Short Abstract With major migrant groups being in focus of migration policies in Germany, smaller groups like the Portuguese lack visibility. What´s the social, educational and political importance of mother language/culture classes for children and grown ups of this migrant communtity and for society at large?
This paper will present results from an ongoing ethnographic anthropological study with Portuguese children in Germany. The research setting here in focus is the mother language/culture classes children attend once a week. Differently than what happens with migrant major groups, the number of Portuguese children attending these classes is not high enough to be integrated in regular school curriculum. As a result, Portuguese as mother language/culture classes happens in hosting schools, after regular school time, gathering children from different schools and cities. Some of the classes are offered, organized and payed by German education institutions, others by Portuguese ones. In either cases, they constitute a meeting point for children and families of this community (other lusophones included), in which roots, memories, language, senses of belonging and ethnic identity flow, though perhaps having unequal meanings for children and for their parents, or for different migrant generations, social contexts of origin and/or of integration in the host society.
With major migrant groups being in focus of migration policies in Germany, smaller groups like the Portuguese lack visibility and their cultural particularities have less chance to be considered. Besides that, the situation of Portuguese children do not seem to fit in the profile focused on most migrant children studies in this country, nor in Europe as well. Under these circunstances and actual integration debate, and considering aspects of ethnicity and transnationalism, what´s the social, educational and political importance of these classes, for this small migrant communtity and for society at large?
Comunicação no workshop, "School ethnographies: inside and beyond schooling", no SIEF, aqui.