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Title: The contentious politics of childhood and migration : grassroots mobilisations in support of ‘non-status’ children in England and France
Author: Giner, Clotilde
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 5607
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines grassroots mobilisations in France and England in support of children and families with no right to remain on the territory. It aims to provide a better understanding of the influence of 'childhood' as a social concept and 'the child' as a social actor on social mobilisations in support of 'non-status' children. It also intends to analyse the impact of national contexts on mobilisations. The study is comparative in scope and relies on the analysis of 1,272 claims made in newspapers and 65 interviews with grassroots campaigners. The thesis first maps the field of contention as it applies to 'non-status' children. It then goes on to investigate actors' pathways into campaigning and their reasons for getting involved and sustaining involvement. It finally considers actors' conscious work to attract and mobilise bystanders. This thesis shows that the presence of children considerably affected campaigning activities. First, children played an important role as key recruiting agents and influential collective actors. Second, childhood as a concept constituted a powerful mobilising factor, and campaigners strategically used the image of the child as innocent and vulnerable when making claims. Overall, mobilisations in support of 'non-status' children and families in France and England presented many similarities, including their strong emotional component and the central role of schools. However, national contexts also played a role in enabling or constraining mobilisations. I identify both structural and discursive differences between the French and English contexts which considerably affected campaigns. In particular, structural differences in the implementation of migration policies had a noticeable effect on campaigners' perceived ability to exert change. Furthermore, mobilisations in France grew into a national network able and willing to make political claims. By contrast, mobilisations in England remained isolated and rarely adopted a political stance, focusing instead on the individual child or family.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC) ; University of Warwick ; British Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration