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The social whip that destroys life

All youth - yes, all people have the need for guidance, standards and insight into the community's social structures. In line with urbanization, secularization, and stronger emphasis on the enkeltmenneskets freedom, we have in Norway built down much of the social control. It is f. ex. big difference on what the youth today can decide and do than what was accepted a few decades ago. Ungdomsoppgjøret in the 60's and 70's was a turning point.

But not for all. Yet exist christian assemblies and environments that exert strong control over their flock, f. ex. Jehovah's Witnesses, læstadianerne and Smith's Friends. The same applies to a non-christian innovation that scientologene. These environments are still etterlevninger, or islands, in a vast ocean of fairly liberal norms and values.

largest problems are found in some immigrant groups, especially where it is practiced a conservative and strict understanding of islam. It is apparent from the Fafo report "Migration, parenthood and social control" which was submitted Wednesday. Behind the report is the researchers Jon Horgen Friberg and Mathilde Bjørnset, and it is based on a comprehensive survey that has a particular focus on immigrant families from Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka.

It is not particularly surprising that foreldregenerasjonen in these groups conveys far more conservative attitudes to their children in questions about sex, sexuality, and social relationships than the rest of the population. Now we know more about the consequences of this. A significant minority of young people report serious foreldrerestriksjoner, bl.a. they'll rarely be together with friends or mingle with the opposite sex. Among the girls in the 16 - 17 years of age with a pakistani background provide almost three out of ten parents don't want them to be together with the boys in their leisure time without adults present.

The picture that will be drawn up shows that many young people in this group do not get to live normal lives. According to the report, the consequences for these bl.a. unhappiness, mental distress, poor self-esteem and low participation in leisure activities. When the conflicts are often strong, are also there along with the fact that the parents feel themselves on shaky ground. In the report they express bereavement for extended family and concern for family solidarity and norms that crumbles. According to researcher Jon Horgen Friberg has the a feeling of standing empty-handed in a threatening world, surrounded by normløshet when it comes to sexuality and substance abuse. Some parents lose moreover, social control, bl.a. when it comes to education and crime.

What we are face is a real conflict between the various forms of values and social organization, with major consequences for young people's freedom and self-determination. The report leaves no doubt about where the main problem is:

"the Degree of foreldrerestriksjoner is closely linked to parental cultural orientation and the degree of religiosity. The more parents are concerned with preserving homeland culture, and the more religious the parents are, the more likely it is that the teenagers experience strict foreldrerestriksjoner."

Muslim immigrants are perceived as the most conservative, but also other religious groups are far more conservative in sexual and moral matters than the rest of the population.

This dichotomy is important to get through, but it is also important that verdikonflikten don't track of our capacity for reflection and rational action. The report points directly to significant problems, but also shows that there is social change in the direction of less foreldrerestriksjon and more liberal familiepraksis. Above all, have a negative social control in the immigrant population has gone from being a non-issue that belongs to your privacy, to be one of the most central questions in a comprehensive integration policy.

The central political instruments include bl.a. minoritetsrådgivere in the schools and at four foreign missions and various kompetanseteam as adviser in matters pertaining to the æresrelatert violence, threats, forced marriage and involuntary stay abroad. In addition, there is a wide range of measures that is handled both by government agencies and non-governmental organizations, and the government's action plan requires enhanced efforts. The law in this area is eventually considerably when it comes to marriage, immigration, child welfare, shelters, and criminal acts.

Fight against religious and cultural coercion and control is not something that can be won overnight. Through legislation we can regulate the unwanted actions, but not attitudes. There are also questions about how intrusive the government should be in relation to your privacy. Compared with most other countries in the world, the Norwegian state very high ambitions when it comes to regulating social life - far into the innermost private sphere. Fafo-report pointing to how the state and social expectations affects the entire life course up to adulthood. Even stronger public regulation can quickly touch the alternative values and life-forms, not just those who are religiously grounded. A well-intentioned social control can also develop negatively.

do not be some pillow when it comes to the challenges that apply to parts of the innvandrerungdommen. We need to have a relevant law, government action that works and emphasizing the norms that advocate personal freedom and choice. At the same time must not only be an alternative form of social control. It is equally important to combat racism and build a society based on trust and inclusion.

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