Analysing social orientation in Austria
The concept and curricula of the obligatory AIF social orientation courses and value workshops in Austria have been subject of critical discussions. Main critics say that the performance and the obligation of the target group is paramount and already the underlying concept of these measures, as published in the “My life in Austria. Chances and Rules” booklet, emphasises on the importance of learning German and having vocational training, accepting the Austrian value order, respecting different ways of live as main precondition for integration in the Austrian society. Critics say that language skills are not the precondition for integration, but a result. Particularly the NGO sector criticises that the length of the value workshops is too short to have an impact, they are offered in the frame of 8 hour workshops. They rather suggest investing in measures and projects whereby international protection status holders participate together with members of the host society. There is evidence to conclude that the ability and capacity of the institutionalised social orientation system to raise beneficiaries’ awareness and equip them against acts of racism and xenophobia is low – at least considering the concept and the materials. The situation is different, considering the practice, i.e. course teachers are eager to supplement this lack. However, they lack a lot of knowledge in this regard.
Report: Analysing social orientation in Austria (in English)