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Precarious journeys: exploring the stories of young people seeking asylum

Iqbal, Hannah 2016. Precarious journeys: exploring the stories of young people seeking asylum. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis examines the stories that young people tell about becoming refugees and seeking asylum. It is a qualitative study based on 42 single narrative interviews, conducted in schools, public libraries and advocacy settings. The participants originated from 19 countries and ranged in age from 12-23 years, with four participants over 18 years. Stories represent a significant resource for asylum seekers, since the process of seeking asylum relies heavily on providing narrative testimony. Whilst there is an established field of literature focusing on the experiences of young refugees, little attention has been paid to the storied aspects of their lives. Beyond this, there are also significant gaps regarding young refugees’ journey experiences and the role of time in shaping their lives. This research seeks to fill these gaps by providing an in-depth study of the stories that young refugees tell and the ways in which themes of journeys and time feature in their accounts. The findings of this thesis are divided across three substantive themes, journeys, stories and time. Firstly, by examining participants’ accounts of being uprooted and in transit, the analysis demonstrates how migration journeys can be highly significant experiences for young refugees, shaping their lives long after their physical journey has ended. Secondly, this thesis highlights the significance of stories within the asylum system and the ways in which young people’s narrative and embodied accounts can come under scrutiny. Finally, this thesis points to the ways in which young refugees can experience a sense of being governed through time as they seek asylum. This thesis has sought to provide insights for both academic and policy audiences about the multiple aspects of insecurity that young refugees negotiate. Beyond this, the findings of this thesis demonstrate the creative and adaptive ways in which young people seek to forge more secure futures within contexts of displacement.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 May 2016
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2021 13:59

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