Language integration and citizenship
Bemt, V. van den
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"The way integration and citizenship should be interpreted has been an important aspect in the integration debate of the Netherlands over the years. However, the idea of integration and citizenship is often only focused on the policy-makers’ point of view within the literature. Because of this, the opinion of Syrian refugees about whether they feel fully integrated is not heard. This anthropological research will contribute to the debate about whether Syrian refugees feel they received Dutch citizenship after their integration into the new society. It is important to look critically towards the Dutch integration system and look if it really helps the integration of the refugees from Syria or that they still feel like outsiders in the Dutch society. This research will focus on Dutch language integration through the language schools in Rotterdam. The research shows that language schools are a very important tool for the Syrian refugees to integrate into the Dutch society. Mainly in the beginning, the classes are the key getting access to the language and the Dutch norms and values. Due to these classes, the Syrian refugees find their way in becoming part of the Dutch society and receiving their Dutch citizenship in a formal way as well as a belonging to the society. However, this research explains that the language school is not the only tool that can influence the Syrians. The refugees find it very important to also be an active participant outside the school, because they argue that the classes are not enough to receive Dutch citizenship. Besides this, the Syrian refugees argue that language schools can influence their place in the Dutch society. However, these schools do not influence feeling as a Dutch citizen. Feeling as a citizen of Rotterdam, comes from outside the language schools as well. "