Shall we receive more refugees or not? A comparative analysis and assessment of Portuguese adolescents’ arguments, views, and concerns

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Abstract

Fifty adolescents (7th and 10th grades) participated in a ten-session argumentation programme as part of which they produced dialogues and written texts on the topic of whether or not Portugal should receive more refugees. Applying social identity and intergroup threat theories as frameworks, causes for flight and seeking asylum were felt to be the most important reasons, expressed by 80% of adolescent students, for welcoming refugees. While students’ concern regarding the ascribed characteristics of refugees was of minor importance, both age groups reported a significant concern with the decline of the host group’s socio-economic conditions. Also, despite the fact that all students were exposed to information and facts that could inform their views, their discourse still contained argumentative reasoning fallacies such as hasty generalisation and appeal to fear. Based on these findings, we recommend explicit work in education on engaging students in cultural literacy practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581–603
Number of pages23
JournalPedagogy, Culture and Society
Volume28
Issue number4
Early online date12 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Argumentation
  • classroom discourse
  • cultural literacy
  • intergroup threat
  • refugees

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