Places of exclusion and inclusion: Asylum-seeker and refugee experiences of neighbourhoods in the UK

Spicer, N; (2008) Places of exclusion and inclusion: Asylum-seeker and refugee experiences of neighbourhoods in the UK. Journal of ethnic and migration studies, 34 (3). pp. 491-510. ISSN 1369-183X DOI:

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This paper explores asylum-seekers' and refugees' experiences of place, social exclusion and social networks, based on a qualitative sociological study. It examines interviewees' constructions of neighbourhoods as excluding or including places and compares and contrasts parents' and children's accounts. Interviewees perceived social inclusion as a number of place-specific factors, including security, access to inclusive local resources and services, and migrants' ability to form supportive social networks. Particular emphasis was placed on social networks with people of the same ethnic or religious identity and other black and minority groups living locally, rather than social bridges with white and majority-ethnic communities. I suggest that parents' constructions of childhood reflect neighbourhood places; children are seen as vulnerable and in need of protection in 'excluding' neighbourhoods, and less vulnerable and relatively independent in 'including' ones. Children valued their independence and mobility within including neighbourhoods, and appeared to develop a sense of attachment to them, suggesting that they may integrate more quickly and fully within British society than their parents. The paper concludes that it is important to understand asylum-seekers' and refugees' experiences of social exclusion and inclusion in relation to their experiences of place.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Web of Science ID: 253041500008


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