2017). Otto, J. Czerwinski, J., Schurig, M., and Pfänder, H. (2018) Soziale Integration neu zugewanderter Schülerinnen und Schüler. Jahrbuch der Schulentwicklung 2018, Band 20 (S. 220–253). Stoessel, K., Titzmann, P. and Silbereisen, R. K. (2012) ‘Young Diaspora immigrants’ attitude and behavior toward the host culture. The role of cultural identification’. European Psychologist,17, 143–157.
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