Ukrainian refugees struggling to integrate into Czech school social networks

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Rok publikování 2023
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Humanities and Social Sciences Communications
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Klíčová slova social integration; peer relationships; refugees; school networks; social network analysis
Přiložené soubory
Popis We provide a brief insight into the integration of Ukrainian refugees in school social networks in the Czech Republic following the mass migration caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our sample contains twelve classrooms with a total of 266 students in grades 5 to 9; 21.05% of the students were of Ukrainian origin. We employed multiplex exponential random graph modelling to assess the level to which Ukrainian refugees were integrated within peer networks, capturing both friendship and exclusion ties. We then employed a meta-analytical procedure to aggregate the results from the individual classrooms and a meta-regression to study the relationship between classroom ethnic composition and the level of integration of Ukrainian refugees. We found social networks to be formed heavily along ethnic lines with strong ethnic homophily in friendship ties and a propensity of the Ukrainian students to both send and receive fewer friendship ties than their Czech classmates. We found no evidence that the Ukrainian students sent or received more exclusion ties than their Czech classmates, suggesting that the Ukrainian students did not face explicit rejection from classmates; rather, we saw a tendency of the Ukrainian students to be neglected. Our findings stand in contrast to reports from school headmasters who asserted that the social integration of Ukrainian students was seamless. We further found a higher proportion of Ukrainian students in classrooms to be related to stronger homophilic behaviour and a lower tendency of Ukrainian students to make friends. Our results therefore imply that increased classroom diversity may negatively influence the integration of refugees in social networks.
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