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Migrant mothers meeting the digitalised Norwegian welfare state

Heidi Esma Dahl Bønnhoff of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Agder has submitted her thesis entitled «Morskap migrasjon og digitale medier. En institusjonell etnografi av den digitaliserte hverdagen til mødre med migrasjonsbakgrunn» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Tuesday 22 June 2021.

The findings provide important knowledge for social workers by showing how digitisation of public services may affect family life.

Heidi Esma Dahl Bønnhoff

PhD Candidate

The disputation will be held digitally, because of the Corona covid-19-situation. Spectators may follow the disputation digitally – link is available below. The disputation will be held in Scandinavian languages.

 

Heidi Esma Dahl Bønnhoff of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Agder has submitted her thesis entitled «Morskap migrasjon og digitale medier. En institusjonell etnografi av den digitaliserte hverdagen til mødre med migrasjonsbakgrunn» ("Migrant mothers meeting the digitalised Norwegian welfare state"), and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Tuesday 22 June 2021.

She  has followed the PhD-programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Agder, with specialisation in Sociology and Social Work.

Read the summary of the thesis by Heidi Esma Dahl Bønnhoff:

Migrant mothers meeting the digitalised Norwegian welfare state

The public debate about screen time is often individual-oriented and deals with how parents should restrict children's screen time and teach them "netiquette".

The dissertation sheds light on the larger contexts that digitalised family life is part of.

The study is based on migrant mothers’ experiences of being parents in Norwegian society.

The digitalisation policy can create challenges for migrant mothers

The study shows everyday work the mothers do in communication with several of the welfare state’s institutions, such as adult education, Nav, kindergartens and schools, aiming to create good lives for themselves and their children.

The mothers’ contact with such institutions is relevant to the study’s topic, because the digitalisation policy in Norway calls for use of digital communication between public institutions and citizens.

A basic idea behind the policy is that digital services are more accessible to citizens and efficient for the institutions.

Better access?

However, findings suggest that digitalisation of the institutions may have different consequences for different citizens. Migrant mothers may be among those who fall outside more easily.

The extensive digitalisation, especially of kindergartens and schools, gives their children better access to digital education than they themselves got. At the same time, several of the mothers face challenges in entering the labour marked, following up their children's schooling, and limiting their children’s and their own screen time.

Social workers can help counteract digital exclusion

The findings provide important knowledge for social workers by showing how digitisation of public services may affect family life.

The mission of social work is to support people to handle their everyday lives. Part of the mission may be to provide support that prevents people from falling outside the digital society.

The study can contribute to a critical public debate about which citizens may benefit from digital solutions and for what purposes.

Disputation facts:

The trial lecture and the public defence will take place online, via the Zoom conferencing app (link below)

Dean Anne Halvorsen, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Agder, will chair the disputation.

The trial lecture Tuesday 22 June at 10:15 hours

Public defence Tuesday 22 June at 12:15 hours

Given topic for trial lecture«Presenter og diskuter muligheter og implikasjoner av digital transformasjon i samfunnet for sosialt arbeid som forskningsfelt, utdanning og profesjonell praksis»

Thesis Title«Morskap migrasjon og digitale medier. En institusjonell etnografi av den digitaliserte hverdagen til mødre med migrasjonsbakgrunn» ("Migrant mothers meeting the digitalised Norwegian welfare state")

Search for the thesis in AURA - Agder University Research Archive, a digital archive of scientific papers, theses and dissertations from the academic staff and students at the University of Agder.

The thesis is available here:

The CandidateHeidi Esma Dahl Bønnhoff (1981, Oslo) Bachelor degree (social work), University of Gothenburg, Sweden () and Masters degree (Municipal mental health work) from the University of Agder. Master thesis: «På leting etter et ansikt : om selvbiografiske perspektiver på å ha en mor eller far med alkoholproblemer.»  Present position: Assistant professor at the Department of sociology and social work, UiA

Opponents:

First opponent: Professor Elin Wihlborg, Department of Management and Engineering (IEI), Linköping University, Sweden

Second opponent: Professor Kjetil Grimastad Lundberg, Department of Welfare and Participation, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Professor Solveig Botnen Eide, Department of Sociology and Social Work, University of Agder, is appointed as the administrator for the assessment commitee.

Supervisors were Professor emerita Anne Marie Støkken, UiA (main supervisor), Associate Professor May-Linda Magnussen UiA and Professor Carl Erik Moe UiA (co-supervisors)

What to do as an audience member:

The disputation is open to the public, but to follow the trial lecture and the public defence, which is transmitted via the Zoom conferencing app, you have to register as an audience member:

https://uiano.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5clf-iuqTwiHNLLWaoXb9271YNyF8XBtYjv

A Zoom-link will be returned to you.

(Here are introductions for how to use Zoom: support.zoom.us if you cannot join by clicking on the link.)

We ask audience members to join the virtual trial lecture at 10:05 at the earliest and the public defense at 12:05 at the earliest. After these times, you can leave and rejoin the meeting at any time. Further, we ask audience members to turn off their microphone and camera and keep them turned off throughout the event. You do this at the bottom left of the image when in Zoom. We recommend you use ‘Speaker view’. You select that at the top right corner of the video window when in Zoom.

Opponent ex auditorio:

The chair invites members of the public to pose questions ex auditorio in the introduction to the public defense, with deadlines. It is a prerequisite that the opponent has read the thesis. Questions can be submitted to the chair Anne Halvorsen on e-mail anne.halvorsen@uia.no