The researchers of EUMARGINS will collect a great set of information concerning young immigrants' experiences. The qualitative part of the project is a combination of a biographical and an ethnographical research design. Recruitment of informants and data collection will take place from January 2009 to September 2010.
The research group will do a minimum of 30 lifestory interviews with young adults (18-25 years) of immigrant backgrounds in each of the seven countries. We will study a broad spectrum of individual cases, and are not confined to particular ethnic groups or localities or contexts. This will enable us to see how young adult immigrants with different positions in society experience different forms of barriers and opportunities.
Recruitment of informants will take place in different spheres of society and different city areas. The strategy for recruitment is dependent upon the national contexts and network of the local research team, and a variety of methods will be applied. Informants will be approached in schools/universities, in employment offices, through voluntary organizations, in workplaces, or eventually randomly on the street, in shopping centres or in the suburbs.
The interviews include themes such as upbringing, family life, migration experience, neighbourhood, education, labour, social benefits, identity, belonging, social networks, cultural and spatial practices, civil participation, discrimination, future goals and other issues pertaining to experiences of inclusion and exclusion. Complementing the attempt at understanding how exclusion comes about and is experienced.
We are particularly interested in the context of each biographical account to explore a sense of time and movement through space, and in the combinations of marginalisation and integration that can impact on a biography over time and through place. Therefore, a more in-depth study of some informants will be done by means of participant observation, encounters in their own natural settings (training, work, employment office, leisure time, family, etc), and group conversations. We will develop detailed cases and these are not just a matter of interviewing people but also of remaining attentive to what remains unsaid or implicit. We also consider developing dialogic or multi-media forms of observation where the participants could become the observers in their own lives.