Between Family, Peers and School – A Childhood-Sociological Analysis of the Social Spheres of Refugee Children

  • Researchers: Jessica Schwittek & Alexandra König (habilitation project of Jessica Schwittek)
  • completed pilot study
  • application for DFG in progress

Research interest:
The childhood-sociological project turns to refugee children between the ages of 9 and 15 in Germany. From an interactionistic perspective, they are understood as actors, who act within structural possibilities, where conditions and limits of their actions are framed not least because of their position as a child and as a refugee. The knowledge of the children of their own social/generational position, their strategies of dealing with their position and their plans for the future is of particular interest.
A substantial theoretical contribution to the research of childhood and the order of society shall be made: Firstly, the analysis of generational attributions and processes of positioning in various social spheres (family, peers, school) promises to disclose contradictions and breaks and thus reveal self-evident facts (of the normative pattern) of good childhood in Germany. On the other hand, one can expect, that the newly arrived children partly have an "ethnological view" on childhood in this country and thus can offer new insights into local generational and social processes of establishing order.

Group discussions, interviews on the basis of ego-network cards, photography based chats; current focus of the analysis: networks of friends of children and teens, the view of refugee children on childhood in Germany