legs of teenagers walking away from the photographer

Project: ”Let’s talk…”: Intimacy, migration and the possibilities of social solidarity

This project explores negotiations around love, intimacy, relationships and health in relation to dominating narratives on migration and belonging, among both young people with migratory experience and professionals within the educational system. Moreover, by combining ethnography with participatory and collaborative methods, the purpose is to examine the possibility of social solidarity and change for both groups.

Project information

Project manager
Åsa Trulsson
Project members
Chris High, Anna Baral
The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), the Crafoord Foundation, Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
1 May 2021–1 May 2025
Cultural Sociology (Department of Cultural Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Humanities) and Peace and Development Studies (Department of Social Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences)

More about the project

Themes like intimacy, relations, gender equality, and sexual health are recurrent themes in contemporary debates on migration and integration in Sweden. Young people with migratory experiences are often portrayed as especially exposed or at risk with limited access to adequate support and care measures.  They frequently become stigmatized as either sexual predators or passive victims of oppressive gender regimes and in need of specific interventions in order to integrate. At the same time, there is limited knowledge of the young people's own experiences and perspectives. Previous research also indicates that professionals working with migrants and refugees request more knowledge on these themes.

The first purpose of the project is to explore how the above themes are experienced and negotiated by different actors in their everyday life. The focus is on young people with experience of migration, and professionals within the educational system, an arena that is essential for the wellbeing, resilience, and sense of belonging for the young people concerned. The perspectives and experiences of both groups are documented through interviews, focus groups, and participant observation.

Further, by a combination of ethnography and participatory media production and narrative methods, the project critically investigates the potential of change and social solidarity. The project uses participatory methods such as digital storytelling, participatory video, and photovoice. Methodologically, these methods are reflexive, enabling participants to more freely express everyday concerns and hence provide a gateway to an understanding of how daily events can become meaningful. They allow participants to formulate central concerns for more extensive research and/or action. Both young people with migratory experience and professionals within the educational system are invited to participate in workshops featuring these methods as well as dialogue and critical reflection. The aim is to both initiate and critically investigate change for both groups. Thus, the project has the potential to promote health literacy, critical reflection, and skills for working with fundamental values, social solidarity, and sexual health within school contexts.

The project is part of the research in the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Ethnographic Forum and Center for cultural sociology research groups, and in Linnaeus Knowledge Environment: Education in change.