Household food secuirty and statutory neglect amongst undocumented migrant families in Birmingham

Jolly, Andrew Peter ORCID: 0000-0001-5903-115X (2020). Household food secuirty and statutory neglect amongst undocumented migrant families in Birmingham. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Undocumented migrant children and families face exclusion from most state welfare provision in the UK through the no recourse to public funds rule and the ‘hostile environment’. They are therefore vulnerable to destitution and other forms of extreme poverty. Although there has been a renewed academic and policy interest in the rise of food poverty and insecurity in the UK in recent years, there has been little analysis of how food insecurity and immigration status interact with each other. This gap is particularly acute when considering access to local authority social care for undocumented migrant children under Section 17 of the Children Act (1989).
This thesis uses an exploratory mixed-methods approach to explore and understand the experiences of food insecurity amongst undocumented migrant families in Birmingham, using the themes of ‘(in)adequacy’; ‘abandonment’; ‘access’; ‘abundance’; and ‘agency’. These themes are then analysed using four explanatory theoretical frameworks of the ‘Air Jamaica generation’; ‘statutory neglect’; ‘reverse panopticism’; and ‘hospitable environments’.
Findings indicated that the numbers of undocumented migrant families in Birmingham were likely to be in the low thousands, and more than nine out of ten families who participated in the study were food insecure. This insecurity was rooted in the way that legislation neglects and abandons undocumented migrant children through a process of ‘unseeing’. Despite this exclusionary process and the insecurity that it reproduced, families experienced times of ‘abundance’, made possible by the networks of ‘hospitable environments’ and mutual aid they were part of.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Social Policy, Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Funders: Other
Other Funders: University of Birmingham, College of Social Sciences, Social Workers' Education Trust
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


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