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Session Overview
RN30_02a_P: Multiculturalism, Ethnicity, Migration
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: jaana lähteenmaa, University of Tampere
Location: PC.1.7
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 1.

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Youth in times of invisible –isms

Carsten Yndigegn

University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

The paper delivers a discussion about how to contribute to develop analysis and theory about major trends in societal thinking among contemporary youth.

Like Mannheim and Inglehart theorised, major historical trends have shaped the mind-sets of generations in the 20th century. The outcome of WWI represented the break-down of the bourgeois-colonial nation-state and its power structure and gave way to currents represented by both democratic and fascist social movements; the outcome of WWII gave way to rapid modernisation, post-colonial conflicts, and environmental challenges.

The current conditions appear as the culmination of two currents that emerged after the end of WWII and now have become key sources of conflict. The first was the multiculturalist transformation of western societies initiated partly by post-colonial migration, partly by the industrial and economic boom in the 1960's. The second was the neo-liberal economic policy, initiated by Thatcher and Reagan, that created what is now seen as 'the roots of all our problems' (Monbiot 2016).

The purpose of this paper is to scrutinise interviews with Danish young people made as part of the MYPLACE project (cf. to analyse how current key trends related to the multicultural and neoliberal transformation of societies can be traced in the discourses of the young people. The methodology applied will be a critical discourse analysis that will take into consideration the special nature of the interview material, i.e. its non-representativeness and its pre-determined thematically structure. The analysis aims at establishing the multidimensionality in the approaches taken by the young people, and it seeks to identify the oppositional character of attitudes and to anchor them coherently in their respective socio-cultural frames and mind-sets.

The individualization contradictions: the second generation immigrants in Italy

Mauro Giardiello1, Rosa Capobianco2

1University of Roma Tre, Italy; 2University of Roma Tre, Italy

In Italy, in the last decade, the increase of second generation immigrants has turned immigration from temporary to permanent, reaching in the age group (0-19) the number of one million people. This assumes a central role for the development of a theoretical approach based on the category of the systemic individualization contradiction in the studies on second generations. The paper shows that the themes of the individualization contradiction and of the epistemological fallacy of modernity, even if they have been widely discussed within the youth studies, they are not yet much used in the analysis of young immigrant conditions.

The second generations are involved in the difficult management of processes of insecurity produced by the contradictory nature of individualization. If, on one hand, second generations in Italy experienced the possibility of a biography of the choices, adhering to the models of Italian young people, on the other, the unequal distribution of objective resources and the lack of subjective resources may hinder the efficient management of an individualization process which provides a continuous design of lifestyle choices. This generate regressive processes, more acute than those of the previous generation, since subjected to an anticipatory socialization that pushes them into very large opportunities exposing them to difficult situations. More specifically, the contribution aims to show how the individualization is a contradictory process, not without consequences in terms of social integration mechanisms, as it can represent the structural condition from which phenomena of fragmentation, marginalization and radicalization emerge.

Young descendants migrants in transnational space – challenging the use of categories in research on children of migrants

Tatiana Ferreira

Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Transnationalism is not a one generation phenomenon as the socialization process occurs in a transnational space which as influence and an important impact on identities and life trajectories across generations. The generational experience is not a linear process, national embedded but rather an imagined experience across borders. This paper is part of ongoing PhD project, named “Gender and generations: processes of transition to adult life of young descendants from Portuguese speaking African countries”, which adopts a comparative methodology between young descendants from PALOP and their parents in what concerns representations and transitions to adulthood. The aim of this paper is to contribute for the discussion around the categories commonly used in the research on children of migrants, for example, second generation migrants, and how transnational approach can help overcome some of these epistemological limitations. This paper also aims to discuss the boundaries of transnational approach, going beyond the dichotomy between country of origin and migration country, has most of the transnational families interviewed have at least one member newly migrated. For one hand, some of this young adults have migrated to other European countries in the context of the Portuguese economic crises who lead to a massive youth emigration cycle in the recent years. On the other hand, some parents have recently migrated, returning to their country of origin. Their children, most of them young adults, have stayed in Portugal. Finally, the paper intends to contribute to the discussion of how transnational experience can be very different from one generation to another and how this can cause generational differences that are significant and must be acknowledge.

”I have seen it as a new life phase”- international student mobility as turning point or transition? Credit and degree student mobility – two different perspectives.

Emilia Kmiotek-Meier

University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Transitions into and from higher education have been widely discussed. However, research on international student mobility (ISM) has paid little attention to ‘transition’ and ‘turning points’ within mobile students’ trajectories. I will discus different meaning of the move abroad for degree (whole programme aboard) and credit (short stay abroad) mobile students.

For degree students “a new life phase” starts simultaneously on two levels: entrance into higher education and move into another country (incorporated by definition). For credit students, start and end points of those two levels are disintegrated.

Both degree and credit mobile students describe study abroad as influential in their lives. While degree students do it always in positive terms, credit mobile students are ambivalent. They relate to loss of autonomy after moving back to parental home. This reversed transition leads to frictions, with the self and parents, as once being autonomous credit students have to give it up or shift their aspiration to become “fully” autonomous for later.

The paper discusses student mobility as turning point and transition, thus, contributing to life course research. While degree mobility follows the standardised life course: school -> study -> employment and can be seen as transition, credit mobility is rather a turning point. In terms of ISM and youth policies: potential disadvantages of short academic stays abroad should be addressed, especially in the light of ERASMUS-hype.

Analyses are grounded theory driven, based on 12 qualitative semi-structured interviews with students from Luxembourg. The fieldwork took place between October 2015 and April 2016.

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