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  • 1.
    Basic, Goran
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Doumas, Kyriaki
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Ekberg, Margareta Stigsdotter
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Unaccompanied young refugees with experiences of war in institutional care in Sweden: A social pedagogical analysis of the narratives of young persons and institution personnel2018In: Social Pedagogy and Social Education : Bridging Traditions and Innovations. International Conference, Puebla, Mexico, February 22-24, 2018: Pedagogía Social y Educación Social : Conectando Tradiciones e Innovaciones. Congreso Internacional, Puebla, México, 22-24 de febrero, 2018, Phoenix: Social Pedagogy Association , 2018, p. 12-23Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of the study is: 1) to analyse the narratives of young people who have experienced a war, fled to Sweden and been taken care of and placed in institutions, 2) to analyse the narratives of institution personnel about the day-to-day work of taking care of young people who have experienced war. The material used in the study has been gathered by means of interviews with young people in care with experiences of war, and interviews with personnel at HVB homes who work with these young people.

    The previous research shows that the social pedagogic perspective is one of the perspectives in social sciences that stresses the importance of including the individual in the community. The individual is given confirmation of his or her identity by participating in the community, and successful interaction between individuals is a fundamental prerequisite for the successful integration of unaccompanied children and young people in Sweden. The researchers highlight the importance of interaction between those already established in the community and the individual who is on its margin. One of the most important dimensions from a social pedagogical perspective is to analytically investigate relationships between individuals needing help and the professional participants tasked with helping these individuals as part of their professional role.

    A social pedagogue works in a variety of social contexts in which individuals need professional help with integration and success in those contexts. This can involve students in school; inmates at youth institutions and prisons; children, young people and adults who are the subjects of intervention by social services; patients undergoing psychiatric treatment; and other individual categories where people find themselves in critical life situations and need professional help to overcome them.

    The writings of for example Lisbeth Eriksson, Juha Hämäläinen and Xavier Ucar provide insights into some expectations that come into play in the various social contexts of the role of a “social pedagogue.” A social pedagogue is portrayed as an expert who works with a specific and defined goal. The goal is to help/guide the client to overcome obstacles that hamper integration and success in the context. In order to do this, social pedagogues are expected to possess specific professional qualifications in order to support and motivate their clients in overcoming obstacles and meeting their goals. A social pedagogue works in a socially oriented way and plays an educational fostering role. It is anticipated that this will help the client develop an understanding of how to act in accordance with desired expectations, norms and values and to resist peer pressure and involvement in anti-social activities. A social pedagogue is also expected to supervise other professional categories in the context of the various issues related to the client’s living conditions. In addition, the social pedagogue is expected to act as a link between different professions with the goal of facilitating collaboration that supports the client’s social and educational development (when the client is a child or young person, the social pedagogue is expected to also collaborate with parents). The social pedagogue sometimes has a limited scope for action; the role has low status and standing in relation to other professional categories involved. The role of the social pedagogue is portrayed as diffuse, unspoken and full of contradictions in relation to other professional categories in the organizational hierarchy. The role of social pedagogue tends to assume a controlling and repressive function as support for other professional categories in the context.

    In conclusion, there are major variations in what is expected of a social pedagogue. A common denominator is that the mission of a social pedagogue and the context in which the social pedagogue operates appears to be sufficiently flexible to enable an individual to play the role in a wide variety of ways. It is only when the individual social pedagogue adopts an active, assertive, independent, personal and relatively strong posture that he or she has a chance to be of importance to other professional categories and for the client. This means in practice that it is only when the individual social pedagogue transcends the expectations of the role presented above that he or she has a chance to be appreciated by other collaborators.

    Lisbeth Eriksson and Juha Hämäläinen illustrate four important dimensions of the social pedagogical perspective. The first of these focusses on goals in the context to be achieved by means of social pedagogy. In this dimension, the importance of the participants’ socialisation is brought to the fore in the context by, among other things, integration and mobilisation of all forces in the community with the aim of helping the individual who is on the margin of the community. The second dimension focusses on the correct social pedagogic approach, especially in the relationship between the professional participants and the individual in need of help. The professional participants working in accordance with the social pedagogic perspective are empathic towards the individual requiring help, while also being aware of the specific expectations of the professional role. The third dimension focusses on appropriate social pedagogic methods in the work with the individual who is in need of help. Methods considered to be appropriate are the dynamic methods based on the individual as part of the group and part of a wider social context (such as environmental therapy). The fourth dimension focusses on social pedagogy as a resource for professional work with the individual who is on the margin of the community and in need of help. In this dimension, there is emphasis on the importance of the correct approach by the professional participants, with the goal of creating progress in the relationship with the individual in need of help by means of well thought-out dialogue and action.

    If we borrow analytical glasses from Hämäläinen and Eriksson, we can read the following from this study: 1) social pedagogic target groups - as represented by a) young people in care who have experiences of war and who were subsequently placed in HVB homes in Sweden, b) personnel at HVB homes who work with these young people; 2) social pedagogical arenas - as represented by various contexts that are brought to the fore in the study’s empirical material (war context, migration context while fleeing to Sweden, migration context during integration into Sweden, institution context, school context etc.; 3) social pedagogical roles - as represented by various roles that are brought to the fore in the study’s empirical material (victim of war, student, homosexual, empathic personnel, competent personnel, incompetent personnel etc.). 

    Analysis of the study’s empirical material shows that the lives of young people in Sweden are characterised by uncertainty; they do not know if they will be allowed to stay in Sweden, whether they will have the opportunity to keep attending school or whether they will ever get to see their parents again. The material provides a picture of a waiting period that involves a considerable adjustment for these young people, regardless of whether or not they are given leave to remain in Sweden.

    The time after first arriving in Sweden can seem like a prelude to starting a new life, a prelude which is sometimes characterised by a continuing flight. The war goes on and is present in stories. Interviews with personnel at HVB homes and young people in this study are sometimes extremely emotionally charged. There may be painful stories about, for example, someone’s entire family and everyone living in the village fleeing from a Taliban attack, about how their best friend was killed in a suicide attack, about how Russian and government forces in Syria harass women (“sisters”). The stories are also about friends and relatives who are taken away and never return, a father who was executed, a difficult journey to Sweden, as well as about personnel at HVB homes who are empathic, who understand and try to help young people, but also about others who belittle and abuse young people and even contribute to the risk of worse mental health in young people.

    Analysis of empirical material has crystallised out the following themes in interviews with young people: a) war as a permanent social condition; b) school in the home country becomes demonstration, demonstration becomes school; c) learning war (war as pedagogical practice); d) normalising/ neutralising the condition of war (“playing football”, “as normal”); e) flight from war is also war – or part of the war (deprivation of liberty/abduction, slave labour); f) the future in Sweden (struggle for social recognition/recognition of identity – for example as student, employee, person, breadwinner and homosexual).

    In interviews with institution personnel, the following themes have crystallised out: a) previous chaos in reception centres in Sweden, now more orderly; b) young people singled out and stigmatised by society; c) importance of empathic attitudes and humanity; d) no treatment is offered or given in the institution; e) main task: to help young people to integrate in society; f) there is collaboration with other professional categories, but it is limited (no more than what is essential); g) young people’s age as a problem; h) young people are described as greedy (reason for coming to Sweden); i) maltreatment in institutions; j) (in)competence of personnel.

  • 2.
    Basic, Goran
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy. Lund University.
    Wästerfors, David
    Lund University.
    Hugo, Martin
    Jönköping University.
    Ekberg, Margareta Stigsdotter
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Alm, Maria
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Wahlgren, Paula
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    School as a protection factor: An analysis of achievements, obstacles, collaboration, and identities in senior high school work with students who use alcohol and drugs2017In: Book of Abstracts: The 9th International Conference of the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia, 17 – 19 May, 2017 / [ed] Gordana Hržica, Ivana Jeđud Borić, Gordana Hržica, Sandra Bradarić Jončić, Anita Jandrić Nišević, Jelena Kuvač Kraljević, Renata Martinec, Neven Ricijaš, Ana Wagner Jakab, Zagreb: Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb , 2017, p. 107-108Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ethnography is a research method in which the researcher (1) engages in a social environment for a long period of time, (2) conducts regular observations of how the participants in this environment behave, (3) listens to and participates in the conversation, (4) interviews informants about phenomena that cannot be observed directly and about which the ethnographer is unclear, (5) collects documentary sources related to this group, (6) develops an understanding of the group’s culture and of human behaviour in the context of this culture, and (7) formulates a detailed account of this environment (Bryman 2016). This study is inspired by ethnographic methodology, where researchers reside within the environments, situations, and interactions they want to learn about. By observing what happens, listening to what is said, asking questions and collecting documents in the practice, the researcher can come to an understanding of the participantsʼ experiences. Adolescence is a unique period in which there is a high potential to influence and change both issues at school and drug abuse problems. However, it may require productive collaboration between professional in the social services and treatment centres and school staff. The environment at school can help create stability in a drug-abusing youths’ life, and the combination of education and treatment is a key factor necessary for these students to build independence. Much remains unknown about improving schooling for students with alcohol and drug problems and the factors involved should therefore be investigated. This study aims to identify and analyse (1) factors in practical and organizational work at senior high schools that are obstructive and promotive to students with alcohol and drug problems; (2) the circumstances teachers and other professional actors in the Swedish school system need to promote the success of students with alcohol and drug problems; (3) implications of school attendance for inclusion, learning, and change in these youths; and (4) implications for the identity construction of these young people related to school situations. By examining the details of the work done by professionals, the results from this study will provide missing knowledge about how to improve schooling for young people with alcohol and drug problems and how this contributes to their inclusion and participation in society. Our hope is that the study will identify conditions and opportunities needed to support young people with alcohol and drug problems in senior high school. Additionally, the information obtained will be used to develop a model for improved collaboration between schools, social services, and various treatment services to improve graduation rates for young people in the target group. In this specific target group, studies are lacking that identify factors that promote or obstruct such cooperation.

  • 3.
    Ekberg, Margareta Stigsdotter
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
    Dom kallar oss värstingar: Om ungas lärande i mötet med skola, socialtjänst och polis2010Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It is of primary concern, both from the perspective of the individual and of society at large, to take measures to prevent the occurrence of a negative development amongst young people. The starting point of this dissertation is the notion that interpersonal interactions that occur between people contribute to a process of learning, thus focus is placed upon the pedagogic interactions between society's authorities and young people in trouble. How such interactions contribute to the process of learning regarding the young people, and what that learning entails, is seen as a vital pedagogic question. The overriding aim of the dissertation is to identify aspects of learning that occur during the interactions between society's authorities and young people in trouble, in order to contribute to an understanding of how such interactions can be developed in a constructive manner.

    The thesis is based on the theories of man as a social being, dependent on relationships and interaction for the process of knowledge. The empirical study includes interviews with teachers, social workers, police officers and young people. Vignettes have formed the basis of discussions about the measures and initiatives taken by society and the types of experience the young people feel the measures and initiatives have led to. Since an element of authority is a component of the relationship between the representatives of society and the young people, the concept of governmentality formulated by Foucault has been used in the process of analysis. Also von Wright's concepts of punctual and relational perspective have been used in this process. The purpose of this study is to attempt to determine what consequences the various perspectives taken in the interactions may lead to, in relation to the knowledge these young people develop about themselves and about society.

    The result shows that society's representatives among themselves have different views of young people in trouble. Young people's experiences of interactions with society's representatives argue for the fact that their backgrounds often direct the course of the interaction and its contents. Young people testify about irrelevant measures and initiatives taken by society; that they are subject to prejudice and that the principle of "equality before the law" is not observed. Their experience has led them to feel that they have less of human dignity. The dissertation ends up in a discussion about the prerequisites necessary, in order that pedagogic interactions between a person in authority and young people in difficulties may proceed from a relational perspective. The ability to take the young person's perspective would thereby be a central aspect in the discussion about what measures and initiatives taken by society are appropriate to change a troubled lifestyle.

  • 4.
    Ekberg, Margareta Stigsdotter
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Fonseca, Lars
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Anderberg, Mats
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Dahlberg, Mikael
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Ungdomar med missbruksproblem och deras uppfattning om skolproblem2016In: Nordic Studies in Education, ISSN 1891-5914, E-ISSN 1891-5949, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 266-278Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of the article is to highlight school problems of adolescents with alcohol and drug problems in Sweden. Bronfenbrenners social-ecological model has been applied in a quantitative content analysis of 415 interviews in connection with the adolescent’s admission of an outpatient contact. The results show that over a third of the adolescents statements are linked to individual characteristics or abilities, while problems related to the school are 13 percent, interaction with peers to 13 percent, and with the connection to the family of 3 percent. About a third of the statements involve both individual factors and the school, and the interaction between these. An important conclusion is that most of these adolescents are still enrolled in school and that several of the school problems mentioned in the study are changeable and thus possible to remedy through both an educational and social support that promotes their connection to the school.

  • 5.
    Ekberg, Margareta Stigsdotter
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Fonseca, Lars
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Dahlberg, Mikael
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Anderberg, Mats
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Ungdomar med missbruksproblem och deras uppfattning om skolproblem2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Fonseca, Lars
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Ekberg, Margareta Stigsdotter
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Anderberg, Mats
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Dahlberg, Mikael
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Skolproblematik i relation till ungdomar med missbruksproblem2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Skolan har en avgörande betydelse för barns och ungdomars utveckling. Skolmisslyckande har i ett flertal studier visat sig vara en särskilt inflytelserik riskfaktor för utvecklandet av drogmissbruk, kriminalitet och psykisk ohälsa. Omvänt hänger en god anknytning till skolan och goda skolresultat samman med en minskad risk för individuella och psykosociala problem som ung vuxen. Detta paper belyser hur ungdomar med alkohol- och narkotikaproblem uppfattar sin skolproblematik och hur de kan relateras till skola, familjeförhållanden, vänner och till den unge själv.

    Studien baseras på underlag från uppgifter som har samlats in av Maria-mottagningarna i Stockholm, Göteborg och Malmö och urvalet utgörs av 755 ungdomar som under 2013 påbörjade någon form av behandling på öppenvårdsmottagningarna. Av det empiriska materialet framgår att 433 ungdomar – eller 63 procent – uppger att de har eller har haft skolproblem som påverkat deras närvaro, resultat och/eller trivsel. En kvantitativ innehållsanalys har med stöd av ett socialekologiskt utvecklingsperspektiv samt attributionsteori tillämpats för att skapa kategorier av ungdomarnas utsagor om sina skolproblem.

    De preliminära resultaten illustrerar hur ungdomar med missbruksproblem tillskriver sig själva eller andra yttre faktorer som orsaker till problem i skolan. Av ungdomarnas utsagor kan 37 procent relateras till individuella faktorer som t.ex. koncentrationssvårigheter, inlärningssvårigheter, fysiska eller psykiska problem samt missbruksproblem. Andelen yttranden som kan kopplas till skolan uppgår till 17 procent, till klasskamraterna 11 procent och till familjen 3 procent. En tredjedel av utsagorna kan hänföras till relationen mellan ungdomarna och skolan i form av skolfrånvaro, motivationsproblematik och otrivsel med skolan.

    Studien pekar även på ett antal implikationer där skolan lyfts fram som en betydelsefull skyddande faktor mot fortsatta alkohol- och narkotikaproblem, genom att med pedagogiskt och socialt stöd stärka elevers engagemang för skolarbetet parallellt med behandling samt som en möjlighet att återintegrera de ungdomar som hoppat av skolan i förtid. 

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