This project employs a variety of methods, namely a quantitative survey, interviews (individual and group), participant observation and archival research. This combination allows us to provide an overview of the communities, explore their perception of identity and ascertain views of migrant and integration experiences.
The fieldwork including the survey, interviews and participant observation is conducted in accordance with institutional and national ethics guidelines.
The main objective of the survey is to provide a foundation for the qualitative stages of the project and to offer a general indication of the situation of the selected communities given the dearth of statistics. The survey covers issues such as identity, integration and challenges and is conducted in relevant languages to the case study communities.
Interviews and focus groups
The project uses interviews and focus groups with members of the communities to explore their cultural encounters on the official and everyday level. Attention is given to how identity is shaped and constructed and the impact this has on their relations with the country of residence, homeland and other migrants.
The project also involves interviews with actors from the countries of residence including state and local government officials, church representatives and those involved with other civil society organisations. The aim of these interviews is to develop an understanding of how Middle Eastern Christians are perceived by actors who interact with them either as part of state integration policies or as a response to their presence in society.
The fieldwork sites for the project are
- London. Historically attracted migrant communities and the largest concentration of all three communities and their institutions can be found in the capital city and surrounding area.
- Kirkcaldy. Location of the only Middle Eastern Christian church in Scotland and adds another dimension to the discussion of multiple identities.
- Copenhagen. Main location of Coptic Orthodox community with own church and priest
- Aarhus. Main location of Iraqi Chaldean community.
- Södertälje. Large concentration of Suryoye/Assyrian/Syriac with churches and communal institutions
- Stockholm. Assyrian/Syriac and Coptic presence.