Negotiating Belonging: The intergenerational experiences of young refugees and asylum-seekers and their families in Tyneside

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Geog, Politics and Sociology


This PhD programme examines the intergenerational settlement experiences of asylum and refugee families in England's Tyneside region. It probes intersecting issues of xenophobia, emotional and bureaucratic violence, as well as social exclusion and relatedness in a place that experiences the fallout of austerity measures, with significant cuts to social welfare spending. This study documents the strategies of refugees, including their aspirations and hopes as they attempt to make lives for themselves in the UK within a time of growing ethno-nationalism and intensifying national and international opposition to migrants. These efforts draw on over 10 years of my experience working in the voluntary sector in the Tyneside region and my first-hand experience of working at the frontlines of issues affecting refugee families. This research will involve focus groups, in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations with young refugees and asylum seekers aged 10-18, and their family members. These will focus on collecting biographical histories, critical reflections and insights on the migration and settlement process, while illuminating sites and instances of social interaction and exchange between refugee and receiving communities. Selected participants will participate in an 8-week Photovoice project in which we will collectively identify, photograph and discuss issues shaping their settlement. Participants' photographic work will be disseminated in a curated exhibition during Tyneside's 2021 Refugee Week and other sites. These activities will be developed through a research partnership with the North of England Refugee Service and central aspects of my programme will be devised to support the organisation's advocacy work in the region.


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