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Title: The social networks of unaccompanied asylum seeking young people in the transition to adulthood
Author: McDonald, Kelly
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 1476
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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The number of children seeking asylum alone in the UK and across Europe is increasing. Previous research has focused on the support unaccompanied children receive within children’s services, and highlighted their vulnerability and isolation. Limited research exists that considers their transition to adulthood, at which time the process of leaving local authority care may coincide with a need to re-engage with the immigration system in an attempt to achieve the right to remain in the UK permanently. This thesis therefore focuses on unaccompanied young people as they transition to adulthood. Focusing holistically on the social networks of the young people, this study is concerned with understanding the process of transition and its impact on the social worlds of the young people. Taking the life-course approach as iits conceptual framework, issues of time, space, structure and agency are emphasised. Based on interviews with both unaccompanied young people and professionals (accessed through statutory and voluntary services in one large urban local authority in the north of England) the findings suggest that unaccompanied young people’s social networks are active, complex and diverse, yet may be negatively impacted by uncertain and temporary immigration statuses. The findings illuminate previously unexplored aspects of unaccompanied young people’s social networks, including their continued embeddedness in multi-sited family networks. The findings also challenge current constructions of unaccompanied young people as vulnerable recipients of support, and repositions them as young people who provide care and support to others as they begin to develop adult identities.
Supervisor: Wade, Jim ; Kilkey, Majella Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available