Transnational networks, national democracies
Political mobilisation and engagement among young adults of immigrant background
The transnational orientations of members of ethnic and religious minority groups challenge traditional forms of political orientation and activity in western nation states. Our study builds on sociological and anthropological research showing how new transnational networks and social imaginaries inform political thinking and organisation among young adults of minority background in Europe today. Theories on globalisation, race, youth, multiculturalism, politics of identity, democracy, and social movements are central references for our analytical starting point.
We develop two ideal-typical forms of transnational networks based in the immigrant position: Type 1-networks are directed towards the maintenance and strengthening of collective identity categories such as ethnicity, nationality and religion. Type-2 networks are based in ideas about universal rights, anti-discrimination and a critique of how ascribed collective identities of type 1 contribute to the exclusion of ethnic minorities within the nation state framework. Our main concern is how participation in different types of transnational networks fosters different political and social imaginaries for the future.
The methodological approach is qualitative and comparative, consisting of short-term fieldworks, qualitative interviews, and web-ethnographies. We will identify a limited number of critical events/issues and follow the networks mobilising in regard to these events/issues with a specific focus on transnational links. Four senior researchers working part-time over a period of three years, and one phd-student working full time for three years, constitute the research group. The last part of the project includes a small comparative study of how the Norwegian networks we analyse differ/show similar traits to sister-/similar networks in London and Paris.
The project is funded through the Norwegian Research Council’s programme for Imer-related research. Mette Andersson(IMER/UiB) is leading the project and Christine M. Jacobsen(Imer/UiB & UiO), Jon Rogstad (ISF), Viggo Vestel (Nova) and Carl Endre Espeland(IMER/UiB) are participating in the project. The project was officially launched in April 2007 and will run for three years. News and developments on the project will be continuously updated.