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Berättelser om tillhörighet: om barn med migrationsbakgrund på en mindre ort
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6869-2205
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis centres on children of immigrant background, who live and go to school in a non-urban community. The emphasis is on their narrated experience of a sense of belonging in and out of school. The study is based on interviews with 13 children at two different schools in two small-sized municipalities, and aimed at identifying the factors in their narratives that impact on their sense of belonging as well as the related conditions and means of action. The interviews were conversational and most of the children were interviewed on three occasions.


Each result chapter analyses a specific dilemmatic space related to a sense of belonging, such as peer relationships, trips to the “home country”, and managing in school. In particular, the emotions related to the children’s narrative positionings are analysed as well as the narrative resources employed in their narration.


The results show that their sense of belonging is produced in the interplay between the conditions of immigration and the socio-cultural conditions in the small-sized community. The children describe extensive relational and emotional work to enter into comradeship. Dimensions of being like and unlike gain importance and involve clothing, height and colour of skin. Several of the children describe how they cope with ‘racifying’ and other excluding processes of ‘othering’ on a daily basis. Trips to the home country emerge as central events in their lives and it is clear that a sense of belonging is connected to place attachment and anchored in embodied sensory emotions. Managing school is important to all the children but is attributed different meanings in the pursuit of the long-term goal of employment.


In conclusion, the children’s experiences are discussed in terms of two interwoven and sometimes separate projects emerging in the children's narratives: the Swedishness project and the family project.


Abstract [sv]

Vad innebär det att vara barn med migrationsbakgrund om man bor och går i skolan på en mindre ort? Vad och hur berättar barnen om sin vardag och sina sociala relationer i och utanför skolan? Om dessa frågor handlar den här avhandlingen och det specifika forskningsintresset är känsla av tillhörighet i och utanför skolan.

Denna studie bygger på intervjuer med barn med migrationsbakgrund som bor och går i skolan på två mindre orter i Sverige. De har alla erfarenhet av att antingen de själva eller någon av deras föräldrar har brutit upp från det sammanhang där de tidigare levt. Barnen har därmed ofta erfarenhet av att tillhörighet blir något som utmanas.

Resultaten visar hur känsla av tillhörighet formas i samspelet mellan migrationens villkor och villkor på den mindre orten. Barnen beskriver ett omfattande relationellt och emotionellt arbete i berättelser om kamratrelationer, resor till hemlandet och om att klara skolan.


Barnens erfarenheter kan ses som relaterade till två tydliga projekt: svenskhetsprojektet och familjeprojektet. Dessa projekt vävs samman i barnens berättelser och svenskhetsprojektet kan både vara och inte vara en viktig del i ett familjeprojekt.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2015. , 247 p.
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2015:31
Keyword [en]
Narratives, sense of belonging, children, migration, non-urban community, dilemmatic space, conditions, means of action, positioning, emotions, narrative resources
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Educational Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-35992ISBN: 978-91-7063-647-9OAI: diva2:811155
Public defence
2015-06-17, Nyqvistsalen, 9C 203, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-05-27 Created: 2015-05-11 Last updated: 2015-05-27Bibliographically approved

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Ljung Egeland, Birgitta
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