Berättelser om tillhörighet : om barn med migrationsbakgrund på en mindre ort

Sammanfattning: This doctoral thesis centres on children of immigrant background, who live and go to school in a non-urban community. The emphasis is on their narrated experience of a sense of belonging in and out of school. The study is based on interviews with 13 children at two different schools in two small-sized municipalities, and aimed at identifying the factors in their narratives that impact on their sense of belonging as well as the related conditions and means of action. The interviews were conversational and most of the children were interviewed on three occasions. Each result chapter analyses a specific dilemmatic space related to a sense of belonging, such as peer relationships, trips to the “home country”, and managing in school. In particular, the emotions related to the children’s narrative positionings are analysed as well as the narrative resources employed in their narration. The results show that their sense of belonging is produced in the interplay between the conditions of immigration and the socio-cultural conditions in the small-sized community. The children describe extensive relational and emotional work to enter into comradeship. Dimensions of being like and unlike gain importance and involve clothing, height and colour of skin. Several of the children describe how they cope with ‘racifying’ and other excluding processes of ‘othering’ on a daily basis. Trips to the home country emerge as central events in their lives and it is clear that a sense of belonging is connected to place attachment and anchored in embodied sensory emotions. Managing school is important to all the children but is attributed different meanings in the pursuit of the long-term goal of employment. In conclusion, the children’s experiences are discussed in terms of two interwoven and sometimes separate projects emerging in the children's narratives: the Swedishness project and the family project.