• Julie Grønborg Franck
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
The objective of this thesis is to study the process of integration that refugees go through in Denmark, and the determinants that constitute their prerequisites for achieving successful integration. This is done by conducting participant observation at Venligboerne’s language café in Helsingør, where refugees and Danish volunteers meet once a week to speak Danish, as well as life-history interviews with three participants at the café, who represent three stages of the integration process.

Using a phenomenological research method, the experiences and perceptions of the informants from their own point of view are examined. An abductive approach is utilized, and the observations and interviews give rise to the selection of a theoretical framework in the form of Ager and Strang’s framework on integration, as well as Putnam and Bourdieu’s work on capital. Applying this framework to the empirical data, allows for an exploration of the different dimensions of the integration process in relation to the forms of capital and their components – economic capital, cultural capital, and social capital including bonding and bridging social capital – while placing these in the context of the Danish notion of integration based on the ideology of the welfare state.

The thesis concludes that the three forms of capital are accumulated over time, and that the sum of capital that refugees bring with them from their home country and develop in their country of settlement, plays an important role in their ability to integrate. Moreover, their priorities in relation to integration and for their future vary from that of the standpoint of the Danish integration policy. Employment and education are seen as stepping-stones and not end goals – the end goal becoming the dream of a “good life”.
Publication date30 Jan 2018
Number of pages85
ID: 268218247