Državljanstvo kot praksa : kritična evalvacija vzgojne komunikacije kot sredstva za spodbujanje socialne participacije mladih priseljencev

Translated title of the contribution: Citizenship as practice: critical evaluation of educational communication as means of young migrants’ social participation

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


In 2004–2006, three projects were designed by the Education Office and the Social Policies and Integration Office of the City Council of Modena aiming at sustaining the social participation of the children of international immigrants (CIIs) and empowering their active citizenship. The interventions were based on the premise that social integration depends on social participation. The projects’ basic standpoint was that citizenship is not some sort of cognitive status to be achieved but rather an outcome of the experience of everyday participation in social processes. The activities provided for the CIIs aimed at stimulating their reflection about their everyday experience of participating in the social processes of their host country with the help of adult social workers. The results of all three projects, as materialised in concrete interactions, turned out to be paradoxical: it was possible to observe how social workers systematically violated the CIIs’ communication space – that is to say, their opportunities to experience, in the context of social interventions, active and autonomous social participation – as soon as communication brought up meanings which were inconsistent with the interventions’ ideological and theoretical premises; this led the CIIs to mistrust their opportunity for autonomous social participation. For a social intervention which can offer the opportunity to experience social participation, a different communication form is needed which would encourage the communicators’ self-expression, to build mutual trust, explore common grounds and enable a continuous exchange of views between interlocutors. A rough sketch of the form of communication is presented, which could be much more effective than the educational approach in sustaining the social integration of young immigrants by promoting their autonomous participation. This communication form is called “dialogue”. The limits of educational communication suggest that social work with adolescents and young adults would be more effective and the projects more efficient, if dialogue were to be used as an opportunity to experimen
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)133-143
Number of pages10
JournalSocialno Delo/Journal of Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 2008



  • children of migrants
  • hybridisation
  • intercultural communication
  • social work
  • italy
  • adolescents

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