General information

Course type EPICUR
Module title Seeking a new language: Narratives on home, migration, and adaptation of young refugees in European cities
Language English
Module lecturer dr Maciej Frąckowiak, dr Jacek Kubera, dr Sebastian Will, dr Georgia Sarikoudi, mgr Olena Martynchuk
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Assistant Professor, PhD Candidate
Faculty Faculty of Sociology
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 24-PIE-SNL


Classes take place once a week. A total of 15 meetings are planned, the last two of which will be devoted to students' pass presentations.

Module aim (aims)

The course is inspired by the assmuptions and results of the project Seeking a new language: Narratives on home, (forced) migration, and identity of newcoming Ukrainian youth to European cities. Its goal is to understand the complex adaptation processes of young refugees in European cities. As part of the Epicur Alliance initiative, the program gathers students and teachers from various countries, creating a multicultural platform for discussion and exchange of experiences on migration, and especially the role of narratives and identity processes in adapting to a new place, maintaining distinctiveness before returning, or integrating if there is a desire to stay in the new place.

The course is designed so that participants will acquire theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills and competencies that can be applied in various professional and life contexts, especially in working with refugee youth and in migration projects. 

  1. Understanding the complexity of migration processes and their impact on identity: participants will gain in-depth knowledge about various aspects of migration, including the impact of urban spaces, public policies, and media on the identity formation processes of young refugees. This objective aims to develop analytical and critical thinking abilities in the context of complex social phenomena.
  2. Development of interpretative and narrative skills: another aim is to equip participants with the skills to interpret and create narratives concerning migration experiences, highlighting their role in adaptation and integration processes. Participants will learn how to use narratives to understand and support the adaptive processes of young refugees.
  3. Improving intercultural competences: through interactive exchanges between students and teachers from different countries, the course also aims to develop intercultural competences, including communication and cooperation skills in a diverse environment. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences and perspectives, which will foster empathy and understanding of the situation of young refugees.
  4. Gaining an understanding of the role of language in inclusion: the course will emphasise the importance of language and language practices in processes of integration and adaptation, explaining how inclusive language approaches can support the (re)construction of identity. Participants will learn how language and language education can act as a bridge but also as a barrier to intercultural exchange.
  5. To prepare for active participation in developing practices and policies to support people with refugee experience: based on the knowledge acquired and skills developed, course participants will be prepared to actively engage in creating more open societies and social inclusion of young refugees.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

English language skills at a minimum B2 level


Block I: Factors that shapes young refugee identities

  1. Introduction to refugee and migration studies - discussion of key concepts and introduction to the course topic & foci (youth), using the example of the project Seeking a new language. Narratives on home, (forced) migration and identity of newcoming Ukrainian youth to European cities.
  2. Urban spaces as cultural contexts: an analysis of how different spaces (public spaces, interiors of institutions, shops as well as homes) influence the formation of refugee identities, highlighting their active role in shaping these spaces.
  3. Public policies and refugee integration: exploring the impact of migration and integration policies on refugee lives.
  4. Media discourse on refugees: an analysis of media narratives and their impact on the public perception of refugees and their self-perception.
  5. Identity and youth experience of migration - a consideration of how migration experiences influence identity formation (including the role of socio-demographic variables on migration experiences - age, gender, family situation, etc). 

Block II: The role of narrative in the (re)construction of refugee identities

  1. Narratives as a tool for adaptation - how narratives facilitate adaptation to new realities.
  2. Refugee life stories - an analysis of individual refugee stories, emphasising that these stories are not only sources of knowledge about adaptation processes, but are also an adaptation tool in themselves.
  3. Transcultural narratives - exploring narratives that connect different cultures and support the creation of hybrid identities.
  4. The role of social media in creating refugee narratives - exploring how social media is used to share and shape migration narratives.
  5. Education and narratives - discussing the role of education in shaping refugee narratives and identities.

Block III: Identity in relation to integration and adaptation

  1. The importance of language in refugee integration - exploring the role of language in the process of adaptation and the creation of new identities.
  2. Work and integration - an analysis of how access to the labour market affects refugees' integration and adaptation process, considering the role of identity in these processes.
  3. Family, social networks and narrative conflicts - discussing the role of families and social networks in supporting refugee adaptation, considering disputes arising from overlapping narratives
  4. Barriers and exclusion - analysing barriers to integration, such as discrimination and social exclusion, rooted in identity, perceptions of the 'other' and language barriers.
  5. Integration practices and the future of migration policies - a discussion on effective integration practices and directions for the development of migration policies, taking more into account the role of (re)construction of identity, narratives of inclusive language practices

Reading list