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Social Relationships and Trust in Asylum Seeking Families in Sweden

Journal article
Authors Ulla Björnberg
Published in Sociological Research Online
Volume 16
Issue 1
ISSN 1360-7804
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Sociology
Language en
Keywords Trust, Resilience, Social Capital, Transnational Families, Friendship, Asylum Seeking Families, Asylum Seeking Children, Sociology
Subject categories Sociology


Research has suggested that social networks are important resources for children as well as for adults to resist health problems. For asylum seeking children social networking might be hard to accomplish due to constraints linked to social and legal contexts in the host country. Constraints can also be linked to the family situation and the circumstances they have to cope with in everyday life. The situation of parents, in particular mothers, is important for the coping of children. The over arching research objective is to identify factors that are important for well being of children seeking asylum and to study how they cope with their experiences as asylum seekers. The tension between excluding experiences and expectations regarding how the situation of the child and it's family should improve or deteriorate after the flight is for a child a constitutive reference for how coping strategies are developed. In the analysis I draw on theoretical concepts of resilience, social capital, trust and social recognition. This paper draws on results from an interdisciplinary research project Asylum-seeking children's welfare, health and well-being. Gothenburg Research on Asylum seeking Children in Europe (GRACE), Goteborg University and Nordic School of Public Health, Gothenburg. The study was financed by the European Refugee Fund. The empirical data are based on qualitative interviews with parents and children who have waited for decisions regarding permanent residence for several months and sometimes more than a year.

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