The Impact of Migration on Social Skills of Generation of Change and Generation of Migration
SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland
The paper explains the impact of international migration on social skills of two generations of Poles: the ‘Generation of Change’ (born in 1970s and the beginning of 1980s) and the ‘Generation of Migration’ (born in 1980s and at the beginning of 1990s) (Szewczyk 2015). We use data from extensive quantitative study on Human Capital in Poland (migrants=4040; stayers=67174) and qualitative studies on Peer-groups & migration (n IDI=160). International migration has the strongest impact on social skills of ‘Generation of Change’, particularly on those born 1968-1972 who were 18 in 1989, and were also called ‘Generation of Historical Hope and Everyday Risk’, and were treated as testimonials of system transition (Mach 2003). In general, the effects of migration on social skills persisted in birth cohorts born till 1989. The younger cohorts were, the more migration impacted on life skills. Therefore, the mobile transitions approach (Robertson et al. 2018) was needed to capture how younger cohorts, born after 1989, also from the ‘Generation of Migration’ formed, enhanced and consolidated various life skills through international migration. Especially for young post-accession migrants from Poland, working abroad went far beyond the impact on formal qualifications and just employability. It related to life skills of self-making, making biographical transitions, communicating and relating to people and understanding society. Next to acquisition and impact of migration on social skills we will also show transfer and their outcomes- what positions people achieve in the labour market after return (or while experiencing return mobilities, King 2017).
Unequal Youth Migrations: Exploring The Synchrony Between Social Ageing And Social Mobility Among Post-Crisis European Migrants
University of Lincoln, United Kingdom
This paper explores how symbolic boundaries between youth and adulthood shape experiences of upward and downward social mobility among EU migrants. Drawing on 56 biographical interviews with Italians who moved to England after the 2008 economic crisis, and focusing on three individual case studies, the paper reveals that normative understandings of adulthood emerge as a central concern from participants’ biographical accounts, and that they mobilise unequal forms of cultural, economic and social capital to maintain a feeling of ‘synch’ between social ageing and social mobility. Drawing on Bourdieu and lifecourse theory, the article proposes the notion of synchrony to explore how tensions in the relationship between social ageing and social mobility shape experiences of migration. This allows for an innovative theoretical bridge between cultural class analysis, youth studies and migration studies, and for a better understanding of how intersections of class and age shape intra-European migrations.
The paper draws on a three-year research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust (UK) and titled Transnationalising Class: Culture and Inequalities Among Post-Crisis Italian Migrants (2015-18). The project used in-depth interviews (N = 56) and participant observation at social and cultural events in two urban areas: Birmingham and Greater London. Drawing on a Bourdieusian framework, the analysis focused on participants’ social biographies (before and after migration), the forms of capital they mobilised for moving to the UK (and sometimes for returning to Italy), and their strategies of distinction in the UK context.
Challenges of Making and Maintaining Friendships in the Context of Flight and Forced Migration
University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Having friends can be viewed as key to young people’s sense of belonging. Flight and migration challenge existing friendships, and making new friends in the receiving country becomes a concern of upmost importance for the newly arrived. Current research in Germany shows that refugee children and youth perceive the process of establishing and maintaining friendships with local peers as being difficult for a number of reasons. Not only language barriers, but also unfamiliar styles of peer-interaction and strategies of self-presentation encountered in their new environment are seen as obstacles.
Our study comprises group discussions and individual interviews with refugees aged 10-15. In our presentation we will discuss firstly, how they make friends in Germany and reflect on the kinds of barriers they perceive in face-to-face interactions with peers. Secondly, we will look at the transnational dimension of friendship. Our data show that young refugees maintain close relations with friends (and likewise with same-aged relatives) in other countries via social media. This is not only true for those ‘left behind’ in the home country, but also for friends made during flight or at places of temporary residence and schooling.
Based on our analysis of our respondents’ practices of national and transnational friendships we will explore their understandings of friendship and how these are structured by family, ethnicity, gender and/or generational expectations. We argue for a differentiation of young refugees’ notions of friendship (regarding ‘classical’ criteria such as reciprocity, choice and trust), taking into account their interaction-strategies and sense of belonging in a transnational/multi-local peer group.
Interethnic Friendships Of Young Adults. The Importance Of Opportunity Structures And Individual Characteristics.
German Youth Institute (Deutsches Jugendinstitut), Germany
Based on Verbrugge's (1977) concept of "meeting" and "mating", the following contribution examines the effect of structural and personal characteristics on the formation of interethnic friendships among young adults. A differentiated consideration of young people both with and without a migration background is given.
Analyses (partial proportion odds models) with data from the AID: A survey (1st. wave) show that young migrants have a significantly higher degree of mixed ethnic circles of friends than their German peers. Structurally, an ethnically heterogeneous residential setting proves to be conducive to making interethnic friendships, especially for native Germans. At the individual level, the positive influences of openness to new things and multilingualism in the household are particularly noteworthy. On the other hand, the proportion of friends with different ethnic backgrounds decreases considerably with increasing years of education. An effect of religiousness could not be found.
The empirical findings suggest that the majority society plays a significant role in process of social integration. Establishing a friendly and intercultural coexistence depends not only on the efforts of immigrants and their descendants, but also on the concessions of the majority population. Sufficient adequate opportunity structures should be created and openness to other and new cultures promoted. Young people, in particular, seem to have optimal prerequisites in this respect in the wake of globalisation and digitisation.