CFP: Civic participation & youth with diverse ethnic backgrounds in urban contexts, Roskilde University, March 22-23, 2012


Civic participation & youth with diverse ethnic backgrounds in urban contexts, Roskilde University, March 22 – 23, 2012

Keynote speakers: Associate Professor Katrine Fangen (University of Oslo) and Professor Garbi Schmidt (Roskilde University)

Organized by The Department of Culture and Identity (Roskilde University, Denmark) in cooperation with The Network for Research on Multiculturalism and Societal Interaction (University of Turku, Finland)

The aim of this seminar is to discuss and analyze premises for civil participation for young people representing diverse ethnic backgrounds in urban settings across Northern Europe. Young people of immigrant backgrounds are frequently, for example, in media and political debates, described as corrosive elements that do not and refuse having contact with the surrounding society. Such debates are often entrenched in an ethnicized and gendered perspective on criminal activities, educational drop-out, social inclusion, exclusion and segregation, and ideas of “parallel societies” and “the ghetto”. In this seminar, we will focus on alternative ways of looking on ethnic youth’s civic participation in cities across Northern Europe. Questions that we seek to raise and discuss include:

How do activities including mixing (not least in the field of aesthetics, including music, art, dance) take place in urban environments?
How and whether urban space facilitates civic participation and interaction across ethnic lines?
How and whether urban administrative measures and policies facilitate civic participation and interaction across ethnic lines?
Whether and how existing political parties and civil society organizations facilitate the participation of ethnic minority youth?
How and in what respects important educating institutions (i.e. public schools) and their strategies towards ethnic minority youth are decisive for the inclusion and exclusion of ethnic minority youth?
How processes of inclusion/exclusion of ethnic minority youth intersect with the variable of gender?

PhD students dealing with these and similar topics are encouraged to send an abstract that can be based on an article/chapter draft of PhD dissertation, or other scholarly paper in progress. The papers will be commented upon by leading scholars in this field. The seminar also features keynote speakers that will be confirmed late this year.

NB! With funding received from Nordforsk, the organizers announce the application for travel grants for PhD students enrolled in Nordic/Estonian universities. This grant covers the travel and accommodation expenses due to participation in the seminar. For more information, please visit

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