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Belonging: A study of the relationship between migrant women’s social interactions and their perception of their own integration

Graham-Brown, Nafisah; (2020) Belonging: A study of the relationship between migrant women’s social interactions and their perception of their own integration. Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Migrant women settling in the UK face multiple barriers to integration. This qualitative study explored the experiences of six newly arrived migrant women who attended community ESOL classes (English for Speakers of Other Languages), focusing on the women’s social interactions in English, the places in which social interactions took place and their sense of belonging. Belonging is defined as feeling at ease with oneself and one’s surroundings (Miller, 2003). Data was gathered over one and a half years, using narrative interviews and oral diaries, and analysed using thematic and classic content analysis methods. The study concluded that women’s social interactions took place in four main spheres: local community, public services, work and home. Data demonstrated that social interactions in English affected women’s feelings of belonging from four aspects: material, relational, cultural and temporal. Findings indicated that social interactions supported women to build trust in people who were different to them and to learn cultural knowledge, practices and acceptable behaviours not formally taught in their ESOL sessions, which supported participants to gain access and to feel at ease in unfamiliar spheres. This study will help teachers to recognise the contribution of social interactions to their students’ language development and integration; policy-makers to plan for future ESOL and integration programme development and funding; and assist organisations in designing more effective community ESOL programmes. Recommendations include for practitioners to plan for activities to support social interactions outside the classroom, to consider the importance of digital skills in enabling ESOL learners to participate in online social interactions, and a more joined-up approach with public service organisations to support staff in those roles to understand how to best support migrant clients who are learning English.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: Belonging: A study of the relationship between migrant women’s social interactions and their perception of their own integration
Event: UCL Institute of Education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author [year]. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: ESOL, Refugee and migrant integration, Social Interactions, Language Socialisation, Second Language Socialisation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096150
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