04 SES 13 B, Empowering Young People Participation And Decision-Making
Young refugees are considered as a particularly vulnerable and at the same time heterogeneous group (Sleijpen et al. 2016). Their participation in society is challenged by intersectional disadvantages, such as the frequent lack of a (family) support system, othering processes or institutional dependencies (Lechner et al. 2016). Digital media and the progressive digitization of learning environments are discussed as having the potential to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups in education and thus to open up additional options for social participation (UNICEF 2017). Digital media are indeed highly relevant in everyday lives of young refugees. Smartphones in particular can provide support in coping with everyday life such as orientation, self-appropriation of information. They can be a means of transnational self-location (Kutscher/Kreß 2018) or significant for experiencing one's own ability to act (Friedrichs-Liesenkötter/Müller 2018), offering young refugees “the opportunity to speak for themselves and maintain a sense of belonging through common purpose” (Witteborn 2015: 365). However, in addition to the potential for promoting participation, research also explicitly points to risks, e.g. reproducing social inequalities (Alam/Imran 2015). Concerning issues of privacy and surveillance, marginalized groups also face greater risks, as the evaluation of mobile phone data of refugees for identity verification is already in widespread use (Metcalf/Dencik 2019). Despite this relevance for inclusion of young refugees, there is an insufficient evidence base with regard to policy and practice of digital media in educational contexts across all continents (Livingstone et al. 2017).
Against this background, the paper based on research from the joint ethnographic research project “Educational Participation of Refugees in the Context of Digitized Educational Arrangements”, of the University of Cologne and the Leuphana University Luneburg (duration 2019-2022) examines the question of the (ambivalent) potential and factual role of digital media for young refugees’ participation and the related practices (Schatzki 2002) in the light of contradictory expectations and discourses towards digitalized non-formal and formal educational settings. Considering subjectively unequal conditions and the structural reproduction of digital inequalities as a challenge for digital educational contexts and activities, the research focuses practices of appropriation and education to identify enabling and restricting conditions for participation of refugee youth in different educational arrangements. In order to address the interplay of different (digitalized) educational sites and processes (formal, non-formal, informal – Rauschenbach et al. 2004) in the everyday life of young refugees, the project takes a trans-organizational perspective. Moving “beyond traditional conceptions of formal versus informal ways of learning and literacy” (Erstad 2012: 26) practices not only in places such as school (as formal) but equally in youth welfare (as non-formal) and leisure time with family and peers (as informal) are focused across the various everyday life contexts but also transversal practices such as informal, non-formal and formal educational processes in these places.
Within this project, participation is understood as being part of and taking part in practices in the social, cultural, political and economic environment. Degrees and qualities of participation can diverge greatly in different areas of life, are mutually dependent and subject to change over time (Dietrich 2017). We understand education (“Bildung”) as a (partially medially moderated) transformative process, which goes hand in hand with a change of world and self-relationships and with the acquisition of orientation knowledge for coping with unknown situations (Jörissen/Marotzki 2009). With regard to young refugees, educational participation (not only as representation, e.g. in school attendance, but as being capable resp. becoming enabled to take part in educational practices such as learning, appropriation and coping with everyday life) takes place performatively, goes beyond mere ‘membership’ (Herzmann/Merl 2017) and enables them to cope successfully in the context of the host society.
The research project is conceived as ethnography in a neo-praxeological perspective and thus focuses on reconstructing practices (Breidenstein et al., 2015; Schatzki 2002) to research immanent symbolic orders and conditions of participation and “Bildung”. In its trans-organizational orientation, the research project not only focuses on orders within the respective organizational relations. It also explicitly takes a look at cross-connections and cross-relations that emerge in practices. As a sensitizing concept, artifacts can be e.g. focused as boundary objects (Star/Griesemer 1989) embedded within or causing breaks in the orders and practices between the organizational formations. Methodically, we use a multi-sited ethnography approach (Falzon 2009) following the actors across organizational limits into their different everyday life contexts. The research process is structured and framed by the Grounded Theory Methodology (Strauss/Corbin 1990). For the research project, 20 young refugees between the age of twelve and 24 were recruited, who, in the sense of maximum contrast, differ in various categories of difference such as gender, country of origin, residence status, living conditions, and family circumstances (e.g.: accompanied/unaccompanied). The field will be accessed via the educational contexts of school and of child and youth welfare services as well as private contexts. In different field phases, the participants are accompanied into e.g. school, vocational training or workplace, tutoring, youth welfare, residential care, social pedagogical family assistance and private leisure activities with family and peers. Participant observations are supplemented by interviews with the young people and their caregivers. The analysis of the material is conducted parallel to the field phases and is carried out based on the Grounded Theory Methodology. It is complemented by artifact analyses of digital artifacts (Lueger/Froschauer 2018) and situational analyses (Clarke 2018) focusing on the different constellations and participants in the field (media, actors, interpretations), the social worlds and the socio-spatial relations so that relations, fits, breaks, etc. become visible, which shape participation and educational processes. Ethical questions of forced migration research, such as participation in the research process and sensitivity for dealing with the limits of privacy, represent, continuous reflective references for the research team in methodological terms (Kleist 2015).
Based on data from field observations and interviews from the institutional contexts mentioned above, including data material during the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, key dimensions of digital inequality and educational disadvantages of young refugees on a subjective as well as structural level will be presented (Fujii et al. 2020): Among others, lack of technical access to digital media and limited digital infrastructure (e.g.: internet access), limited media skills, lack of language skills and lacking personal support system play an important role in mediating the young refugees’ participation in these settings. Linking social capital like institutionalized relationships (Szreter & Woolcock 2004) turns out to provide a relevant bridging function in a transorganizational perspective. Apart from that, the interplay of school requirements, support from child and youth welfare services and subjective strategies and capabilities, the interrelation of practices, organizational norms, different actors, digital media participating in practices of coping, appropriating, teaching, helping etc. provide a complex system of contradictory enabling and limiting mechanisms which enlightens sub-strategies and dynamics of the young refugees’ factual participation.
Alam, K./Imran, S. (2015): The digital divide and social inclusion among refugee migrants. Information Technology & People, 28(2), 344–365. Breidenstein, G./Hirschauer, S./Kalthoff, H./Nieswand, B. (2015): Ethnografie. Konstanz. Clarke, A.E. (2018): Situational analysis. Grounded theory after the interpretive turn. Los Angeles. Dietrich, C. (2017): Teil haben – Teil sein – Anteil nehmen. In: Miethe, I./Tervooren, A./Ricken, N. (Eds.): Bildung und Teilhabe. Wiesbaden, 29–46. Erstad, O. (2012): The learning lives of digital youth. Oxford Review of Education 38(1), 25–43. Falzon, M.(2009): Multi-Sited Ethnography. London: Ashdate Publishing. Friedrichs-Liesenkötter, H./Schmitt, C. (2017): Digitale Medien als Mediatoren von Agency. Medienimpulse (3). Fujii, M.S./Hüttmann, J./Kutscher, N./Friedrichs-Liesenkötter, H. (2020): Participation?! Educational Challenges for Young Refugees in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Media Education, 11(2), 37–47. Iske, S./Kutscher, N. (2020): Digitale Ungleichheiten im Kontext Sozialer Arbeit. In: Kutscher, N./Siller, F./Ley, T./Tillmann, A./Seelmeyer, U./Zorn, I. (Eds): Handbuch Digitalisierung und Soziale Arbeit. Weinheim, 115–128. Jörissen, B./Marotzki, W. (2009): Medienbildung. Stuttgart. Herzmann, P. & Merl, T. (2017): Zwischen Mitgliedschaft und Teilhabe. ZISU – Zeitschrift für interpretative Schul- und Unterrichtsforschung 6(1), 97–110. Kleist, J.O.(2015): Über Flucht forschen. PERIPHERIE – Politik • Ökonomie • Kultur 35 (138-139), 150–169. Kutscher, N./Kreß, L.-M. (2018): The Ambivalent Potentials of Social Media Use by Unaccompanied Minor Refugees. Social Media + Society, 4(1). Lechner, C./Huber, A./Holthusen, B. (2016): Geflüchtete Jugendliche in Deutschland. DJI-Impulse 114(3), 14–18 Livingstone, S./Lemish, D./Lim, S.S./Bulger, M./Cabello, P./Claro, M. et al. (2017): Global Perspectives on Children's Digital Opportunities. Pediatrics 140( 2), 137–141. Lueger, M./Froschauer, U. (2018): Artefaktanalyse. Wiesbaden. Metcalfe, P./Dencik, L. (2019): The politics of big borders: Data (in)justice and the governance of refugees. First Monday, 24(4). Rauschenbach, T./Leu, H.R./Lingenbauer, S./Mack, W./Schilling, M./Schneider, K./Züchner, I. (2004): Konzeptionelle Grundlagen für einen Nationalen Bildungsbericht. Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF): Berlin. Schatzki, T.R. (2002): The site of the social. Pennsylvania State University. Sleijpen, M./ Boeije, H. R./ Kleber R.J./Mooren, T. (2016): Between power and powerlessness. Ethnicity & Health, 21(2), 158–180 Star, S.L./Griesemer, J.R. (1989): InstitutionalEcology, ›Translations‹ and Boundary Objects. Social Studies of Science 19(3), 387–420. Strauss, A./Corbin, J. (1990): Basic of Grounded Theory Methods. Beverly Hills. UNICEF (2017): The State of the World’s Children 2017. New York. Witteborn, S. (2015): Becoming (Im)Perceptible. Journal of Refugee Studies, 28(3), 350–367.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.