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Title: From pariah to paragon? : the social mobility of Ugandan Asian refugees in Britain
Author: Valeny, R. R.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1999
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One key policy issue that currently dominates political debate in the developed world is that of immigrant and refugee integration. For refugees, central to all definitions and the implementation of successful refugee resettlement is employment, in particular the roles that refugees either play, or are allocated within the labour market. However, in light of the short term and ad hoc nature of refugee research, there is a dearth of studies documenting the structural progress which refugee groups make during the course of their long-term resettlement. Despite the absence of research of this nature, the British media currently portray Ugandan Asian refugees as a paragon ethnic minority who have achieved economic integration by ascending from 'rags to riches', since their resettlement in Britain in 1972. In light of the absence of academic evidence to corroborate this claim, this study employs multiple research methods to measure and confirm the extent to which the Ugandan Asians have achieved social mobility, over the decade 1981-1991. Reference to qualitative interview material provides an insight and understanding of the underlying attitudes and beliefs that have motivated the refugees, during the course of this social process. The study finds that the Ugandan Asian refugees have indeed achieved significant upward social mobility to the extent that their social class profile in 1991 favours white collar work, while the qualitative material reveal that this social mobility has been facilitated by key identities which yield human capital resources. The study also elucidates the discrepancies between the media stereotype and Ugandan Asian community perceptions of their success and it demonstrates that the social mobility of the Ugandan Asians best relates to the diacritical factors outlined by the model minority thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available