Citizenship as practice: critical evaluation of educational communication as means of young migrants’ social participation

Farini, Federico (2008) Citizenship as practice: critical evaluation of educational communication as means of young migrants’ social participation. Journal Socialno delo, 47 (3-6) . pp. 133-144. ISSN 0352-7956 [Article]

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In the years 2004-2006 the Education Office and the Social Polices and Integration Office at the City Council of Modena designed three projects addressed to sustain social participation of Children of International Migrants (CIM) empowering their active citizenship. The premise of these interventions was that social integration depends on social participation. Social participation describes social actions that are both autonomous and visible in society.
This projects looked at citizenship not as a sort of cognitive status to be reached but as the outcome of the experience of everyday participation to social processes. The activities proposed to CIM wanted to stimulate a reflection about everyday experience of participation to host social processes, with the help of adult social operators.
Our research highlights that once they materialised in concrete interactions all of these three projects produced paradoxical results: it was possible to observe that social operators systematically violated CIM spaces of communication, that is to say CIM opportunities to experience, in the context of the social interventions, an active and autonomous social participation. Social operators interfered with CIM autonomous participation to interactions as soon as it brought about meanings inconsistent with the ideological and theoretical premises of the interventions; this brought CIM to mistrust their opportunity of an autonomous social participation.
A social intervention aiming to offer an opportunity to experience social participation needs a communication form specialised in promoting self-expression of communicators, a communication form that creates mutual trust, that is able explore common ground and continuity of views between interlocutors. We offer a sketch of a communication form that promises to be much more effective than education in sustaining social integration of young migrants by mean of the promotion of their autonomous participation. This communication form is called “dialogue”.
The limits of educational communication suggest that for social workers that operates among adolescents and young adults, dialogue is an opportunity to experiment, to make their work more effective and the projects in which they are involved more efficient.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an English translation of the final draft post-refereeing versione of the article (originally published in Slovenian)
Keywords (uncontrolled): Asymmetrical communication; role expectancies; social exclusion; dialogue; empowerment
Research Areas: A. > Centre for Education Research and Scholarship (CERS)
A. > School of Health and Education > Education
A. > School of Health and Education > Education > Interpreting and Translation group
Item ID: 10938
Notes on copyright: The author assigns copyright to the Publisher while retaining the right to reuse the material, provided its publication in Socialno Delo is acknowledged with full citation.
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Federico Farini
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2013 08:28
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2021 15:26

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