Phenomenological Perspective in Researching Immigrant Children’s Experience
Batuchina A.1, Straksiene G.1
|1 Klaipeda University, Lithuania|
Background and Aim of Study: Migration is a complicated and complex social phenomenon. Arriving in a new country, immigrants find themselves in a strange, unfamiliar environment; simultaneously they may have left behind almost everything that they had in their home country. Such a life event changes the relationship between a person and their things: immigrants lose their connection with the things left behind, while new connections with the things of the host country have yet to be forged. This is a natural process of an adult’s migration. But what is it like for a child? The aim of the study: to reflect the experiences of immigrant children and their changing relationship with things in phenomenological methodology approach. Material and Methods: The article is based on hermeneutic phenomenology, when children migrating is analysed as a phenomenon. In order to investigate such phenomena phenomenology as a research strategy is applied. Its data were collected using several methods. The main method was the unstructured phenomenological interview with children and adults who due to economic reasons left their home country and came to live in another while being children together with their parents (or one of them). Having changed the country, they had also to change schools. Results: Show the uniqueness of the children migration experience and reflects it in the phenomenological matter. Conclusions: Children migration experience is often underestimated from the position of grown-ups, while children view migration differently, as they see things, objects and space around them differently (they see, feel and imagine world in a totally unique manner). That is why children taken out of their usual and normal lifestyle, home space facing totally different world, with strange and unfamiliar things, facing the world of unpredictability, temporality and eternity, fantasy and dreams, where misunderstood, or unnoticed are left alone, even while being surrounded by people.
migration, phenomenology, children, qualitative research, things.
Child Migration Research Network. (n.d.) Migration with families. Retrieved from http://www.childmigration.net/Main_theme_home?selection=Migration_with_families
Dachyshyn, D. M. (2013). Children dwelling in the absence of home. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 12(1), 1–10.
Europos migracijos tinklas. (2010). Apykaitinė ir laikinoji migracija [Circular and temporary migration]. Retrieved from http://www.iom.lt/images/publikacijos/failai/1427788797_apykaitine_ir_laikinoji_migracija_nacionaline_studija_2011_lt.pdf [in Lithuanian]
Grynberg, C. (2012). Disjunctions and contradictions: An exploration of my childhood migration experience through visual art (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/view/rmit:160307
Heidegger, M. (1971). Building dwelling thinking. In A. Hofstadter (Trans.), Poetry, language, thought (pp. 145–161). New York, NY: Harper & Row.
Kirova, A., & Emme, M. (2008). Fotonovela as a research tool in image-based participatory research with immigrant children. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 7(2), 35–57.
Langeveld, M. J. (1984). How does child experience the world of things? Phenomenology and Pedagogy, 2(3), 215–223.
Lee, K. (2005). A traveler’s tale: The experience of study in a foreign language (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Merleau-Ponty, M. (2004). The World of Perception. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Merleau-Ponty, M. (2005). Phenomenology of perception. New York, NY: Routledge.
Norris, C. (1990) Stories of paradise what is home when we have left it. Phenomenology + Pedagogy, 8, 237–244. Retrieved from https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/pandp/index.php/pandp/article/view/15141/11962
Schutz, A. (1945). The stranger: An essay in social psychology. Collected papers II: Studies in Social Theory (pp. 91–105). The Hague: Nijhoff.
Suárez-Orozco, C., Gaytán, F. X., Bang, H. J., Pakes, J., O’Connor, E., & Rhodes, J. (2010). Academic trajectories of newcomer immigrant youth. Developmental Psychology, 46(3), 602–618.
Van den Berg, J. H. (1972). A different existence: Principles of phenomenological psychopathology. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press.
Van Lennep, D. J. (1987). The hotel room. In J. J. Kockelmans (Ed.), Phenomenological Psychology (pp. 209–215). Dordrecht: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-94-009-3589-1_10
Van Manen, M. (1990). Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy. Albany, NY: State University of New York.
Van Manen, M. (2007). Phenomenology of practice. Phenomenology & Practice, 1(1), 11–30. Retrieved from https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/pandpr/index.php/pandpr/article/view/19803/15314
Van Manen, M. (2014). Phenomenology of practice. Meaning-Giving Methods in Phenomenological Research and Writing. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
Waters, W. (2015). No return address. In No Return Address: A Collection of Poems. Kuwait: Pluma Migrant Writers Guild.
Welsh, T. (2013). The child as natural phenomenologist: primal and primary experience in Merleau-Ponty’s psychology. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Winning, A. (1990). Homesickness. Phenomenology + Pedagogy, 8, 245–258. Retrieved from https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/pandp/index.php/pandp/article/view/15139/11960
Winning, A. (1991). The speaking of home. Phenomenology + Pedagogy, 9, 172–181. Retrieved from https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/pandp/index.php/pandp/article/view/15157/11978
Information about the author:
Batuchina Aleksandra – https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0012-9421; Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Lecturer, Center for Social Geography and Regional Studies; Klaipeda University; Klaipeda, Lithuania.
Strakšienė Giedre – https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8533-0276; Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Senior Researcher, Social Change Study Centre; Klaipeda University; Klaipeda, Lithuania.