Multicultural school and community events in a participant perspective
The project explores multicultural school and community events from the perspectives of the participants
Colourful research stand at an event. As a part of the project young people are engaged as co-researchers. Photo: Thor-André Skrefsrud/ INN University.
About the project
Multicultural school and community events typically aim to contribute to the school’s and community’s aim of inclusion and social justice. While the literature has been critical towards these events, little research has examined how the participants experience the events. The present study investigates the events from the perspective of the participants.
The primary objective in the study is to challenge and expand current understandings of multicultural events as an educational approach. The secondary objectives are the following:
- To explore the multicultural events as places and spaces for inclusion and social justice for the participants
- To explore how the young people construct belonging to and understandings of culture, language, religion and nation
- To develop innovative participant- and context-sensitive methodology to study multicultural events
This is an umbrella project consisting of multiple qualitative studies on the perspectives of the participants, including the school and festival managements, teachers, parents and other representatives of ethnic groups, as well as young people. Currently, four master’s students have written their theses connected to the overall theme.
The time framework for the project is 2015–2022.
We conduct recurrent fieldwork at multicultural events in schools and local communities and interview central participants. In addition, we analyse representations of culture, language, religion and nation in the stalls, and we interview parents and other representatives about the meanings they ascribe to them.
The perspective of young people
For the study of the perspectives of young people, we follow selected young people while they participate in the events. In addition, we involve young people as co-researchers by asking them to take pictures of representations and discuss these in focus group interviews. In collaboration with EngageLab at the University of Oslo we have designed an app to collect memories multicultural events evoke in young people. The prompts have been translated into multiple languages, and the young people are asked to audio-record their answers in the language of their choice.
The research project is a collaboration between researchers from the University of Oslo and Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.