Från monolog till dialog : Integration av nyanlända familjer i landsbygdsförskolor
Sammanfattning: Preschool is seen as an important integration arena for newly arrived families with young children. The reception of newly arrived families has for a long time been unevenly distributed in the country with a strong concentration on metropolitan areas and larger cities. Consequently, previous research on integration of newly arrived families in Swedish preschools has been conducted in multicultural urban areas. However, since 2015, the number of newly arrived children in rural municipalities has increased. For that reason, it is relevant to also pay attention to how integration is achieved (or challenged) in a rural context. In this study, I examine how preschool practitioners at three rural preschools experienced receiving newly arrived families in 2015/2016. For many of these practitioners, working with linguistic and cultural diversity was at the time a new experience. Therefore, I have been able to study practitioners' narratives about the first steps towards integration and inclusion. Data was generated through focus-group interviews. With integration (Penninx 2019) and inclusion (Petriwskyj 2014) as theoretical starting points, the narratives were analyzed through Bakhtin's theory of dialogism. The findings are presented in two research papers: one that explores integration processes in relation to the migrant parents, and one that focus on the children's inclusion in preschool. The results show that the practitioners describe a change in terms of moving from a monologic to a dialogic stance in relation to the parents and the children. As regards the parents, the dialogic stance meant that the practitioners acknowledged the importance of meeting and discussing differences in experiences and perspectives with the parents. The dialogic encounters, in turn, led to enhanced confidence among the practitioners in facing "otherness", at the same time as they resulted in cultural reflexivity regarding the practitioner’s own practices and values. As regards the children, the dialogic stance resulted in a critical examination of existing practices, and led the practitioners to reformulate their sense of preschool "normality". This, in turn, enhanced their flexibility in adjusting preschool’s daily routines and practices in accordance with the needs of the children. In sum, the study demonstrates that a dialogical approach is a prerequisite for integration.
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