1st Edition

Social Work, Young Migrants and the Act of Listening
Becoming an Unaccompanied Child

ISBN 9780367543419
Published February 23, 2021 by Routledge
188 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book is about 20 young unaccompanied refugees who have sought refuge in Europe and how they experience and try to navigate their new situations, including their contacts with social workers, friends and family members left behind.

The book contains stories of powerlessness and frustration from being held under suspicion, from meeting authorities and abstract people of power from "the system," or from constantly being categorized in a static category of "the unaccompanied child." It contains stories of human meetings characterized by thoughtfulness, reciprocity and listening. This book also explores the experiences of meeting social workers as a young migrant in Sweden. The narratives depict how social workers can often reproduce powerlessness and frustration among the young people, but also how there are those social workers who provide something else through the act of listening. By extension, this is a book about society, about how important it can be to reframe people and to listen to their stories, needs and wills.

Demonstrating the importance of listening to the stories of young refuges, this title will appeal to students, researchers, community workers and social workers interested in migration, race and ethnicity, youth studies, social work, sociology, anthropology, pedagogy and health.

Table of Contents

1. Malmö Central Station is filled with life. 

2. Those who come from the outside. 

3. Landing, traveling and being stopped. 

4. Dancing alone or together. 

5. Trying to maintain proximity at a distance. 

6. Planning for and getting to the future. 

7. "The unaccompanied" as a potential threat. 

8. Social Work and the creation of distance. 

9. From framing to reframing in encounters with unaccompanied minors. 

10. Conclusion: Between recognition and unrecognition




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Marcus Herz is Associate Professor in Social Work at Malmö University, Sweden. His research interests and previous publications include studies on social work, gender, masculinities, ethnicity, race and youth studies. His latest publication with Routledge is the co-authored book The Conundrum of Masculinity: Hegemony, Homosociality, Homophobia and Heteronormativity (Routledge, 2019).

Philip Lalander is Professor in Social Work at Linnaeus University, Sweden. He has extensive experience in ethnographic studies, and his main research interests and publications include studies on marginalization, drug use, criminality, migration and youth studies. His book Hooked on Heroin: Drugs and Drifters in a Globalized World (Routledge, 2020) was the first book in an ethnographic trilogy about heroin users in a Swedish city, covering 15 years. In recent years he has published within the migration area in relation to social work.