Scientific Objectives

EUMARGINS seeks to identify and determine principle determinants of social exclusion that affect young immigrants in the seven cities. This will be pursued by exploring a series of specific objectives and sub-objectives. In this section, we specify the research objectives that guide this project.

Trends of Social Exclusion
The main objective is to examine the trends in the social exclusion of young adult immigrants. It is the primary interest of the researchers to identify the most significant factors contributing to their social exclusion, objectively and subjectively, and to determine the extents to which they vary with different groups, locations, and other variables.

EUMARGINS will also try to assess the factors that may undermine or facilitate efforts (individual or societal) to tackle social exclusion (factors relevant to transition from being excluded to becoming included such as juridical and political, socio-cultural, economic and welfare policy constraints).

Specifically, EUMARGINS' objectives here are to identify the aspects of social exclusion most frequently having impact on young adult migrants (such as relatively low income, unemployment, educational status, housing, health etc.), and to identify and rank the factors most commonly shown, in terms of background and reaction strategies, and the variations between groups and different national contexts.

Opportunities and Challenges
The main objective in this section is to identify and assess the opportunities, prospects, challenges and needs of young adult immigrants in seven urban metropolitan contexts.
More specifically EUMARGINS will identify and assess barriers the young immigrants meet in achieving their life goals, and what help they need in order to realize their ambitions. We will also identify and assess factors that contribute to social mobility for these young people in comparison to their parents.

EUMARGINS will look into young immigrants' experiences of access to the labour market. The main objective here is to reveal how young adult immigrants cope with the opportunities in the local labour market in each metropolitan context.

In relation to this, EUMARGINS will identify and assess whether the young adult immigrants achieve the jobs they are qualified for, or alternatively, if they are forced to take low-paid, low status jobs. We will look into the role of ethnic networks for access to the labour market. Another objective is to identify and assess how apparently successful young adults – in contrast to those young adults who have not entered the working market or education system (on a more stable basis) – perceive their situation.

This section is concerned with young immigrants' access to the education system or other forms of training, and, consequently, their career possibilities.
Related to this, EUMARGINS will identify and assess employment offices’ offers of courses and possibilities for work experience. We want to better understand how individual successes and failures with education, training and work are related to different access to social and cultural capital. Another important objective is to see to what extent the education system works to enhance integration, or whether it rather reinforces existing inequalities

Specific Barriers
EUMARGINS will identify and assess the degree to which young adult immigrants in their attempts to access the labour market and/or the education system, have experienced discrimination. We will look into what role gender norms in the parental culture as compared to those in the peer group, in school and in other institutions, of the host society play in the experiences of inclusion and exclusion of these young people. In addition, we will analyze the role of different migration-trajectories (e.g. refugees and asylum seekers as compared to family reunions or labour migrants) for the participation or non-participation of our target group.

Identity Management
Different experiences of inclusion and exclusion have implications for young people's identity management and sense of belonging. If excluded, young immigrants have a sense of non-belonging to society which can have serious consequences. Therefore, it is important to identify and assess how young adults with immigrant backgrounds describe their feeling of identity and belonging, and how these definitions are related to their modes of participation or non-participation in society.

More specifically, we will identify and assess what strategies young immigrants employ for their identity management, and how these strategies are related to their experiences of exclusion or inclusion (for example whether they experience exclusion because of the religious or ethnic group they belong to). The concept of multiple identities is important in this regard, as well as the role of modern communication technologies.

Life Conditions
Social exclusion does not concern only relation to labour market and education system. Young immigrants' life conditions in a broader sense play an equally important role by setting the background to other factors.

EUMARGINS will identify and assess the young immigrants’ life conditions in terms of housing, economic and social representation, and integration strategies. We will evaluate the degree of relative or absolute poverty (and also relative deprivation) experienced by young adult immigrants.

Access to public and private services and facilities
Non-governmental organisations and other kinds of public or private services might contribute to the transition from exclusion to inclusion for young immigrants. This project will identify and assess to what extent young immigrants receive help from non-governmental organisations of the majority society, such as Red Cross etc, or from immigrant organisations, and if so, what form this help takes.

EUMARGINS research will also look at other forms of formal and also informal participation. The overall objective in this regard, is to identify and assess what structural, juridical, economical and other factors make it possible for some young adults to become active participants.

EUMARGINS will identify and assess formal and informal participation among young adult immigrants (e.g. political participation, civic participation, participation in cultural projects, youth subcultures etc.) A consideration of the differences in access to cultural and social capital among young adults who participate actively in the society at different levels versus those who do not will also be made.

Life Projects
Young adult immigrants' life projects is here applied in a broad sense, including leisure time, cultural expressions etc.
The specific aims here will be to identify and assess how young immigrants manage everyday life, and the organising of their time between jobs, education and leisure. We will seek to understand better how cultural expressions of young immigrants are related to distinct contemporary patterns of 'Us' and 'Them' in their local contexts. We will ask how young immigrants' potential forms of subcultural capital can enable an integration into society in a later phase of their maturation. Another significant theme of investigation is the relationship between first versus second generation migrants’ social capital and the following development of their life trajectories.

Tags: barriers, education, employment, exclusion, identity, inclusion, opportunities, participation, social mobility, transition By Katrine Fangen
Published Sep. 22, 2010 2:01 PM - Last modified Dec. 28, 2010 1:05 PM