Attitudes of young adults toward migration: the case of the PUM-O program dr. Klara Kožar Rosulnik in Andreja Kermc
Summary: In the following text, we present results from research that examined young adults’ attitudes toward migration in the case of the non-formal education programme Project Learning of Young Adults (PUM-O). The purpose of our survey was to determine how young people think about migration, and who or what influences their thinking. We wanted to find out what they believe about migration, as well as their personal experiences, either with migrants or the migration process. We also wanted to know how they perceive the overall migration situation. Do they harbour stereotypes/prejudices about migrants and what possibilities do they see in terms of migrants’ education? The analysis of data obtained using different data-collection techniques (participant observation, interviews, and discussions in a focus group) indicates that the participants involved in selected PUM-O programs in urban areas are well aware of the migration issue and are critical of the present migrant situation faced by refugees fleeing from conflicts in the Middle East. Although most participants had a positive view of migrants (in their narratives, they said they identified with them), they also perceived migrants in a stereotypical manner through dichotomies/divisions, e.g., we/they, acceptable/unacceptable, and our/foreign. The findings also indicate that most information that participants have heard about migrants originates from the media, of which they also were quite critical. In the final part of the text, based on the research findings, we have provided some guidelines for developing a more positive attitude toward migration and migrants.