A FETE-UGT project for the IMSERSO Network for Foreign Minors Enrolled in School


Coordinator: Teresa Aguado

Date: 2005


In mid-June 2005, the members of the INTER Center received a proposal to collaborate with the  FETE-UGT2 in a short exploratory study on the perceptions and experiences of young people and adolescents, mainly immigrants, regarding possible experiences of discrimination and racism in their immediate environment.

The initial specifics of the project led us to consider a series of initial objectives. These were extended, due simply to the dynamics of the research process, and new nuclei of attention and social, educational, and personal dynamics, which may condition the experiences of immigrant adolescents to a certain extent, were detected.

The work originally consisted of carrying out a series of interviews with adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age. A total of 20 interviews were carried out, some of them group interviews. Even though this work approach was positive, we consider it to have been limited, and we believe that it would have been necessary to use a larger sample and talk to other people in the young people’s social and family environment (family members, friends, classmates, teachers, all of them, of course, with different origins, including the host countries). 

This breadth that the adolescents themselves showed us has helped us to point out the limitations and the biases of our thinking, and of our social representations and everyone’s, even the members of the research group, leading us to justify excessively general and stereotyped conceptualizations. Based on this analysis, some conclusions and suggestions that can facilitate the process of adaptation and coexistence for everyone were proposed. We hope that this project will be only the starting point for our group, and that it will allow us to go into these realities in a more direct and in-depth fashion. We also hope that it has covered some of the objectives proposed and some of the hopes that the boys and girls who participated in this research process have expressed, some of their opinions about how this research could possibly be useful.


This project is a result of the need to carry out a kind of analysis based on the perception of the people who are affected. It attempts to respond to questions related both to the subtle and to the explicit ways racism and its implications and consequences (discrimination, exclusion, violence) manifest themselves. The research will focus on the age-group of 12- to 18-year-olds. The purpose of the study is to provide educators and other professionals with relevant information for recognizing, understanding, interpreting, and managing these kinds of situations.

Our initial objectives were:

1.    To find out young people’s perceptions regarding experiences/situations of racism.

2.    To recognize the racism that is implicit in everyday situations, within the educational environment and outside of it.

3. To appreciate the difficulties that young people from different origins encounter in their life in school and outside of school.


Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. Faculty of Education

Teresa Aguado Odina
Belén Ballesteros Velázquez
Inés Gil Jaurena
Rosario Jiménez Frías
Catalina Luque Donoso
Beatriz Malik Liévano
Patricia Mata Benito
José Antonio Téllez Muñoz

Universidad Complutense. Faculty of Education

Caridad Hernández Sánchez


Margarita del Olmo Pintado
Jennifer Lucko


Project report

Publications related to the project

  • Grupo Inter. (2007). Racism: A Teenagers' Perspective. Results of Preliminary Research from Madrid [Racismo, adolescencia e inmigración. Imágenes y experiencia del racismo en adolescentes y jóvenes]. Viena: Navreme. ISBN: 9989-50-051-7. Descargar libro en pdf
  • Ballesteros, Belén y Mata, Patricia. (2008). El racismo desde la perspectiva de los adolescentes: significado y experiencias, en Revue Européene d'Ethnographie de l'Education, nº. 5. Pp. 125.139. ISSN 1645-8669.
  • Grupo Inter. (2007). Racismo, adolescencia e inmigración: reconocer y afrontar el racismo desde una perspectiva educativa, Emigra Working Papers, nº 78. Pp. 1-19. ISSN: 2013-3804. Descargar artículo en pdf 
  • Mata, Patricia y Ballesteros, Belén. (2011). La experiencia del racismo en jóvenes inmigrantes: cómo se vive, cómo se afronta. En F. J. García Castaño y N. Kressova (coords.) Actas del I Congreso Internacional sobre Migraciones en Andalucía (pp. 979-985). 16-18 Febrero 2011. Granada: Instituto de Migraciones. ISBN: 978-84-921390-3-3. Descargar libro de resúmenes en pdf. Descargar publicación en pdf