Title of research: Mods & Mocros: Strategies Used by Moroccan Youth in the Netherlands and Belgium to Cope with their Representation in the Media.
Promotor: Prof. R. van Swaaningen
Through a qualitative analysis of Dutch and Belgian media discourse, this research project entails an inquiry into the media discourse on Moroccan Dutch and Belgian male adolescents. It also involves an inquiry into the effects this labelling has on the daily lives of Moroccan male adolescents in terms of coping strategies, such as resistance, isolation, disintegration, radicalisation or adaptation, and inspiration and motivation. The study will be conducted by means of face-to-face interviews, focus- group interviews, and participant observations of social gatherings.
This research arises from an academic curiousity about the positive or negative effects of discourse on social deviants, and focuses on moral panic - societal overreaction - as the facilitator of these effects. It will provide further elaboration on and a deeper understanding of the theoretical concepts of denial (societal under-reaction, taboo, political correctness) and cultural trauma (societal appropriate reaction) - which currently lack scrutiny and explicit conceptualisation - and their stance towards each other. The societal relevance of the research lies in new insights into several societal phenomena, based on combining theoretical and empirical knowledge. The study will deliver new and relevant insights from within Moroccan communities, which can help policy makers and street-level bureaucrats in understanding and dealing with a wide variety of social problems facing Moroccan youths.
Abdessamad studied Criminology at ESL from 2006 to 2010. After completing this Bachelor and Master study, he worked at the COT Institute for Safety, Security, and Crisis Management as a researcher-advisor. During his work there, he wrote a research proposal together with Professors René van Swaaningen and Richard Staring, for which he was granted the NWO Mosaic grant in November 2011. Since then, 80% of his time has been dedicated to this PhD thesis, and 20% to teaching courses to Criminology students.