From Young Migrants to ”Good Swedes”: Belonging and the Manifestations of Borders and Boundaries in NGO Social Work
Maria Moberg Stephenson undersöker konstruktioner av asylsökande ungdomarnas situationer och behov och vilka konsekvenser de kan ha för socialt arbete.
- Titel (eng)
From Young Migrants to
Maria Moberg Stephenson
Docent Åsa Källström, Örebro universitet Jürgen Degner, Örebro universitet Docent Marcus Herz, Malmö universitet
Professor Bridget Anderson, Bristol University
Institutionen för juridik, psykologi och socialt arbete
Abstract in English:
Belonging is a contested concept, and for young people arriving unaccompanied by parents to seek asylum in Sweden, belonging is conditional. The aim of this thesis is thus to analyse belonging in the context of an NGO mentoring programme for young people defined as unaccompanied in Sweden. By intersecting different dimensions of belonging, this is studied both from the young people’s own perspective and within the work of the mentoring programme. The thesis builds on interviews, participant observations, and policy documents gathered from the NGO mentoring programme, which more specifically works with ‘unaccompanied’ young people placed in kinship care in a Swedish suburban neighbourhood to support their establishment in Sweden. Participating in the study are young people involved in the programme and the employed mentors. The results show that the young people create a sense of belonging through transnational and local migrant networks, while the NGO perceives the young people’s situations in kinship care and in the Swedish suburban neighbourhood as limited. The mentoring programme’s work to promote establishment is intended to help the young people to overcome possible boundaries, and to reach a belonging to Swedish society. As such, the work can be interpreted as a form of boundary work. However, this work risks producing new boundaries – those between a desired, but imagined, ‘Swedish community of value’, and the migrant ‘other’. Hierarchies of belonging are thus created, within which the young people must strive to become ‘good Swedes’ to be seen as established in society. The thesis also shows how these boundaries can be challenged within social work by acting against racial structures and imagined collective communities. It thus argues for the importance of acknowledging and actively working with young people’s transnational and local networks to avoid the reproduction of boundaries.
Sidan publicerades 2021-03-30 09:17 av Susanne Sawander