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Brussels youth: between diversity and adversity : survey of secondary school students in downtown Brussels

[journal article]

Jacobs, Dirk; Rea, Andrea

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Abstract Brussels is a city which is highly segmented on both the social as the cultural level. This diversity is also reflected among the youth. In this article we present the results of a survey undertaken among the last year students of the francophone schools of the city of Brussels. The survey, which focusses on life styles, racism and insecurity, confirms the multifaceted character of the Brussels youth. Important sources of diversity and division are social background, ethnic origin and school choice. Our findings attest that the relations amongst young people are built on identities that are rooted in references to socio-economic class and ethnic origin, while their intensity varies with the type of education. The ethnicisation of the young people’s social relations seems to be very widespread. The survey attests to a paradox: racist insults are quite common, and are not only oriented towards ethnic minorities, but at the same time almost everyone supports the dominant antiracist discourse.
Keywords adolescent; school; social background; ethnic origin; level of education; Belgium; socioeconomic factors; social relations; identity; racism; ethnocentrism; immigration; discrimination
Classification Sociology of the Youth, Sociology of Childhood; Migration, Sociology of Migration
Method empirical
Free Keywords Ethnocentrism; Diversity
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 1-16
Journal Brussels Studies: the e-journal for academic research on Brussels/ la revue scientifique électr. pour les recherches sur Bruxelles/ Het elektr. wetenschappelijk tijdschrift v. onderzoek over Brussel (2007) 8
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Basic Digital Peer Publishing Licence