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Children of immigrants in central Athens at the turn of the 21st century: A study of inferiorisation, ethnicised conflict, criminalisation, and substance misuse.

Papandreou, Pericles (2009) Children of immigrants in central Athens at the turn of the 21st century: A study of inferiorisation, ethnicised conflict, criminalisation, and substance misuse. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This study examines the adaptation pathways followed by the children of immigrants who arrived in Greece in the 1990s. Its main objective is to assess these youths' vulnerability to assimilation into the marginalised and deviant segments of the host-society. It draws primarily from a inner-city school-survey, interviews with secondary-school students of immigrant parentage, and young defendants of foreign nationality who were contacted at the Juvenile Court of Athens. The research examines, first, the extent to which immigrant-origin youths experience segregation along 'ethnic' lines, the gravity of ethnicised conflict in inner-city milieus, and the impact of victimisation by violent racism. Second, it explores young newcomers' involvement in violence, delinquency and drug use. Finally, it considers their treatment by the police, and their processing by the youth justice system. The study finds that the most serious forms of ethnicised violence and aggressive racism were related to an initial phase of contact, which was marked by widespread xenophobia and conflict between indigenous and foreign-born youths. Despite the hostile elements of the reception regime, there is no evidence that any sizeable group of immigrant-origin youths has adopted an 'adversarial outlook' which might resist interaction with broader society. By contrast, among the main determinants of immigrant-origin youths' over-involvement in some forms of property and violent offending - as suggested by data from both police records and self-report surveys - are their fast assimilation into the norms of the majority society, and their close and antagonistic interaction with same-age nationals. However, the research findings also suggest that the overrepresentation of foreign-born youth in official crime statistics is also due to the 'targeted' over-policing of delinquents with specific migrant-ethnic background. Overall, the findings indicate areas of concern but paint a rather different picture from that suggested by negative stereotypes. In practice, the risk that immigrant youths will become assimilated into marginalised segments of the host society is effectively limited by both the relatively small extent of migrants' residential segregation in Athens, and the small size of the criminal underworld.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Social Structure and Development, Anthropology, Cultural
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Social Policy
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3012

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