Poster 1: Invadert og forlatt - begrensninger av unge minoritetsnorske menn og konsekvenser for deres psykiske helse
There is a need for competence in schools and support systems to meet minority Norwegian boys with all their experiences, prevent alienation and ensure participation in their decision-making processes
Background: This report intends to find out what limitations of life young minority Norwegian men experience, and how it affects their mental health. Being the only report on men’s experiences of limitations of life in connection with their mental health, it is an important contribution to the ongoing conversation on the topic and the existing research.
Methods: This is a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with ten young minority men and focus group interviews with skilled workers. The collected data reveals how the informants experience the complex processes of expectations, pressure and violence that unfold in interaction between individuals, families, and society at large.
Results: In-home constraints are visible in the form of parental and sibling control, as well as violence against the informants. The informants grew up with strong expectations of what a man should become. Some conform to the expectations, while others challenge them. Several examples of change were identified, both those that occur gradually in some families and cases when young men challenge the norms or use the power they have by virtue of their gender to expand room for sisters to “manoeuvre”. Migration affects the lives of the informants. The young minority Norwegian men grow up in split families, thus, longing for their family members. The interview participants point out that the biggest limitation of life that they experience is the racism and stereotyping that is being encountered at school, when in contact with the support services, and in society in general. The existing structures limit the space for who the young men are “allowed” to be, leaving them with no choice but to either isolate themselves or to act out. The feeling of anger pushes the informants to become a part of communities that balance on the border between the constructive and the destructive. To people around them, they are invisible as victims of violence, and highly visible as perpetrators of violence and acting out.
Conclusions: The present study reveals a connection between the different forms of life limitations of the informants and the complexity of their life stories. This complexity that is not being seen by schools, the support system and by other adults, leaves the informants largely alone to deal with their challenges. Notably, it creates a strong feeling of mistrust.
A1 - De yngre og de eldre - Fellesskap og utenforskap