Participation, integration and transnational relations

A functional-contextual appraisal of professional interpreting: entextualisation in multi-phased institutional procedures

Description: This project examines interpreting practices in marriage fraud investigations conducted by Belgian authorities, in which a complex chain of interviews and reports results in the decision whether a transnational couple's marriage application is genuine or fake. Both professional and non-professional interpreters are relied on to interpret the statements and answers given by the applicants not proficient enough in Dutch or French during an interview with a municipal officer and later on with a police officer. During the interpreter-mediated interaction, a written statement and interview report is noted down by the interviewer. The project focuses on the role of the interpreter in the entextualised codification of spoken evidence. The project's final, applied objective is to increase awareness of the significant role and complexities involved in interpreter selection and entextualisation in marriage fraud investigations by Belgian authorities.
Promoter(s): Mieke Vandenbroucke , Bart Defrancq
Researcher(s): Sari Goukens
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2023 - 2026

Access to education, employment and housing for beneficiaries of temporary protection and international protection in Belgium: an analysis from a non-discrimination perspective

Description: This PhD project focusses on the access to education, employment and housing for beneficiaries of temporary and international protection in Belgium. It thereby aims to identify the obstacles (both in policy and in practice) that these families encounter when trying to gain access to education, employment and/or housing as well as the extent to which these obstacles are a result of the respective protection scheme that the family falls under. Following the identification of obstacles, any differences in treatment will be assessed from a non-discrimination perspective. This research is part of the REFUFAM project “From policy gaps to policy innovations. Strengthening the well-being and integration pathways of refugee families”, a BRAIN-be 2.0 project funded by Belspo and carried out by a consortium of research partners. This interdisciplinary research project places families with an (international) protection status in Belgium at the centre of its analysis.
Promoter(s): Ellen Desmet , Robin Vandevoordt , Milena Belloni
Researcher(s): Roos-Marie van den Bogaard
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Law and Criminology
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

Does school social capital protect against loneliness in newly arrived minors? A mixed-method study in Flemish secondary schools providing reception programmes

Description: As the number of newly arrived minors (NAMs) has rapidly grown in Europe over the past decades, researchers have started to address the health consequences of migration for children. Theoretical insights suggest that NAMs are at a double jeopardy of loneliness, because of their age and migration status. Moreover, loneliness among NAMs is of major concern, as it could exacerbate existing ethnic inequalities in mental health, physical health and school outcomes. The aim of the project is threefold. First, we will estimate prevalence rates of loneliness in NAMs and identify migration-related characteristics associated with loneliness. Second, we will investigate whether school social capital protects against experiences of loneliness. Third, we will explore the mechanisms behind the association between school social capital and loneliness. To achieve these objectives, we will carry out a mixed-method study in secondary schools providing reception programs.
Promoter(s): Benedicte Deforche , Piet Bracke
Researcher(s): Sarah Devos , Katrijn Delaruelle
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences , Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

Families on the Move. A follow-along ethnography of families’ trajectories in the asylum regime in Belgium

Description: This PhD research consists of a longitudinal ethnography of families’ experiences during their asylum trajectories in Belgium. Taking as a starting point the process of applying for asylum, it follows a number of families within and beyond the multiple stages of their asylum procedure: from their stay in the reception centres to the neighborhoods and local communities, they settle into, or until they receive a negative decision and are regimented by return/deportation measures. Using various ethnographic methods – participant observation, home visits, narrative interviewing – the researcher seeks to analyze how families experience and contest processes of in/exclusion in their daily lives, as they move through multiple geographical and institutional sites in search of protection, care and stability. Moreover, she pays particular attention to the ways in which dominant family norms become entangled with notions of protection, belonging and integration in the politics of migration.
Website research project:
Promoter(s): Karel Arnaut , Ilse Derluyn
Researcher(s): Elsemieke van Osch
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2019 - 2024

High-stakes language tests, migration policy and ethical codes

Description: Increasingly, language test scores are used to make decisions that have a fundamental impact on the lives of people, but we know little about the decision-making processes underlying these practices. This doctoral research will operate at the intersection of applied linguistics, ethics, and human rights studies to achieve three research objectives: Examining the policy literacy of language test developers interacting with policy makers; Gauging the role that test developers assign to existing ethical codes and validity principles in making decisions with ethical implications; Determining whether test developers respect the human rights of all candidates equally in their testing policy.
Promoter(s): Bart Deygers
Researcher(s): Laura Schildt
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2021 - 2025

Space, Place, Identity, Mobilities, Minoritiy Politics, History of Geographic Thought

Description: My research centers around space, identity, minorities, and mobilities in general. I have specifically written on Muslim minorities in the United States and Europe, minorities in Turkey, and history of geographic thought. I am particularly interested in the role of place in constructing identities, drawing boundaries and maintaining differences. Uneven power relations are at the center of my analysis. I believe that without understanding power relations and the role of place in power struggles, one cannot fully understand the contextuality, contingency and complexity of mobility, space and identity. Discourses produced, policies formed, narratives and memories created reflect complex power relations. The power to define, to draw boundaries, to dominate, to resist, to create and maintain differences is a central issue in mobilities and identities, whether it is immigration or emigration, integration or assimilation, reconciliation or alienation.
Promoter(s): Ilse Derluyn
Researcher(s): Ilhan Kaya
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2021 - 2022