This study investigates the concept of active citizenship in relation to integration. We are interested in discussing whether the Danish integration policy expresses another understanding of the term than the people they wish to integrate. To collect our main data we have created a focus group of three women of Somali origin who will be interviewed about their thoughts and feelings on arriving to Denmark. We will examine how the processes they have experienced on their path to a state of active citizenship can be understood as transformative learning. Transformative learning is defined by Knud Illeris as all forms of learning that lead to a transformation of the learning individual’s identity. To supply Illeris we will include Richard Jenkins to better understand the individual’s outer relation to the surrounding society. Since we have chosen social constructivism as our scientific approach, we consider the term active citizenship to be a social construction. Through the interview with the three women we will derive their understanding of the term. This is done in order to be able to compare the women’s understanding to that of Ankestyrelsen, as it is expressed in their report on active citizenship from 2011. The intention of this comparison is to clarify whether differences exist between the two separate meaning constructions of the term. One of the main findings of this study is that the three Somali women have indeed experienced transformative learning by which their identities have transformed from being Somali to being equally Danish and Somali. This is not conflicting; instead it turns out to be the way that the women exercise active citizenship. In relation to this it is concluded that the two ways of understanding the key elements of active citizenship – that of the women and that of Ankestyrelsen – are alike in many ways. Both parties focus on the importance of rights, duties, participation, identity, and sense of belonging to the community. However, they have different opinions as to which process it is that will make a person an active citizen. Ultimately it is discussed how it can become a problematic aspect of the integration process that Ankestyrelsen expresses one certain understanding of active citizenship which does not necessarily represent that of those individuals whose integration they work to improve.
|Educations||Educational Studies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Undergraduate or graduate|
|Publication date||20 Jan 2014|
- Transformativ Læring