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Title: 'Becoming adult in another man's land' : the contested life projects of unaccompanied young migrant and refugee men negotiating pathways through welfare, asylum and immigration regimes in Europe
Author: Allsopp, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 2428
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis draws attention to a range of factors that influence why, how and when young migrant and refugee men engage with statutory and non-statutory sources of welfare and methods of immigration control as they 'become adult' in Europe. It does so through mixed methods qualitative research which took place over a period of 18 months in two cities in England and Italy. The four papers that constitute the body of the thesis draw on: critical policy-analysis; participatory research based in three support institutions; arts-based research conducted in collaboration with museums; and semi-structured interviews with unaccompanied young men, policy makers and practitioners. Read together, the papers raise fundamental questions pertaining to the 'best interests' of children and youth, and about how young migrant and refugee men engage with and understand welfare and the state as they pursue evolving plans and dreams in a context of increasing surveillance and immigration control. The thesis argues that unaccompanied young migrant men usually have clear - albeit malleable - ideas about the objective(s) of their migration. The European policy literature refers to such objectives as 'life projects'. It is argued here that the life projects of young migrant and refugee men are poorly understood and this leads to a disconnect between the intentions and desires of the young people on the one hand and those of the various policy actors who seek to assist and/or govern them on the other. Several dimensions of the life projects of young migrant and refugee men are elucidated in this thesis. Among other findings, it suggests that they are inherently relational, shaped by the ideas of the young people in question and by those of their family members and social networks. They are also shown to be gendered and re-negotiated upon contact with a range of facilitating or hindering factors encountered upon arrival in Europe. Moreover, these life projects are rearticulated, renegotiated and reformed through the development and sharing of personal and collective narratives or stories.
Supervisor: Bennett, Fran ; Chatty, Dawn ; Chase, Elaine Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available