This paper investigates how the democratic practice of the independent community center for refugees and asylum seekers Trampoline House is experienced by its users, and how this can be perceived as a means to the development of aspirations and hope. On the basis of an overall theoretical framework composed firstly by theories of place, integration, and belonging brought by theorists Édouard Glissant, Birgitte Romme Larsen, and Alastair Davidson, and secondly theories of democracy, aspirations and hope, and the role of NGOs in a global world provided respectively by theorists Arjun Appadurai, Peter Drahos, Sasha Courville and Nicola Piper, this thesis aims at understanding how the democratic practice of Trampoline House is experienced by the users of the house. Grounded in a phenomenological point of view, the thesis investigates these themes through participant observation within the setting of an interactional auto-ethnographic approach. Furthermore, a focus group with our interlocutor-informants is included to the analytical data as to further investigate the democratic practice of the house. The analysis is divided into two themes; Democracy as a Concept and Democracy as a Paradigm, as to fully comprehend how democracy is perceived and experienced by the users of Trampoline House. Whereas the former investigates terms of inclusion in the explicit practices of democracy such as democracy workshops and house meetings, the latter investigates the implicit structures explicated in an experienced sense of community and familiarity. In conclusion, it is demonstrated that democracy is conceptualized in diverging ways by the interlocutor-informants in the focus group. Nevertheless, the subsequent analysis suggests that the conceptualized democracy possesses many similarities with the paradigmatic and experienced democracy, as an overall sense of community, as expressed by the interlocutor-informants and experienced through the participant observation, construes a coherent understanding of democracy both in terms of its general definition and lived ideology. Based on a democratic practice that involves a culture built on thoughts of inclusion and community, it is concluded that the house qua its democratic practices and exchanging of cultural experiences creates a place where individuals are provided with tools necessary to expand their capacity to aspire. The thesis argues that Trampoline House creates a community, that particularly suggests being experienced in the same way as Glissant's notion of tout-monde and imparts a culture that is constituted and influenced by a social codex that perceives practices of inclusion as something inevitable and obvious. Subsequently, it is concluded that the quid-pro-quo approach of the house paves the way for empowerment of marginalized groups in the house and that the hopes and aspirations of individuals can be expanded through active partaking in the community that Trampoline House provides. Lastly, it is thus concluded that Trampoline House is to be perceived as an institution of hope created by the users through community, interrelatedness, and inclusion on the basis of a democratic paradigm.
|Uddannelser||Kultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor|
|Udgivelsesdato||28 maj 2018|
- Romme Larsen
- Courville & Piper