Epistemological Questions of Qualitative Crisis Research. Exploring the Attitudes of Children and Adolescents on Migration and Meritocratic Ideas of Society

  • Baris Ertugrul
  • Marc GrimmEmail author
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 20)


Baris Ertugrul and Marc Grimm address epistemological questions of qualitative child-oriented crisis research in their contribution. The authors discuss the relation between subjectivity and society and explain this understanding based on interviews with children and adolescents in Germany which revolve around the topics of migration and (distributive) justice. At times, the interviews show that distributive justice today is thought of in quite contradictory terms. At the same time, there are positions which speak in favour of meritocratic concepts of justice, which are also consequently used to argue harshly and demandingly in relation to refugees. In the same interview, the same adolescent expresses a disengaged empathy with refugees. The authors’ interpretation is that this “on the one hand describes national problems as crisis-ridden and acute, and on the other hand relativises those problems in the global context almost to insignificance, and grants pity and unconditional help to refugees”.


Children Adolescents Crises Dispositions Habitus Epistemology Meritocracy Socialisation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Socialization Research and Centre for Prevention and Intervention in Childhood and Adolescence (CPI)Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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