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Title: For the sake of the children? : children's experiences of family : migration to the English countryside
Author: Bushin, N. V. V.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2006
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Population census data show that increasing numbers of children are migrating within Britain. The general geographic pattern is of urban areas losing children whilst rural areas gain. As the majority of children migrate within families, the aim of this thesis is to explore: the motivations for families’ migrations to the English countryside; the processes of these migrations; children’s involvement in migration decision-making; and children’s experiences of these migrations. In-depth interviews were carried out with children and parents in thirty-seven families who had recently migrated from urban locations within Britain to rural Devon. It has been posited that families migrate to the English countryside ‘for the sake of the children’. However, there is a dearth of research that justifies this suggestion. The ‘for the sake of the children’ hypothesis is deconstructed in several ways in this thesis. Firstly, the motivations for families’ migrations are shown to be more complex than simply ‘for the sake of the children’. Secondly, exploring the processes of family migration shows that half of the families had experienced more than one migration step and that this often had implications for children’s social and educational adjustment. Thirdly, examination of children’s involvement in making migration decisions demonstrates that, despite the recommendations of global and national legislation, the majority of children did not have high levels of involvement in migration decision-making. In relation to children’s experiences of living in their rural migration destinations, the dominant social imagining of idyllic country childhoods is shown to be misleading. The majority of families had not expected living in the countryside to be idyllic prior to migrating, and the majority of children’s experiences had not been wholly positive. However, many of the children were happy in their migration destinations, perceiving elements of rural living to be beneficial for them.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available