Grilling Alone; the Dark Side of Social Capital in Malmö Exploring impacts of social networks in the integration of an Afghan community

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Increasing societal integration and improving the quality of life are among the fundamental themes of urban sustainable development. In defining their vision of a “Sustainable City”, the municipality of Malmo, the third largest city in Sweden,

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  1  Grilling Alone; the Dark Side of Social Capital in Malmö  Exploring impacts of social networks in the integration of an Afghan community by  Ahoo Salem ahoosalem@gmail.com  A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Lund University International Master's Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science,LUMES, 2009   Supervised by: Anne Jerneck Anne.Jerneck@ekh.lu.se  Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies,LUCSUS Geocentrum 1, Sölvegatan 10 P.O. Box 170, SE-221 00 LUND, Sweden Phone: +46 (0)46 222 15 07Fax: +46 (0)46 222 04 75  2  Abstract:    Increasing societal integration and improving the quality of life are among the fundamental themes of urban sustainable development. In defining their vision of a “Sustainable City”, the municipality of  Malmo, the third largest city in Sweden, stresses the importance of having an integrated, multi-cultural society. However, Malmo still has to overcome many obstacles on its pathway to  sustainability as its large immigrant population continues to face issues of non-integration. These are most visible in terms of socio-economic exclusion and residential segregation of refugees from non-Western countries. The main focus of the study is to explore the quality of social relations and ties within a specific group of immigrants, Afghan refugees in Malmo, by applying two concepts of Social Capital, i.e. bonding and bridging networks. The concept of social capital focuses on social relations and structures as resources that can facilitate a well-functioning society through trust networks, shared norms and mutual obligations. Moreover, the concept is often viewed as a tool which can improve one's chance of successful educational outcomes. As education is a pre-requisite for entering the labor market, and thus stimulating social integration, this research focuses on Afghan students between ages of 15-20. The analysis was carried out by means of qualitative research interviewing. While social capital can provide a bridge between immigrants and their inclusion in Swedish society, this research finds that the respondents rely on their high-levels of inter-connectivity among other  groups of immigrants (i.e. "bonding" social capital). This can act as a substitute for the lack of "bridging" social capital, not being utilized by the respondents, but has consequences for the  sustainability of the city as a whole as it also reinforces the reliance on bonding social capital.    3  Acknowledgment: I would like to thank all the different people who helped me through writing this Thesis. Without cooperation and help of the Afghan community in Kroksback this research would have not been completed. Special thanks to Hussein Sadayo who helped me contact the community and his colleague linkworkers and teachers. I should also thank my parents for their support and Azad and Sami for being around, but also lots of extra thanks to my my mum, Shahla Ezazi who despite the far distance and her lack of time guided me through difficulties of social theories. The final thanks goes to my "sustainability package"; Cary, Isaac and Fabrizio and also Roxy and "Cheery" although the last two were not here as often as I wished. You guys already know what your help meant to me.  4  Contents Grilling Alone; the Dark Side of Social Capital in Malmö  ........................................................... 1   1-Introduction  .............................................................................................................................. 6   1-1.problem definition  ............................................................................................................... 6   1-2. research focus:  ................................................................................................................... 7   1-3. aim of research: .................................................................................................................. 8   1-4. Research questions:  ............................................................................................................ 8   2. Problem background:  ................................................................................................................ 9   2-1. City level; Malmö, the international city with many problems  ............................................... 9   2-2. Sustainability context of the problem  ................................................................................. 11   2-2-2. city level - fulfillment of sustainability goals  ............................................................... 12   2-2-3. Country level- Global view of increased future environmental refugees  ........................ 12   3- Theoretical Design: ................................................................................................................. 12   3-1.Theoretical perspective; Social capital theory:  ..................................................................... 12   3-1-1. Social capital influencing life chances; Role of social capital in Education:  ................... 14   3-1-2. Critiques of social capital:  .......................................................................................... 15   3-2. Study area: ....................................................................................................................... 16   3-2-1. General data  .............................................................................................................. 16   3-2-2. Neighborhood description: An Excursion to Kroksbäck- Hyllie  .................................... 16   3-3. Methods for data collection and analysis:  ........................................................................... 17   3-3-1. Approaches for selection and contact with respondents:  ............................................... 17   3-3-2. General data regarding respondents:  ........................................................................... 18   3-4. Limitations:  ..................................................................................................................... 19   4. Analysis and discussions:  ........................................................................................................ 19   4 - 1. Analysis:  ....................................................................................................................... 19   4-1-1. Group I: linkworkers and teachers  .............................................................................. 19   4-1-2. Group II: Students:  .................................................................................................... 20   4-2. Discussions  ...................................................................................................................... 24    5  4-2-1. General impacts  ........................................................................................................ 24   4-2-2. Impacts on life chances  .............................................................................................. 26   5. Intended contribution, conclusions and recommendations  .......................................................... 29   7. Appendix  ............................................................................................................................... 33   7-1 .Analyzed interview questions ............................................................................................ 33   7-2. Short overview of Afghan history  ...................................................................................... 36   7-3. Press and Immigrants  ....................................................................................................... 38  
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