Monday, 18 February 2008

IMER Congress

IMER stands for International Migration and Ethnic Relations. This field of study is interdisciplinary, with ethnologists, sociologists, social work scientists and human geographers amongst the interested. Botkyrka, a Stockholm suburb, hosts a multicultural centre where the Swedish IMER Society has its seat. A congress was arranged by them on the last day of January and the first day of February 2008.
It was my first congress outside Örebro and I was curious to see what the multicultural centre looked like and what kind of people there would be. It was a nice old building amidst the concrete suburbian flats, where we - a group of about 25 people - discussed IMER for two days. The group was mixed in age, gender and ethnic backgrounds. Young "ethnic" PhD candidates like myself (Dutch, Polish and other nationalities) were sitting side by side with experienced researchers from England, India, Denmark, Iceland, Turkey and of course Sweden.
We talked about diaspora, bilingual children and what it's like to be a "suburb-kid". Very interesting and it resulted in a nice idea for taking part in an IMER Seminar series at Uppsala University, amongst other things.
Completely exhausted, but many experiences richer, I returned to Örebro.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

The second course

Cities and Processes of Social Change is the name of the second course we had as a group. This course, running from November 2007 to January 2008, was organised by lecturers from the disciplines sociology and social work. This was very interesting for me, as I had not followed any courses in social work before, and only one course in sociology (in Umeå). It was a good occasion to get to know some lecturers in these subjects and of course to get more insight in the disciplines themselves and some of their basic literature.
We read Giddens, and got interesting lectures about empowerment and international social work. It was very sad and chocking of course, that lecturer in sociology Fuat Deniz was murdered in December, just as we were in quite close contact with some of the lecturers in that discipline in the frame of our course. To see the sadness in the eyes of his closest friends and colleagues was really devastating. (see previous blog-post).
The course itself was organised the same way as the first course; lecturers, compulsory literature, elegible literature and seminars based on the papers we wrote. The completion of the course was celebrated with a diner at home at one of the lecturers in Brickeberg - a good way to end the course!