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Queer/ed or Questioning Refugee Youth’s Negotiations of Safe Spaces and Places in the Nordics.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
2019 (English)In: NERA 2019 - 47th Congress: Education in a Globalized World, 2019Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Research topicDuring the last couple of years, Sweden, the other Nordics countries as well as many others have welcomed refugees due to a global refugee crisis (The UN Refugee Agency, 2018). Many of these refugees flee due to war but some of them flee due to e.g. persecution, oppression and violence. This pilot study is a part of an international project which focuses on how to better understand queer/ed or questioning refugee youth and how they negotiate their communities. It is a community-oriented examination of the spaces and places that these youth value and feel as though they are valued. The purpose of the pilot study is to more deeply understand how marginalized youth positively negotiate everyday oppressions and vulnerabilities in their communities in Sweden.

Theoretical frameworkThe theoretical framework stems from scholars on space and place, where these concepts are understood not only as physical characteristics and markers but also the inherently messy sets of ideas, ideals, histories, peoples, practices, and contexts that combine to characterize their particularities (Cresswell, 2004; Massey, 1995). The framework also includes queer geography theory which is the theorization on of how space and sexuality has been studied with reference to what sexualities and what activities are accepted in which places (e.g. Brown, 2000). This theorization also includes concepts of heteronormativity, homonormativity, queer spaces and queering places.

Methodological designThe multimodal approach of this pilot study consists of both focus group interviews and visual ethnographies. Interviews offer an insight on participants’ perceptions, experiences, narratives or interpretations on the issues stressed in this paper. Visual ethnography draws upon audiovisual media’s unique ability to share insights about people and places on multiple registers –discursive, embodied, spatial etc. (e.g. Pink, 2013). The visual ethnographies where the participants will use available technologies (mobile devices) to create video recordings of the spaces and places they value in their communities. These recordings together with the interviews will thus help us in how to better understand refugee youth and queer/ed or questioning refugee youth and how they negotiate their communities within Nordic contexts.

Expected findingsAnalyses are still in the initial phase, but some preliminary findings point to the significance that the 262informants assign to visual markers such as rainbow-colored flags. Another finding made were complexities of “being out” in Sweden versus in their native country, where although they faced more discrimination there they experience themselves as more closeted in their new communities compared to their former ones.

ReferencesBrown, M.P. (2000). Closet Space: Geographies of Metaphor from the Body to the Globe. London: Routledge.

Cresswell, T. (2004). Place: A Short Introduction. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Massey, D. (1995). Imagining the World. In: Allen, J. & Massey, D. (ed.), The Shape of the Worl: Explorations in Human Geography. Vol. 1, Geographical Worlds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pink, S. (2013). Doing Visual Ethnography. Washington DC: SAGE Publication.

The UN Refugee Agency (2018). Overview Northern Europe. From: https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29373OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-29373DiVA, id: diva2:1295762
Conference
Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA)2019, 6-8 March 2019, Uppsala, Sweden
Available from: 2019-03-12 Created: 2019-03-12 Last updated: 2019-03-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
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  • harvard-cite-them-right
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