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New study on unaccompanied refugee minors’ integration

The recognition of young peoples’ various identities, or the lack thereof, may affect their opportunities for inclusion in the new society they have arrived. This is shown in a new study by researchers from Linnaeus University and Kochi University in Japan.

The general perspective on social pedagogy and research emphasises the importance of recognising the various identities that are actualised and re-actualised during interpersonal interactions in the various social contexts in which the individual acts or is expected to act. In their new study, associate professor Goran Basic at Linnaeus University and his colleague Yaka Matsuda at Kochi University in Japan want to provide new understandings within two areas. Firstly, narratives by staff at institutions regarding the day-to-day work of caring for youths who, having experienced war, fled to Sweden and were placed in institutions. Secondly, interactive patterns that contribute to constructing and reconstructing the inclusion of the clients and the obstacles to inclusion during practical social pedagogy.

In the study, analytical findings with three different themes are presented: empathy, collaboration and inclusion, stigma and inclusion, and (in)competence of personnel and inclusion. The study demonstrates that recognition, or the lack thereof, of young peoples’ various identities may affect their opportunities for inclusion in the new society. Both the recognition and loss of identity that occur in various contexts in which young people act or are expected to act contribute to the success of integration and can be an obstacle to it.

The study: Inclusion and obstacles in the Swedish social pedagogical context: an analysis of narratives on working with unaccompanied refugee minors with wartime experiences in institutional care