Accepted paper:

Children, immigration policy and citizenship - Norway as case

Authors:

Hilde Lidén (Institute for Social Research)

Paper short abstract:

Using Norway as case, this paper deals with how migration flows, as well as the improvement strategies of migrant families, are shaped by the immigration and asylum legislation.The paper will discuss what kind of challenges arise from international migration, and in which ways it affects children's everyday life and citizenship.

Paper long abstract:

Using Norway as case, this paper deals with how migration flows, as well as the improvement strategies of migrant families, are shaped by the immigration and asylum legislation. Immigration policies construct specific notions of family. They thereby define legitimate citizenship in gendered-biased and generational biased ways (Bhabha 2007, deHart 2007, van Walsum and Spijkerboer 2007). The welfare state, characterized by universal access, generous benefits, a high degree of public involvement and comparatively high levels of redistribution, is both a means of integration, and a potential source of conflict. In Norway, as in other Nordic countries, family policy emphasises gender equality and assumes that families do have two incomes to meet living expenses. The implicit expectations of the welfare state can be read between the lines of the regulations for transnational marriages and family immigration. It will be shown that family reunification is limited to the closest family members, which has significant implications for relationships of care and normative expectations involving extended family members. The paper will discuss how migrants negotiate the legal, social and economic barriers they encounter when facing the regulations of the welfare state. In which ways do these challenges affect children and their citizenship? The complexity of family relations in migration and improvement strategies will be analysed on the basis of interviews with family members as well as documents from the applications and decisions by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.

panel W076
Children and migration in Europe: between new citizenships and transnational families