9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN30 Youth and Generation

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Intolerance and Prejudiges Building II, Auditório B2.04

Social inequalities and ethnic segmentation within multiethnic contexts. Problems of social cohesion and integration of young people in local municipalities in Luxembourg

The paper analyses the specific life situation of young people with different ethnic backgrounds living in Luxembourgish municipalities. Though, a special focus lies on the question about the social integration and exclusion as well as the participation of young immigrants in decision making on the local level. Referring to Bourdieu?s cultural theory, we argue that individual?s opportunities to integrate and participate are strongly related to their socioeconomic resources. In Luxembourg - as well as in many other western societies? - resources highly correlate with the ethnic origin and are passed down generations. Furthermore, the paper discusses in what way the disponibility rather the lack of the different kinds of capital (economic, cultural, social) have an impact on the young people?s involvement in work and education, their participation in associations and their sense of belonging to their community.

Our findings demonstrate that the educational system reproduces the inequalities that exist among the adults, that different ethnic groups don?t live together but rather side by side. We highlight that during their recreational time, young people stay separated (e.g. nationality of their group of friends, preferred recreational locations), even if their activities in leisure time are nearly the same (e.g. friends, sports, media). Moreover, the results indicate that the identification of immigrant young people with Luxembourg (felt nationality) and with the local community (e.g. participation to traditional culture, integration in local associations) is low as well as the interest of their political participation and in the planning of local youth policy.
We come to the conclusion that belonging to an immigrant group has a strong impact on the opportunities of integration and participation. To overcome those differences, youth research, youth work and youth policy have to work together and find ways to promote interaction and participation of young immigrants on the local level.