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If work is out of sight. Activation and citizenship for new refugees

Anniken Hagelund og Hanne C. Kavli

Journal of European Social Policy Volume 19, number 3 Sage publications 2011

Nettutgave

Forskningstema: Inclusion of immigrants Introduksjonsprogram for nyankomne flyktninger

Forskere på Fafo: Hanne Cecilie Kavli

Activation has become an important paradigm for social policies in Europe. New migrants and refugees especially constitute a category with particular problems in accessing the labour market, and have thus become a prime target group for activation in some countries. The article addresses the tension between aims of employment and economic self-sufficiency, and social inclusion and participation in a wider sense. Using data from the implementation of the Norwegian introductory programme for newly arrived refugees, we analyse local caseworkers' attempts at negotiating this tension when working with clients whose labour market prospects are conceived of as poor. Two distinct frameworks of interpretation, with distinct consequences for practical implementation, are identified: an activation discourse where the main emphasis is on labour market inclusion; and a citizenship discourse which broadens the goals to include other forms of social participation.

If work is out of sight. Activation and citizenship for new refugees