Project description
The research contributes to a better understanding of civic initiatives and actions. Learning from local reactions to challenges can show us the way to developing socio-cultural resources in communities. This is important in order to gain insight into mechanisms of integration of new citizens.
It is a particular challenge for a welfare state like Denmark with a highly regulated labour market, because of difficulty for immigrants to find a place in the established labour market.

The more active and meaningful everyday life is for immigrants, the greater the chance is to maintain a professional identity and future-oriented perspective. Compared to other immigrant groups, the Sri Lankans are well-integrated in relation to education and employment.
Particularly the first generation of Sri Lankans are dependent on their network, as this was their primary means of finding work when they arrived in Denmark. Many have since arrival in Denmark always lived close together. They did not have difficulty adapting to the Danish social system and predominantly had good relations with social workers in the public sector because they were seen as citizens with high work ethics.

When it comes to the younger generation, fieldwork shows that they socialise with Danish friends. Not least based on education and work. They adopt an individual-centered practice that is adapted to the Danish education system, which presents a discrepancy to the older generation’s tradition-oriented lifestyle. Especially second-generation women complete tertiary education, which relates to traditions concerning gender, religion, caste and marriage.
This relates to how the first and second generations participate in diasporic civil society and influence on community and social work within the community.

Research questions
What is the role of diasporic civil society, social participation and integration?
Is civil society a tool for empowerment? Or for mechanisms of traditionalism?
How does the public welfare sector work with local civil society?
How is social work connected through civil society and community work?
How do individuals participate in civil society work? And why?

Research methodology
The project makes use of interviews, which give an insight into socio-cultural positions, norms and social interaction.
Focus group interviews provoke in-depth dialogical exchange of views among participants.
Questionnaires use factual questions and give insight into the refugees' social and historical backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, employment and education.
Observation in civil society initiatives makes it possible to understand individual, collective and cultural mechanisms and actions and provides access to local silences, common sense and actions.
In addition, the project includes analysis of documents and publications to understand current discourses in the community as well as integration efforts.
Effektiv start/slut dato07/08/2017 → …
ID: 272378044