COMMUNICATING MIGRATION SEMINARS: ESPEN HELGESEN – “Your dad is looking for you” – Children’s perspectives on state intervention in immigrant families in Norway
Several recent international news stories have described state-initiated forced separation of children and parents in Norway, illustrating how local decisions in the Child Welfare Service can have widespread ramifications outside the families involved. In this paper I draw on ethnographic fieldwork among immigrant families in Kristiansand, Norway, to show how a group of children responded when one of their friends suddenly disappeared. The secrecy surrounding the inner workings of the Child Welfare Service led the children to frame the incident as a “kidnapping”, and several children expressed fear that they, too, would be separated from their families. Frustrated with the lack of an explanation of what had happened to their friend, the children turned to online worlds, where they could express their fears and concerns by sharing artwork with friends outside the adult gaze.
Espen Helgesen is a PhD candidate at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, currently finishing his thesis on technology-mediated sociality and self-formation among children of immigrants in Norway.
Communicating Migration Seminar Series IMER Bergen spring and autumn 2014
The IMER seminar series for 2014 will cover how migration and ethnic relations are communicated in every-day encounters, in mass and social media, in politics and in teaching at the universities. Has the way people talk about migration and migrants in different social contexts changed over time, and in which ways has it changed? How does migration theory and research fit in with other topics and theories in the social sciences, and how do results from migration research inform public debate and policy development? Communicating migration will be discussed from various angles in our seminar series on international migration and ethnic relations during spring and autumn 2014. We welcome papers that touch upon this broad theme from different angles. Historical analyses of change over time in regard to politics and public debate, research foci and disciplinary concerns are specifically welcomed. The seminar series will end with a two-day conference in October/November 2014.