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Title: Thriving or surviving : the social capital of new migrant women with limited English in London
Author: Jhanji, Elhum
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 7962
Awarding Body: St George's, University of London
Current Institution: St George's, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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Britain has a super-diverse population, characterised by multiple dimensions of socio-cultural and immigration-related diversity. There has been increasing recognition that gender is a key variable in the migration experience. Studies examining the needs of new migrant women have identified lack of English, difficulty understanding British systems and lack of adequate childcare as barriers to accessing services. Both local and transnational networks may be important sources of support but whether they are available and how they are used to mobilize social capital remains unclear. This thesis aims to further an understanding of new migrant women's social networks in mobilising social capital. Qualitative in-depth interviews were carried out with 23 new migrant mothers in socio-economically deprived zones of an inner-London area. All participants spoke limited English at the time of interview. Elements of grounded theory influenced the data collection and analysis. A novel approach of post-interview follow-up was used which enabled a period of extended contact with participants. This provided additional data on encounters with services that indicated how and why local social networks, rather than transnational networks, impacted most on opportunities to mobilise social capital. A model of Goal Directed Activity is proposed from this analysis, highlighting the time and effort women invested in addressing the needs of their families, across private and public spaces. A typology of networks is developed, which is used to explore the differing characteristics of participants' networks. The analysis demonstrates that local networks with others who also had low resources provided support to get by. A strong tie, however, to someone with better resources was necessary to mobilise sufficient social capital to get ahead. An understanding of new migrant women's everyday experiences and social networks may help policy makers when looking to improve the interface with service providers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available