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Narratives of migrant integration: The Structural and Social Porosity of Serbian Society Through teh Eyes of Incoming Migrants – Mgr. Vlada Šahović

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Masaryk University

Faculty of Social Studies

Master programme / field:
Sociology / Sociology (Eng.)

Mgr. Vlada Šahović

Master's thesis

Narratives of migrant integration: The Structural and Social Porosity of Serbian Society Through teh Eyes of Incoming Migrants

Narratives of migrant integration: The Structural and Social Porosity of Serbian Society Through teh Eyes of Incoming Migrants

Abstract: The following thesis paper deals with the issue of migrant integration in Serbia, more specifically Belgrade, as perceived through the eyes of the migrants themselves. That is to say that the focus of the paper is to assess how porous they perceive the Serbian society to be, both on a structural level, mainly pertaining to issues related to job market participation, legal document acquisition and education; and on the social level mainly pertaining to participation in and accessibility of society and the culture, extracurricular activities, and how willing and open to them do they perceive the people in general to be. This is done so as to assess whether there is an emergent typology stemming from the information provided by the interviewees that can contribute to the existing scholarship on migrant or immigrant integration. Thus narratives or the stories told by the interviewees are at the core and of primary interest to this research. The questions that arise in extension are what does integration mean to these individuals, is it achievable, and if so, how? To the avail of addressing the aforementioned questions nine individuals were interviewed. The interviews conducted were semi-structured, in-depth interviews eight of which took place in a face-to-face setting while one was conducted via Skype. They consisted of six separate sessions; two were arranged as focus groups – one consisting of four individuals and another of two - while the rest were individual interviews. In the effort to probe deeper into the issue of migrant integration, integration as such was theoretically addressed alongside assimilation and acculturation; and an analysis of Serbian integration policy was conducted as well as EU policies regarding the same issue. Furthermore reports by NGO’s were assessed as to better understand the successes and shortcomings of the former policy. A hermeneutical approach will be employed for the purpose of analyzing the interviews.

Keywords: integration, assimilation, narratives, interviews, porosity, barriers, others

Language used: English

Thesis defence

  • Date of defence: 16. 6. 2015
  • Supervisor: doc. Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky, Ph.D.
  • Reader: Mgr. Zuzana Sekeráková Búriková, Ph.D.

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