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Growing up Somali in Britain : the experience of a group of young Somali men and women coming of age in London and their parents

Mohamoud, Aweys O.; (2011) Growing up Somali in Britain : the experience of a group of young Somali men and women coming of age in London and their parents. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This study tells the story of Britain's single largest group of refugee children - the children of Somali refugees - as they have experienced growing up amidst marginal working class communities and inner-city neighbourhoods. It focuses on the major themes in the lives of these children and their families and the challenges confronting them in terms of adjustment to a new society, family and school life, education, employment, identity, goals, and aspirations (see Rumbaut & Portes 2001:12). In addition to data gathered through qualitative interviewing in London in two different time periods over a decade apart, the study pulls together existing research that bears directly or indirectly on children's immigrant experiences and adaptational outcomes in both the u.S. and the UK. On the whole, it is suggested that the environments created by a combination of immigrant's human and social capital and the context that receives them dominate the process of adaptation and its prospects for success. There is much evidence in this research to support the assertion that 'family resources, family strategies, and parental expectations' are significant factors in the success of immigrant young people. Where that was weak or nonexistent, some of the young people concerned could not escape from the external challenges that confronted them in schools and neighbourhoods. A few of them fell prey to a social context that promoted a set of undesirable outcomes such as dropping out of school, joining youth gangs, and using and selling drugs. As Alejandro Portes and Ruben Rumbaut (2001) found out elsewhere, a tentative explanation from this research is that there is a patterned sequence of adaptation conditioned by predictable social forces: refugee human and social capital, first, and opportunities and barriers in the host society, second. These sets of factors play themselves out over time conditioning the adaptation of first generation immigrants, and the academic performance and career horizons of their offspring (ibid.). The background of war, flight and exile also continue to influence the lives of these children and their families.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Growing up Somali in Britain : the experience of a group of young Somali men and women coming of age in London and their parents
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/ProcessSearch.do?query=538561
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis: (PhD) University of London Institute of Education, 2011.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10020621
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