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Children’s agency in resettlement: a study of Swedish cultural orientation programs in Kenya and Sudan
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2015 (English)In: Children's Geographies, ISSN 1473-3285, E-ISSN 1473-3277, Vol. 13, no 2, 131-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The focus of this study is cultural orientation programs (COPs) for refugees being resettled from Kenya and Sudan in Sweden in 2011. This study aims to highlight how, if at all, children's agency was facilitated during the COPs. The programs were video recorded in order to look at the continuous negotiations during the meetings between the Swedish delegation and the children and youth. The concept of thick and thin agency is used in order to understand how sometimes the overall context of the program as a part of the resettlement process thins the agency of the children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015. Vol. 13, no 2, 131-148 p.
Keyword [en]
Thick/thin agency; resettlement; cultural orientation program; children; refugee
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108896DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2013.828451ISI: 000349117100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-108896DiVA: diva2:733780
Available from: 2014-07-11 Created: 2014-07-11 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. “That will be your home”: Resettlement preparations for children and youth from the Horn of Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>“That will be your home”: Resettlement preparations for children and youth from the Horn of Africa
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis analyzes how children and youth being resettled from Kenya and Sudan were prepared for their upcoming resettlement to Sweden, through cultural orientation programs (COPs). COPs are held for refugees who have been granted permanent Swedish residence and are undergoing resettlement to Sweden. The Swedish Migration Board, in charge of resettlement, carries out COPs as a means to inform and prepare refugees for the move to Sweden. This thesis is based on ethnographic work carried out during COPs held in Kenya and Sudan in 2011. Through video-based observation of the meetings between the Swedish delegations and children and youth, current thesis examines what notions of resettlement and refugeeness inform the delegations work, and how does the children’s agency come about during these meetings? The thesis includes three articles. Article 1 examines how the delegations make use of images in order to establish certain ideas of Sweden and the ideal citizen specifically tailored for the group being resettled. Article 2 explores children’s agency within the COPs, focusing on how the children and youth manage the meetings and sometimes resisting being positioned in certain ways by the delegations. Article 3 analyzes how notions of gender equality are drawn upon by the delegations during their work, a topic frequently highlighted by the delegations in various implicit and dilemmatic ways. The thesis shows how the delegations’ work is carried out in paradoxical ways. Their quest to bring forth the ideal future as a means to instill hope among the children simultaneously ends up categorizing them as different and as others. The representatives draw  n ideas that the children need to be socialized in order to be incorporated into another “us”.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen undersöker hur barn och ungdomar förbereds inför sin vidarebosättning genom så kallade Sverigeprogram. Avhandlingen är baserad på en etnografisk studie där video observationer genomförts av Sverigeprogram som hölls utav Migrationsverket i Kenya och Sudan för familjer som var på väg att vidarebosättas till Sverige. Som ett led i vidarebosättningsprocessen informeras och förbereds flyktingar inför flytten till Sverige. Syftet är att informera och presentera Sverige, skapa dialog och verka för flyktingarnas aktiva medverkan i sin vidarebosättningsprocess. Sedan några år tillbaka har speciella program genomförts för barn och ungdomar. Avhandlingen visar hur de två delegationerna arbetar med bilder och information med syftet att presentera en positiv bild av Sverige i ett led i att inge barnen hopp. Praktiken av att presentera idealbilden av Sverige hänger samman med socialiseringsprocess av barnen som stundtals positioneras som avvikande från svenskheten. Delegationernas arbete med att presentera bilden av den fria individen går hand i hand med en vilja att inkorporera barnen i en ny gemenskap, ett nytt ”vi”. I artikel ett undersöks hur delegationerna arbeter med bilder som visas upp genom olika praktiker för att förmedla en viss bild av Sverige samt den ideala medborgaren som ansvarstagande och aktiv. Artikel två fokuserar på barns agens och hur de under mötena med delegationerna förhandlar och gör motstånd mot stereotypifiering men också ställer egna frågor om framtiden när utrymme ges. Artikel tre fokuserar på hur delegationerna pratar om jämställdhet med unga tjejer som deltar i programmen med utgångspunkt i att stärka tjejerna och informera de om rättigheter men hur arbetet med att presentera ett liv i frihet går hand i hand med att även presentera hur detta liv bör se ut vilket paradoxalt nog positionerar tjejerna som ojämställda och annorlunda.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 141 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 625
Keyword
Resettlement, cultural orientation program, refugee, children, Sudan, Kenya, Sweden, stereotyping, agency, discursive practices, Vidarebosättning, barn, Sverigeprogram, Kenya, Sudan, agens, stereotypifiering, flyktingskap, diskursiva praktiker
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108898 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-108898 (DOI)978-91-7519-273-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-12, TEMCAS, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-07-11 Created: 2014-07-11 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved

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Muftee, Mehek

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