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To belong or not to belong: negotiating citizenship in an age of migration
Linköpings universitet.
Linköpings universitet.
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Educational Work. Stockholms universitet, Högskolan i Skövde. (forskargruppen SO-didaktik)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1776-478X
Linköpings universitet.
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2016 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

2015. More than a million people are seeking refuge in Europe. Over water or over land, children as well as adults are fleeing from war, persecution and poverty. Thousands of them disappear without a trace or drown beneath the waves. Most of the refugees come from the war-torn Syria (International Organisation for Migration 2015). Throughout the member states of the European Union, exceptional policy measures are taken in order to handle the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ – intensified border control, the introduction of ID checks at specific checkpoints as well as within the borders of a country and restrictive rules for the reception of asylum seekers. This precarious situation in Europe addresses a number of crucial questions about the state of citizenship and belonging in contemporary Europe – in an age of large-scale international migration.

 

In an era of international migration established conceptions of citizenship, of who the citizen is or should be, are challenged. International migration highlights some of the fundamental issues of citizenship: which characteristics, abilities or values should the citizen have and how are the relationships between the citizen and society arranged? In the context of international migration certain individuals are seen as ‘naturally’ belonging to the national community they inhabit, guaranteeing a set of rights, while others are seen as not belonging. The question, however, is: Who are included in the societal community, who are excluded, and what conditions are used to decide?

 

This article analyses the formation of citizenship in today’s multi-ethnic Sweden with a particular focus on how migration renders visible existing citizenship ideals, defined in terms of similarity and difference on the basis of ethno-cultural background. Analysing three individual stories of women who have migrated to Sweden, with different biographies, the article focuses on negotiations of the boundaries and contents of citizenship in multi-ethnic Sweden. The point of departure for the analysis is a post-structuralist and discursive approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. 1-24 p.
Keyword [en]
adult education, Migration, Europe, belonging, citizenship
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-23075OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-23075DiVA: diva2:968831
Conference
ESREA: 8th Triennial European Research Conference, Maynooth University, Ireland, 8-11 Sept 2016
Note

Presented at the joint symposium "Citizenship education, democracy and the market".

Symposium abstract: Education is not only a matter of knowledge and skills provision, but also of training - of formation of citizens. Education is characterized by an ambition to secure two historically established principles; that of democracy and that of the market. These two principles interact and mobilize both collective and individually oriented notions of what it means to be a citizen in different educational levels. Taking Sweden as a case (för att det är svenska reffar till svensk empiri??, although far from entirely or exclusively, the former can be seen as more collective and the latter more individually adapted in this respect (Carlbaum 2012; Dovemark 2004; Olson & Dahlstedt 2014).   The centrality of the two principles of democracy and the market, and their tension-filled relationship in educational citizen formation over time, has lately been problematized (cf. Molnar, 2006; Sandlin, Burdick and Norris, 2012). Not least the historical change in which the market increasingly has come to be denoted as a situation in which several educational providers compete to accomplish public tasks (cf. Ball and Yodell, 2008). The vitality of the principles and of the tension between them has been identified as being particularly influential in post-war Swedish education policy (Englund 1999; Lundahl 2006; Dahlstedt 2009; Lundahl and Olson, 2013). However, less emphasis has been put on the role of this tension-filled relationship in education in relation to its commissioned task of citizen formation in policy and practice. This is not least the case in adult education, and educational practice that is assigned to live up to practically the same commissioned objectives as compulsory and upper secondary school.   In this symposium the focus is directed at how these tensions between democracy and market is played out in contemporary Swedish adult education. More specifically, the focus is put on the formation of citizens within formal (municipal adult education [MAE]) as well as non-formal adult education (folk high schools [FHS]). How do students construct themselves as citizens? What are the material and discursive conditions for such constructions? How does such constructions relate to the ways in which teachers construct students as citizen subjects?    The symposium is based on an on-going research project on citizenship education within and beyond adult and popular education. The data consists of 67 interviews with students and ten interviews with teachers within one school for MAE and one FHS. Students were asked to document their daily citizenship activities with a pen camera for 1-2 weeks, after which they were individually interviewed with a focus on what they had documented/not documented, and why. Interviews with teachers’ focused on their work with citizenship education within their teaching. Interviews were also complemented by collection and analysis of policy documents on adult and popular education.   The papers in this symposium, problematize different aspects of issues of citizenship education, drawing on post structural theorisations inspired by the work of Michel Foucault, as well as more critical theoretical perspectives inspired by authors such as Beverly Skeggs.

Available from: 2016-09-12 Created: 2016-09-12 Last updated: 2016-09-15Bibliographically approved

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