Being alone or becoming lonely? The complexity of portraying ‘unaccompanied children’ as being alone in Sweden

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Being alone or becoming lonely? The complexity of portraying ‘unaccompanied children’ as being alone in Sweden

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Being alone or becoming lonely? The complexity of portraying ‘unaccompanied children’ as being alone in Sweden
Author Herz, Marcus ; Lalander, Philip
Date 2017
English abstract
Research has largely focused on ‘unaccompanied minors’ as a vulnerable group at risk of developing psychological problems that affect their health. Separation from primary caregivers is considered one of the foremost reasons for these young people’s proposed loneliness. Thus, the official and ascribed identity is that they are lonely and that loneliness is their major problem. But research has seldom given the young people themselves an opportunity to express their views in an attempt to trace the often situational, dynamic and complex nature of social and emotional life. The present article analyses how ‘unaccompanied minors’ talk about everyday life and themes related to loneliness. The authors followed 23 ‘unaccompanied minors’ during a period of a year through ethnographic observations and qualitative interviews. Results: Loneliness may occur when these young people experience lack of control in managing life and when they feel no one grieves for them; loneliness may be dealt with by creating new social contacts and friends; loneliness may be reinforced or reduced in encounters with representatives from ‘the system’; the young people may experience frustration about being repeatedly labeled ‘unaccompanied’ and they may create a resistance to and critical reflexivity towards this labeling.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2017.1306037 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Link http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676261.2017.1306037 .Icon
Publisher Routledge
Host/Issue Journal of Youth Studies;
ISSN 1367-6261
Pages 1-15
Language eng (iso)
Subject Unaccompanied minors
Refugees
Loneliness
Qualitative interviews
Resistance
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/22461 Permalink to this page
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