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Transnational Biographies of Education. Young Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers and their Navigation through Shifting Social Realities in Switzerland and Turkey

English title Transnational Biographies of Education. Young Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers and their Navigation through Shifting Social Realities in Switzerland and Turkey
Applicant Strasser Sabine
Number 156476
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Sozialanthropologie Philosophisch-historische Fakultät Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Ethnology
Start/End 01.02.2015 - 31.12.2018
Approved amount 427'557.00
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Keywords (8)

agency; transnationalism; unaccompanied minors; education; youth; Turkey; uncertainty; Switzerland

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Dieses Projekt untersucht die Bildungswege von unbegleiteten, minderjährigen Asylwerber_innen (UMA) im Alter zwischen 14 und 21 Jahren. Ethnographische Forschungen in der Schweiz und in der Türkei folgen den unterschiedlichen Strategien der Jugendlichen, ihre Bildungsmöglichkeiten zu verbessern.
Lay summary

Jedes Jahr fliehen tausende junger Menschen vor Krieg und Verfolgung, Armut oder andauernder Unsicherheit und kommen ohne erwachsene Begleitperson nach Europa. Entweder wurden sie auf ihren langen und gefährlichen Wegen von ihren Eltern getrennt oder haben sich gleich ohne Familie auf die Flucht begeben. Aufgrund der langen Perioden von Unsicherheit sind die Jugendlichen mit vielfältigen Hürden bei der Suche nach Bildung und Ausbildung konfrontiert. Diese Barrieren erzeugen höchst unsichere Lebensentwürfe und (erzwungene) Mobilität und gestalten somit die Bildungswege dieser jugendlichen Flüchtlinge mit.

Der Vergleich von gelebten Erfahrungen der UMA in der Schweiz und in der Türkei – zwei Länder mit einer  hohen Zahl an unbegleiteten Minderjährigen jedoch äusserst unterschiedlichen institutionellen Rahmenbedingungen – will aufzeigen, wie rechtliche, politische und pädagogische Bedingungen die Bildungschancen von Jugendlichen auf der Flucht fördern oder einschränken. Der Fokus ist dabei auf die gelebten Erfahrungen der Jugendlichen gerichtet, denn trotz der steigenden Zahl der UMA in Europa ist derzeit wenig über ihre Praktiken und soziale Welten bekannt. Visuelle und verbale Erzählungen (storytelling) und ausgedehnte teilnehmende Beobachtung sind die Methoden, die das mehrdeutige Zusammenspiel von Handlungsmöglichkeiten und Behinderungen in institutionellen und informellen Kontexten (Schulen, NGOs, humanitäre Einrichtungen oder Netzwerke in der Diaspora) erhellen sollen. Durch die Anwendung dieser innovativen Methoden soll ein neuer Blick auf die Verbindung von Biographie, Vertreibung, Jugend und Bildung ermöglicht werden.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 05.01.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Transnational moralities: the politics of ir/responsibility of and against the EU border regime
Perl Gerhild, Strasser Sabine (2018), Transnational moralities: the politics of ir/responsibility of and against the EU border regime, in Identities, 25(5), 507-523.
De novo : La photographie comme une façon de trouver sa place au sein du Monde
TibetEda Elif, DeeqAbdi (2018), De novo : La photographie comme une façon de trouver sa place au sein du Monde, in In éditorial de la revue Jeunes et Mineurs en Mobilité Journal, (4), 18-36.
I am not a beggar, I am an Istanbullu : Seeking for the right to a neighborhood to being dragged into Streets
TibetEda Elif (2018), I am not a beggar, I am an Istanbullu : Seeking for the right to a neighborhood to being dragged into Streets, in Kiygi Gizem (ed.), Beyond Istanbul, Turkey, 63-70.
Learning as Agency: Strategies of Survival among the Somali Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Youth in Turkey
Tibet Eda Elif (2018), Learning as Agency: Strategies of Survival among the Somali Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Youth in Turkey, in Bhabha Jacqueline (ed.), Elgar Publishing, UK, 458-477.
Escaping Exclusion: Confused Moralities and the Syrian Unaccompanied Minors’ Search for Freedom in Turkey
Tibet Eda Elif (2017), Escaping Exclusion: Confused Moralities and the Syrian Unaccompanied Minors’ Search for Freedom in Turkey, in Movements Journal: Turkey’s Changing Migration Regime And Its Global and Regional Dynamics , 3(2), 193-210.
Shattered Dreams: The Syrian Unaccompanied Minors and the EU-Turkey Deal
TibetEda Elif (2017), Shattered Dreams: The Syrian Unaccompanied Minors and the EU-Turkey Deal, in Movements Journal: Turkey’s Changing Migration Regime And Its Global and Regional Dynamics , 3(2), 21-30.
Zwischen Inklusion und Exklusion: Zur Bildungssituation unbegleiteter minderjähriger Asylsuchender
OesterKathrin, LemsAnnika (2017), Zwischen Inklusion und Exklusion: Zur Bildungssituation unbegleiteter minderjähriger Asylsuchender, in Zeitschrift für Bildung, Erziehung und Wissenschaft, 6-8.
Being Inside Out: The Slippery Slope between Inclusion and Exclusion in a Swiss Educational Project for Unaccompanied Refugee Youth
LemsAnnika, Being Inside Out: The Slippery Slope between Inclusion and Exclusion in a Swiss Educational Project for Unaccompanied Refugee Youth, in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
Introduction to the Special Issue African-European Trajectories of Im/mobility: Exploring Entanglements of Experiences, Legacies and Regimes of Contemporary Migration
TosicJelena, LemsAnnika, Introduction to the Special Issue African-European Trajectories of Im/mobility: Exploring Entanglements of Experiences, Legacies and Regimes of Contemporary Migration, in Migration and Society.
Recht auf Bildung? Unbegleitete Minderjährige zwischen Inklusion und Exklusion
OesterKathrin, LemsAnnika, Recht auf Bildung? Unbegleitete Minderjährige zwischen Inklusion und Exklusion, in Unterweger Gisela, Jäger Marianna, Sieber Egger Anja (ed.), Springer VS, Bielefeld.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Institut für Volkskunde, Universität München Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Migration Research Program, Koç University, Istanbul (MiReKoç) Turkey (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Institut universitaire Kurt Bösch, Daniel Stoecklin Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institut für Sozialanthropologie, Universität Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Department of Sociology, Middle East Technical University Turkey (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Institute of Sociology, Universität Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
Children of the Crisis: Ethnographic Perspectives on Unaccompanied Refugee Youth in and En Route to Europe 07.06.2017 University of Bern, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Unbegleitete Minderjährige: Interkantonaler Fachaustausch Deutschschweiz Talk 13.06.2017 Zürich, Switzerland Lems Annika;
Wissenschaftscafe Bern Podiumsdiskussion zum Thema "Minderjährige Flüchtlinge?!" Talk 06.06.2016 Bern, Switzerland Lems Annika;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) #Displacement and New Sociabilities Allegra Laboratory International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) On being made feel out of place Allegra Laboratory International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) What's in a Song Anthroblog German-speaking Switzerland International 2018

Abstract

This project will look at the educational pathways of young unaccompanied asylum seekers aged between 14 and 21, a group whose access to education is frequently described as at-risk. Starting from the premise that with the increasing force of globalisation the international mobility and precarity of young people is also bound to grow, we will explore the strategies unaccompanied refugee youth in two different national settings deploy to enhance their educational possibilities. By focusing on Switzerland (sub-project A) and Turkey (sub-project B), two countries with high numbers of unaccompanied minors but very different institutional frameworks and responses, we aim to gain insight into how young people navigate their ways through landscapes of extreme uncertainty and change. Based on two in-depth ethnographic studies, the goal of this project is to come to a better understanding of how different legal, political and educational frameworks restrict or enhance young people’s educational opportunities.Turkey and Switzerland, whose migration policies operate at once within and outside of the border regime of the European Union, offer an illuminating basis for such a comparison: As a gateway to Europe, Turkey occupies a crucial geopolitical position and has taken on a major role as first country of asylum for vast numbers of refugees, initiating a shift from identifying as a country of emigration to one of immigration. In the absence of an asylum system for non-European asylum seekers, many refugees perceive Turkey as a transit country, as a stepping stone on their way into other European countries. However, for a large number of asylum seekers the opportunities to move on are restricted and they are confronted with the necessity of creating stability in an environment that is marked by impermanence. The Swiss example is characterised by different dynamics: Landlocked between European Union member states, many refugees and migrants perceive Switzerland as a place of security and social and economic possibilities. Yet, as the high rejection rate to asylum applications shows, the reality proves to be very different and rather than a destination Switzerland becomes another transit country. While the dynamics in Turkey and Switzerland are marked by different characteristics, they both produce highly contingent situations, establishing (enforced) transnationalism and mobility as a new normality for many young people and raising the question of how these changed conditions form and transform their educational pathways. In comparing the lived experiences of young unaccompanied asylum seekers in the two countries, we intend to establish how different degrees of control and uncertainty, and agency and ambition impact on young people’s educational biographies. Building on previous research that has pointed out the severe educational barriers refugee and migrant youth face both in Turkey and Switzerland, this project is guided by the question of how young unaccompanied asylum seekers actively deal with these hurdles. Using methods such as visual and narrative storytelling and extensive periods of participant observation in formal and informal educational spaces (like schools, state care facilities, youth centres, NGOs, charitable organisations or diasporic networks) we will shed light on the ambiguous interplay between agency and restraint that marks young unaccompanied asylum seekers’ transnational biographies of education. As such this project will offer an important contribution to the emerging body of research on transnationalism, youth and education from a perspective that regards children as active agents in migratory processes.
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