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Civic Orientation Courses for Newly Arrived Adult Migrants: Becoming the Other in a (Neo)-nationalistic Sweden?
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4008-0749
The Pennsylvania State University (USA).
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg (SWE).
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg (SWE).
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

International migration is, as argued by de Haas, Castles and Miller (2020) one of the most emotive issues of our times, raising intense feelings in relation to national identity and belonging, as well as security issues. Since long back, integration of newly arrived migrants has been a debated issue and courses for newly arrived adult migrants have been offered, most building on learning the language of the new country. However, since the beginning of the 21st century, courses with the aim of strengthening and transmitting the new countries’ norms and values have been increasingly introduced and has become one of the dominant migrant integration policies in Western Europe (Heinemann, 2017; Joppke, 2007). This paper aims to bring empirically based knowledge in this educational field, building on participant observations in civic orientation classes for newly arrived adult migrants in Sweden (see von Brömssen et al., 2022; Milani et al., 2021). This case study explores the overarching constructed discourse about the Other through language, pronoun patterns and the attribution of positive and negative judgements about society and ways of living and being (Statham, 2022).

The overarching discourse constructs Sweden as a “success story” where most things are arranged and regulated (Hirdman, 2000) by the Swedish state and its welfare systems. We will present this overall structured nationalist discourse by drawing on examples from interactions about nature, religion and education in the civic orientation classes. This research is particularly relevant at this historical juncture because such educational initiatives have become tied to citizenship requirements (Borevi, Jensen & Mouritsen, 2017; Larin, 2020). This is also the case in Sweden where the neo-nationalist “Tidö-agreement” signed by the newly elected government states that civic orientation and knowledge of Swedish will become legal requirements for permanent residence and Swedish citizenship. We argue in this paper that civic orientation courses for newly arrived migrants reproduce an overarching discourse about the Other, which is embedded in nationalist and neo-nationalist sentiments and hardly can contribute to integration into the Swedish society. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. p. 1-1
Keywords [en]
Adult migrants, Sweden
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-20896OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-20896DiVA, id: diva2:1809146
Conference
The European Conference on Educational Research ECER, Glasgow, 22 - 25 August 2023
Available from: 2023-11-02 Created: 2023-11-02 Last updated: 2024-01-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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