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Learning to Live in a New Country – Everyday Social Integration

Civil Society and Integration – Nordic Rural Perspective

image of Learning to Live in a New Country – Everyday Social Integration

Available online: https://pub.norden.org/nord2020-036/ Abstract [en]: In this paper we focus on three of the main ways civil society can play a role in the integration of refugees and immigrants. The leading question we seek to answer is as follows. Are the ways in which civil society engages different in rural areas and in smaller communities around the Nordic Region, as compared with urban areas and large cities? We use evidence from interviews and transcripts with migration workers as our starting point. We then focus on the role of a) religious communities and aid organisations, b) sport organisations and clubs, c) pop-up activism and mentorship programmes from available literature and from Nordic seminars and dialogue. We will also focus on partnerships and forms of coordination between civil society organisations, municipalities and regions.

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Discussion and Conclusion

In this publication we have attempted to shed light on what civil society engagement through religious communities and aid organisations, sport organisations and clubs, pop-up activism and mentorship programmes is achieving in terms of helping newcomers (migrants and refugees) to find their feet and navigate their new host society in the Nordic region. All the research points to the fact that civil society is of crucial importance – not first and foremost through a ‘civic turn’ directing policies of labour market integration, but as precondition for functioning optimally as a civilian in the surrounding society. Otherwise social cohesion cannot be achieved.

English

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