• Eva Pnackova
4. semester, Global Refugee Studies, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This thesis unravels what characterizes nature of social relations and feeling of belonging in residential care facility. In the past there has been an extensive research of outcomes of residential care on child’s development which was characterized by a great ambiguity in scientific debate on this topic. This thesis examines residential care through the theory of relatedness using Janet Carsten’s approaches to the study of kinship and relatedness. These approaches do not consider relatedness as something for granted and thus open up the range of set ups where relatedness could be created. The aim of this thesis is to explore different factors which contribute or hamper the process of creating relations between children who live in the residential care facility and also relations towards caregivers who work with them. It also seeks to answer whether children prefer to be reintegrated into their biological family or they wish to continue living in the residential care. The data was gathered in orphanage called House of Family (HOF) in Cambodia by conducting semi-structured and unstructured interviews and observations with children, their families and staff. The key finding is that most children perceived HOF as their home and they felt related towards caregivers as they were their family. Their co-resident children were partly perceived as their siblings and as their friends. The main factors that hindered feelings of being related was relative instability of the place and the lack of personalized environment in relation to how the house was organized and decorated. The organization of daily activities and the fact that many things were served automatically to children helped to form “institution-like” feeling. On the other side, amongst factors that supported feeling of being related were experience of care and memories of being nursed when in bad health conditions. Caregiver’s support of education was perceived as the way of carrying for children’s future. An individual approach and an opportunity to be part of caregiver’s family were also amongst aspects, which added to relatedness. Furthermore, paradoxically lack of caregiver’s knowledge, which led caregivers to approach children as their kin supported this perception. Co-residence with other children and the opinion that they only have each other helped to create relations between children. All this played an important role in forming children’s will to be reintegrated. Overall children wished to stay living in HOF at least until they finish education. To examine the chosen topic in-depth, it is recommended to conduct a prolonged and broader study on which factors influence relations and social ties within residential care.
Key words: relatedness, social relations residential care facility, orphans, Cambodia
Udgivelsesdato31 okt. 2016
Antal sider50
ID: 242940960