Language and guardianship: A sociolinguistic ethnography of the multilingual resources and strategies used in the guidance trajectory of unaccompanied refugee minors

Description: Multilingualism plays a critical role in asylum and refugee encounters. Often, migrants and refugees have a hard time expressing themselves because they do not get adequate language support. So far, research has focused on the multilingual challenges of adult migrants and refugees, but little attention has been paid to communication with unaccompanied refugee minors (UAM). This research project aims to fill this gap through a sociolinguistic ethnography of how linguistic diversity is managed in the guidance trajectory of UAM, focusing on the interaction between UAM and legal guardians. More specifically, the project will examine the multilingual strategies selected by UAM and their guardians and their impact on (a) disclosure and performance of personal experiences, (b) negotiation of complex procedural knowledge and (c) building of a relationship of trust, with a view to increasing knowledge of the interactional management of these encounters and an improved guidance and care of UAM.
Promoter(s): Katrijn Maryns , Ilse Derluyn , Floor Verhaeghe
Researcher(s): Lotte Remue
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2022 - 2026