Balancing between belonging and distinction Integration experiences of youngsters with migration backgrounds in Dortmund in relation to national integration discourses in Germany

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This research aims to map and understand the interrelations between integration politics and integration discourses in the German society and local integration experiences of youngsters with migration backgrounds in Dortmund. The study focusses on these youngsters, because they relate to both their culture of origin and the German culture. Their understanding of integration provides insight on the interaction between local experiences and national discourses. Youngsters with migration backgrounds in Dortmund feel a need for belonging, but they feel like outsiders in Germany because of othering practices and stigmatization. Germany aims to maintain cultural unity in its society, expecting migrants to assimilate, but societal disunity is present because of othering practices. Secondly, the disunity and the othering practices in German society result in disempowerment of youngsters with migration backgrounds. The youngsters are disadvantaged in everyday life: having less possibilities and chances to succeed in education and on the labor market than their native peer contacts, and are emotionally disempowered, because they feel they cannot fight the stigmas, disadvantage and othering. Finally, socio-spatial proximity is important for the well-being of youngsters with migration backgrounds, but at the same time spatial mixing is also important for their participation in German society.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen