Policy Discourse on Marginalised Youth in Albania: The Constraints of the ‘Normalisation’ and ‘Integration’ Policy Approaches for Inclusive Education

  • Blerjana Bino

Abstract

The paper addresses the complex phenomenon of marginalised youth and particularly children in street situation in the Albanian contemporary society. Through a qualitative methodology of critical discourse analysis, the paper investigates the most relevant policy documents on inclusive education for marginalised youth in Albania. The paper is interested in exploring the conceptualisation of marginalised youth, specifically children in street situation, as embedded in policy documents, action plans and intervention programmes for inclusive education. The intention here is to discover the explicit and implicit themes of the policy discourse on marginalised youth in Albania and the how it impacts the approaches adopted by the government to address the phenomenon. The critical discourse analysis on policy framework shows that the discourse on marginalised youth in the public sphere (re)produces and reinforces already existing aspects of social deprivation, marginalization and discrimination. The research shows that there are limited efforts to elaborate the concepts of ‘marginalised youth’ and ‘children in street situation’ and that there is confusion in policy regarding the use of the terms. In addition, children in street situation are seen either as victims of socio-economic hardship and endangered by their presence in the spaces of the ‘street’ or as a possible threat to the rest of the society, i.e. the street criminalises children. The research shows two main policy approaches: (i) correctional or repressive-oriented policy approach that conceives ‘street children’ as a danger to public order whose features differentiate from mainstream childhood and as such invites intervention programmes that tend to ‘normalise’ children; (ii) protective or rehabilitative policy approaches, i.e. emphasising children needs and aiming at protecting and re-integrating them in family and mainstream society. The paper takes a critical stance on the current policy discourse and the consequent policy approaches of ‘normalisation’ and ‘integration’ and argues for a reconceptualization of children in street situation as social actors based on the notion of childhood as socially constructed. It is thus necessary to link research on the socialisation processes, identity construction and resilience of marginalised youth in the spaces of the street based on their dynamic lifestyles and perspectives with policy development.
Published
Jan 21, 2017
How to Cite
BINO, Blerjana. Policy Discourse on Marginalised Youth in Albania: The Constraints of the ‘Normalisation’ and ‘Integration’ Policy Approaches for Inclusive Education. European Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 4, p. 85-87, jan. 2017. ISSN 2414-8385. Available at: <http://journals.euser.org/index.php?journal=ejms&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=1804>. Date accessed: 30 may 2017.