How Does a Minority Become a Pebble in a Country's Shoe?

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How Does a Minority Become a Pebble in a Country's Shoe?

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Publication 2-year master student thesis
Title How Does a Minority Become a Pebble in a Country's Shoe?
Author(s) Lonmene Ngnintedem, Eugenie
Date 2012
English abstract
In a statistical report of the year 2005, Brå informs that the Middle East and North African immigrants are overrepresented in crime in Sweden. Also, in a previous study in Cameroon, I realized that the Bamileke folk (originating from the West Cameroon) is mostly represented in the minor district of the Central Prison of Douala - Cameroon. In an attempt to understand crime perpetrated by migrants, scholars have suggested the unpleasant context of migration, the strain encountered by the migrants as a result of social exclusion, the fact that migrants live in disorganized area where it is more likely to find criminals and the clash of culture between migrants and the natives of the society where they settle. The aim of my research is to find out, on the basis of these four parameters, if it could be possible to understand how the process of criminalization of migrants, in the society where they settle, occurs. In this research, I focus on juvenile delinquency. In order to perform the research and attempt to answer the question, I made of use documentary analysis backed up with data gathered from experience, unstructured observation and interviews I performed among the minority groups. The results of my research do not support that the unpleasant context of exit might be a factor leading to criminalization in the particular case of minority’s youth. It also suggests that it is not the minority’s culture that makes them to be labelled as criminals; it is rather the essentialized perception of the minority group’s culture as being a threat to the dominant group’s values and interests, which contributes in labelling a minority group as criminals. In return, labelling people of the minority group as criminals contributes to their discrimination in the society, thus making them to develop criminal attitudes in order to escape the strain they encounter through discrimination; as this occurs, the young migrant may internalize the idea that he is criminal as a result of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Discrimination contributes also in making the minority group to settle in disorganized areas where criminal activities are more likely to occur among youths. These findings are important because it might help to understand the risk of criminalizing some actions as belonging to a minority group’s culture. Indeed, doing so seems to reinforce the labelling of people of the minority group as criminal without proper analysis that may explain why they chose to act the way they act. It furthers their discrimination in the society which in turn may force them to use illegal ways to respond to the strain they encounter through discrimination.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 66
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Juvenile Delinquency
Social Exclusion
Social Disorganization
Middle East
North Africa,
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