• Mikkel Lauenborg Lindegaard
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
The present study examines attitudes, assessment and opinions regarding unaccompanied minor asylum seeking children’s participation in daily decision-making as well as more existential decisions, within the institution where they currently live. Empirically, the study is based on interviews with four unaccompanied children and their respective primary contact persons. The interviews are based on the vignette-methodology, and all respondents are introduced to the same vignette and are encouraged to base their opinions within the context of the vignette. The interviews have been recorded and transcribed and later categorized and coded with inspiration from the Grounded Theory-methodology to access and acquire an open approach to the empirical data. Due to the use of Grounded Theory the study allows the researcher to follow the respondent’s points of interests.
The study is divided into three parts, one for each major category that the empirical data showed. The three major categories are: Satisfaction of needs, Children’s perspectives and Participation. All three themes were presented in the interviews among both groups, and therefore makes the foundation of the analysis. To elaborate the first theme I’ve used the theoretical perspectives of Abraham Maslows and Erik Allardt in regards to the respondent’s interpretations of their satisfaction of needs. The second theme have been elaborated through the use of Hanne Warming’s description of children’s perspectives, Marianne Skytte’s theory of cultural understanding, and Emma Uprichard’s perspective on children as ‘beings’ or ‘becoming’s’. Last, but not least, the third theme, Participation, have been elaborated through Roger Hart’s ‘ladder of participation’ and Harry Shier’s model of ‘pathways to participation’.
The study shows, that the two groups have different interpretations of how and which satisfactory needs the unaccompanied children have, and that the differences in opinions could affect the way the children participate in everyday decision-making. Furthermore the study highlights that the respondents differ in their ways of perceiving the concept of ‘childhood’ and that the contact persons point of view is based on their lack of knowledge about the unaccompanied children’s cultural upbringing and the impact of their flight. Last, but not least, the study shows, that both the unaccompanied children and the contact persons are eager to promote participation in decision-making, but that the contact person’s current actions can’t be described as participation in Harts terminology. With the use of Shiers model the study indicates, that the lack of knowledge about the children in the organization itself, could prevent the contact persons from actually practice participation.
Publication date16 Nov 2015
Number of pages101
ID: 222124205