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WHY MIGRANT YOUTH IDENTITY MATTERS SUII Seminar: Migrant Youth Identity Kate Botterill
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WHY MIGRANT YOUTH IDENTITY MATTERS SUII Seminar: Migrant Youth Identity Kate Botterill.

Jan 29, 2016

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Page 1: WHY MIGRANT YOUTH IDENTITY MATTERS SUII Seminar: Migrant Youth Identity Kate Botterill.

WHY MIGRANT YOUTH IDENTITY MATTERS

SUII Seminar: Migrant Youth Identity

Kate Botterill

Page 2: WHY MIGRANT YOUTH IDENTITY MATTERS SUII Seminar: Migrant Youth Identity Kate Botterill.

Youth, mobilities, securities…

• Relationship between mobility and inequality • Youth transitions and mobile practices • Multi-scalar dynamics of security and mobility• Children and young people’s geographies (Aitken, 2005; Hopkins, 2010; Kraftl, 2014)

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Researching children and young people• ‘Adultist approaches’ (Philo and Smith, 2013) and exclusion of children and

young people in research• Disempowering, representational and neglectful

• Young people as agents of change (social, political, economic) (Brocklehurst, 2015)

• Worth investing in as important to future of economy, politics and society• A vantage point to view broader aspects of social change and continuity• Social change may first be seen in young people – offering a stage to view

what the future might hold.

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Understanding youth migrant perspectives• Relationship between mobility and youth identity• Mobile subjectivities (Shellar and Urry, 2006)• Inter-subjectivity and relational mobilities (Adey, 2010; Botterill, 2013;

Cresswell, 2012; McGhee, Trevena and Heath, 2015; Moksal and Tyrell, 2015; Ryan, 2010)

• Youth transitions and mobilities (Cairns, 2014; Hopkins, 2010; Szewczyk, 2013)

• Young migrants are a significant demographic cohort• Qualitative, participatory approaches• Intersectional, intergenerational and lifecourse frameworks (Hopkins, 2009;

Mohammad 2001; Sanghera and Thapar-Bjorkert 2007).

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TWO EMPIRICAL CASE STUDIES

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Young people’s everyday geopolitics in Scotland: faith, ethnicity, place

Peter Hopkins (Newcastle University), Rowena Arshad (University of Edinburgh), Gurchathen Sanghera (University of St Andrews) and Kate Botterill (Edinburgh Napier University)

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Aims of the study

• To investigate how young people understand and negotiate ‘everyday geopolitics’ in Scotland

• To explore patterns of Islamophobia in Scotland and explain how different ethnic and religious minority youth experience and understand Islamophobia, and the impact of this on community relations, social cohesion and integration.

• To problematise polarised discourses which see young people as either politically disengaged and apathetic or politically radicalised and extreme.

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Methodology

• Qualitative approach: interviews and focus groups (with participatory diagramming)

• 382 young people involved in the study (223 interviews, 45 focus groups) across urban, suburban and rural Scotland

• Young people aged 12-25 from different ‘visible minority’ communities, including Muslims, Non-Muslim South Asians, Asylum seekers and refugees, Central and Eastern European Migrants, international students

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Migrant belonging in post-referendum Scotland• Young people’s experiences of migration have led to multiple understandings

of ‘home’ – relating to transnational family networks, ‘feeling safe’, being ‘included’ and having ‘rights’

“Probably having lived most of my life here, I’ve got quite a connection with Scotland, so and being able to like, ‘cause I’ve got the right to vote here, my

tuition fees they were paid for by the Scottish government and like, yeah Scotland has helped me, I’ve lived like I’ve gone into Uni in Scotland, I’ve just

got quite a yeah I think I would connect myself to being Scottish more than anything else”

(Betty, female, Bangladeshi Muslim refugee, Glasgow).

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Migrant political engagement• Inclusion through political participation

“So for me getting a vote and voting, it makes you feel like yeah you have a voice. And the way this debate is going now the both parties seeking to get even the other ethnic groups involved like having discussion with the African forums and stuff like that makes you feel more involved in the system and

makes you feel that yeah somebody’s recognising you and feel that you can make a difference in the system. So there’s that inclusion”

(Addae, male, Nigerian international student, Dundee).

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Youth attitudes to migration• Pro-immigration attitudes among young people• BUT recognition and evidence of negative impact of media and impact of

security policies on migrant youth experiences

“[At the airport] they let like a whole load of people go on and they’ll stop me and it’ll be like, ‘are you carrying drugs, are you carrying weapons’ and then

they’ll check my bags and things like that.

(Ananya, female, 19–21, British Indian, no religion, Fife)

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Racism, Islamophobia and Insecurity• Racism and Islamophobia demonstrate conflation of migration with race

and religion• Generates avoidance, resistance and self-silencing strategies among yp

“I remember in one of my politics classes you know they’re awkward because we were talking about Al Qaida and I felt awkward because I am, like, well why am I feeling awkward? But I feel tremendously awkward but it is because of the big media stigma that we associate one with the other,

and all of us should be apologetic for what some people do. It’s very strange” (Afia, Scottish Muslim, Glasgow)

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Polish youth mobilities: self, family, community

• ‘New’ Polish migration to the UK (post-accession)• Multi-sited ethnography of socio-spatial mobilities• 35 biographical-narrative interviews with young Poles in Edinburgh and Krakow

• Explores transformative effects of mobility on young people’s sense of self, family and community

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Mobility Transforms

“Mobility ‘transform(s) the nature, scale and temporalities of families, ‘local’ communities, public and private spaces, and the commitments people may feel

to the ‘nation’’”(Hannam et al., 2006:2)

• Geopolitical legacies, discourses and practices • Socio-cultural/socio-economic frictions and shared solidarities• Lifecourse transitions

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The personal is the geopolitical• Geopolitical discourses penetrate young people’s narrative of personal

experience• Media representation of EU migration perceived as detrimental to intercultural

understanding

• “The perception that the media creates is so shallow in understanding. It’s like obvious that no-one gives a fuck to find out what those guys are about, what they’re doing here, there are stereotypes that were created” (Tomek, age 30,

Edinburgh)

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Socio-cultural ‘frictions’ of mobility• Intercultural encounters and community formation• Polish communities in Scotland as dynamic – spatio-temporal difference,

relational and multi-layered

“If you are emigrating you have the mindset that I am here for a short time so why should I bother to build or put down roots…it’s not like there’s great

community spirit in Edinburgh…I know my neighbours, I made an effort, they made an effort fine. I know the man in the corner shop who gives me coffee, we

always chat and so on but it’s such a constant mix and constant change”

(Jola, aged 27, Edinburgh).

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Identities, aspirations, lifestyles

• Mobility as process of self-construction

“I wanted to have more, raise my standard of living, to do that I felt I had to become a better person…more drive, motivated, educated, smarter, wiser I suppose. So yeah, this whole move was absolutely necessary and it shaped me...getting a degree and moving to London and being actually able to fit in there, to communicate with other nations and finding myself in a completely

different reality...I’m very happy with the person I’ve become” (Łukasz, age 28, Edinburgh).

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Understanding youth mobilities

• Multi-scalar relations of mobility: the geopolitical is the personal• Migration as discourse and practice• Potential futures of mobility in Scotland?• Future research agendas and praxis?

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THANK [email protected]