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The problem-presentation in integration work: Construction of information needs for newly arrived immigrants
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Social Pedagogy and Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5529-1904
2016 (English)In: 44th NERA Congress is ‘Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education?, 2016Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today people migrate and leave societies that cannot secure human life and safety, where one's worth as a human is being violated. People are fleeing not only from, but also to places. When arriving to a new society it needs to be described, to make it possible to meet it and act in it. In dialogue and interaction with groups, society therefor must find and describe models for inclusion. In Sweden, as residence permits are obtained, so called ‘integration workers’ are engaged in Civic Orientation, to support the process by means of which individuals are to become knowledgeable enough to exert their agency as citizens (knowing your rights and obligations).

The overall object is to create linkages between the state and the ‘newly arrived immigrants’. Civic orientation is a course for 60 h, regulated by Swedish law and EU has given directions that every member state is supposed to have some form of civic education, but every country is responsible for organizing and develop their own content. Often, in Sweden, the integration workers themselves have immigrated to Sweden and the course is given in the mother tongue of the immigrants.

This study is a workplace study with interest in professional knowledge to create stable and flexible knowledge in the work, understood as how the workers construct relevance for their doings in interaction. In this study the specific interest is to understand the construction of newcomers' information needs, the problem being worked with. The need of information is understood as not given or static, but as a (re)produced in regular social practices (Edwards, 2005), and both integrationworkers and newcomers mutually orient to a set of ideas when constructing needs. The analytical interest is also to outline how some views is made more significant or more authoritative with respect to the matter at hand (Heritage and Raymond, 2005).

In reasoning about needs, the access to countries, as epistemic domains is often used to make claims about what kind of information that is needed. In other words, the country that the immigrants comes from is often arranged to be the source of knowledge. The data material was generated through video recordings and interviews over a period of 1.5 years, from backstage (workmeetings) and frontstage work (with ‘newly arrived immigrants’). I identify two patterns that are analytically distinctive when looking at how the problem- presentation in civic orientation is negotiated. Either is it the knowledge about the Swedish society that is the matter at hand, or is it to educate those who have not yet come to a certain ´understanding´. This are two very different worktasks, but they seems to be connected in the practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
immigrants, information needs
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-10374OAI: diva2:1059011
NERA 2016, 9-11 march, Helsinki, Finland, 44th congress, 2016
Available from: 2016-12-22 Created: 2016-12-22 Last updated: 2016-12-27Bibliographically approved

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Åberg, Linnea
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