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Session Chair: Cath Larkins, University of Central Lancashire
Location:GM.327 Manchester Metropolitan University
Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor
4 Rosamond Street West
Off Oxford Road
Time allocation: 15' presentation directly followed by 5' consecutive discussion on the paper presented, and at the end of the session 10' general discussion of all papers presented in the session.
Speaking Darija: A Value or a Stigma? Language Proficiency as Ambiguous Cultural Capital in the Discourses of Young Migrant Children and Their Families Living In Rabat, Morocco.
University of Innsbruck, Austria
Scholars often look at migrants’ cultural capital as ethnically defined, univocal and homogeneous. This article questions this approach by focusing on the way in which language can assume ambiguous and fluid values within various frames, and, based on the relation within which it is inscribed, it can represent a stigma or a mark of honour. Stemming from my PhD project, which explores how young migrant children residing in Rabat, Morocco, construct their identities and belonging, I will look at the way children reflect on their use of multiple languages, in particular Darija, Classical Arabic, and one or more home languages. I will explore the circumstances in which these languages represent a bridging or bonding capital or, contrarily, a factor of exclusion and highlight the relational functions and values attributed to different languages. While I will foreground children´s experiences and narratives, I will also present parents´ and adult migrants´ own perceptions and use of languages, to point out the way children can unsettle the adult´s view on their own identities and belonging.
The aim of the paper is to reflect on the multiple social positions that young migrant children occupy in society, at the crossroad between various forms of belonging, inclusion and exclusion, and how this influences their autonomous ability to make sense and utilise their cultural capital.
He and She in IT: How Stereotypical Gender Portrayals in Social Media Marketing impact Children’s future Social Practices
Kamilla Knutsen Steinnes
Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
Children in Norway are forced to navigate through a highly complex digital marketplace targeting them based on individual characteristics such as their gender and age. The Norwegian Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are intended to protect children against discrimination and promote equality. In spite of this, sophisticated algorithms based on personal data collected from social media leave certain markets overtly gendered – and discriminatory. This study aims to investigate how gender stereotypes are expressed and marketed to children as consumers on social media and how such stereotypical portrayals may affect future social practices. Existing stereotypes will be mapped through a content analysis using over 800 screenshots of marketing directed to children between 2016-2018. Children’s attitudes and experiences with such stereotypes as well as their scope will be explored through focus groups and a nationwide survey among children (N=1000). Preliminary findings suggest an apparently rigid traditional dichotomy between competent masculinity and esthetical femininity, where girls are cute and caring and boys are tough and productive. The results will be discussed in terms of these stereotypical portrayals’ potential impact on social practices related to identity formation, gender diversity, equal rights, body pressure, and vocational choices.
Sea, Sun and a Sense of Adventure: Uncovering The Bullying, Belonging and Business Barriers to Children’s Enjoyment of Natural Coastal Environments in a Time of Brexit
University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
Children from socio-economically disadvantaged and minority ethnic backgrounds are less likely to spend time in outdoor natural environments than their peers. This can exclude them from the potential mental, physical, social and emotional benefits that are associated with spending time in nature. Research was undertaken with 59 children and young people (aged 11-17) from disadvantaged communities. They used mapping, discussion, song writing, drama and art-based techniques to reflect upon barriers to their enjoyment of natural coastal environments. A participatory critical realist approach to data analysis was also undertaken through repeat meetings with research participants and an advisory group of young people.
The barriers they identified included adult attitudes about risk; children’s risk competence; experiences of bullying and the weather. Barriers could be overcome when: children felt like they belong; they can secure employment by the coast; a variety of clean and adventurous environments are accessible; activities, food and travel are affordable; and information about opportunities and risks is shared. Underpinning potential causal mechanisms were explored by naming and exploring silences in the data, for example causes of bullying that were hinted at. Young people subsequently identified the most significant barriers as related to adult attitudes towards childhood and youth and child and adult attitudes about gender, sexuality and race. The role and politics of business interests remained largely unexplored. Reflecting on this remaining silence, in the context of Brexit and changing patterns of parental employment, I suggest additional theoretically informed approaches to bridging boundaries between childhood sociology and critical political economy.