DAY CARE AS AN INTEGRATIONAL ARENA AND INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT: Newcomer Migrant Girls’ Sociocultural Transitions and Negotiations of Identity, Home and Belonging
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At an overall level, this thesis positions itself within the tradition of social work, addressing day care as an integrational and environment for newcomer migrant girls. The research approach is anchored within the interpretivist/constructionist research paradigm and in line with the underlying principles of the sociology of childhood. The theoretical background draws on but is not limited to sociology, cultural studies and social psychology. Inspired by social and structural theory, as represented within and through the sociology of childhood, this thesis asks: What facilitates newcomer migrant girls’ integration and inclusion in everyday social reality in day care? Setting scope on the everyday lives of two newcomer migrant girls (4 years old) in a Norwegian day care institution, the girls have been observed and interacted with over a nine-month period (September 2013–June 2014). Participatory observation and participatory methods are combined with open video observation for documenting and investigating the girls’ everyday sociocultural transitions. With particular interest on how, in everyday life, newcomer children’s personal problems are interlaced with structural issues (Alanen, Brooker, & Mayall, 2015), the thesis highlights the complexity of in particular these two girls’ everyday social struggles, adapting to a highly dynamic and evolving environment. This thesis reveals the girls as being active participants in their multi-layered and complex transitions characterised by continuous negotiations of identity, home and belonging. The overarching aim of this thesis is to contribute to the early childhood migration discourse, using its findings as a means to strengthen the care environment for newcomer migrant children and building respect for childhood diversity. Through detailed qualitative analysis of small sample sizes of selected empirical data, the data are used to illustrate aspects of the two newcomer girls’ everyday worlds. The four articles written for and presented within the thesis address the intersection between what facilitated the girls’ integration and inclusion in everyday social reality by highlighting how equal opportunities for integration and inclusion depended on not only the girls’ ability to negotiate identity, home and belonging with both peers and practitioners, but also receiving opportunities to do so. The contributions of the thesis are a set of considerations viewing newcomer children as active social agents within their transitioning processes in day care, understanding day care to be a social sphere consisting of multiple fields characterised by social struggle. The thesis underscores how newcomer children are integrated into day care peer communities yet are required to negotiate their inclusion through actively positioning themselves—and others—in such ways that they achieve status. Having negotiated a status such as that of an insider, they then can actively begin to construct and re-construct their cultural identity, re-establishing the relational dimensions of home and belonging.
Has partsPaper 1: Kalkman, Kris; Haugen, Gry Mette D.; Valenta, Marko. ‘They need to … ’: Exploring practitioners’ attitudes in relation to newcomer migrant children’s needs in Norwegian day care. Childhood, Volume: 24 issue: 3, page(s): 366-380 https://doi.org/10.1177/0907568216688244 Copyright © 2017 SAGE Publications
Paper 2 : Kalkman, Kris; Hopperstad, Marit Holm; Valenta, Marko. It takes more than just saying hello. Recently arrived migrant children`s multimodal access strategies, and social positioning work in a Norwegian Kindergarten. I: Lek og samspill i et mangfoldsperspektiv. Fagbokforlaget 2015 ISBN 978-82-450-1742-7. s. 131-150
Paper 3: Here we like playing princesses – newcomer migrant children’s transitions within day care: exploring role play as an indication of suitability and home and belonging - This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in EUROPEAN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESEARCH JOURNAL, 2017 VOL. 25, NO. 2, 292–304 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2017.1288020 Copyright © 2017 SAGE Publications
Paper 4: Kalkman, Hopperstad, & Valenta, Do You Want This?: Exploring Newcomer Migrant Girls Peer Reception in Norwegian Day Care: Experiences With Social Exclusion Through the Exchange of Self-Made Artefacts. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Volume 18, issue: 1, page(s): 23-38 https://doi.org/10.1177/1463949117692241 Copyright © 2017 SAGE Publications