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Title: Capitals and habitus refugees experiences of integration
Author: Hislam, Sarah Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 6011
Awarding Body: The University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis explores refugee experiences of integration, applying a theoretical approach informed by Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of capital and habitus. The theoretical framework is empirically applied to a small social network of Burundian refugees living in Birmingham, UK. Narrative interviews, including a visual method, are employed to explore the lived experience of integration. A critical overview of existing literature highlights the need for qualitative research that considers the relationships between structure and agency, and highlights the linkages between integration domains whilst emphasising social and cultural practices. It also posits a critical perspective that emphasises conflict, for which Bourdieu's framework is ideal. The process whereby refugees translate and transfer capital and habitus between country of origin and reception is analysed. The respondents' experiences demonstrate that some forms of capital are translatable whilst others are not due to discordance in habitus, the complexities of changing cultures and class positions, and the constraints of racism and discrimination. Certain forms of capital are either absent or have been subject to a process of devaluation. However, many of these refugees maintain their (fairly privileged) class habitus and have high hopes for the future. They continue struggling to rebuild their symbolic and material status: for them a central feature of integration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available