Friendship relations of Southeast Asian immigrant children in Norway
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The main focus and aim of this master thesis is to write about the nature of friendship and experiences of the Southeast Asian immigrant children in Norway. The overall methodological perspective of this study is based on the philosophy of the new social studies of childhood where children are constructed as social actors, listening to their voices, seeing them as active agents in their daily lives who are able to choose their friends and form friendship in their new country. I conducted semi-structured interview and observation with my participants and informal discussion with the parents. I interviewed eight children from ages 8 to 14 years old. In the analysis chapter I discussed about my participant’s idea of friendship or the meaning of the concept for them, I also talked about the activities they do together to nurture the friendship. I wrote down some quotations from my participants to illustrate their own words on the matter. I also discuss ways my participants formed friendship with the other children, and in doing so, it became evident to me that my younger participants form friendship with other children differently than my older participants. I further discuss the differences of friendship relations of my participants across different age groups, factors how they view friendships. I also discussed my participant’s friendship at home, in school and their neighborhood and their parent’s earlier influence on friendship formation. I also talked about my participant’s groups, their experiences of conflicts and disputes with friends. I also talked about gendered friendship because it is an important area to help us understand the nature of children’s friendship. I conclude my research with the results that among the challenges my participants experienced as an immigrant, learning the language spoken in the country where they live is the most important aspect to enable the children to form friendship with other children. My research also documented that my participants are competent children capable of adapting to a new society by learning the language, making new friends and nurture friendship. This thesis therefore confirm the new social studies of childhood where children are social actors who are active agents in their daily lives able to choose their friends and form friendship in their new country.