This thesis investigates the everyday life information experience of people who have been through the asylum system in the North East of England. For people who have been uprooted from their homes by conflict and persecution, asylum involves a difficult process of identity reconstruction, that is further complicated by having to navigate complex administrative procedures, a new language, and different cultural codes, while facing the antagonistic behaviours of the different actors of the host society.
To better understand how people seeking asylum experience this process and how host societies can improve it, this study uses a constructivist grounded theory and ethnographic approach. This multi-method framework facilitates the exploration of explicit and implicit elements of the participants’ information experience, including information framed by the host society and heritage information, defined as the expression of meaningful ways of knowing related to the home culture.
Findings reveal that participants in this research are confronted with two main information environments: the asylum system and the local third sector. The grounded theory of information exclusion and inclusion is put forward to characterise how their respective practices influence the participants’ sense of agency, belonging and identity. Within the asylum system, information exclusion is experienced as feeling deprived from important information, having limited information sharing agency, and a fractured information literacy. In contrast, within the local third sector, information inclusion is experienced as access to multiple information affordances, information sharing agency, and the enactment of both local and heritage information literacies.
This study advances the field of forced migration in Library and Information Science by providing new conceptual tools to investigate the complexity of asylum, namely the dual experience of a specific politico-legal system and of making home in a new environment. It also provides new evidence towards the debate over the hostility of the UK asylum system and the role of the third sector in the inclusion of people seeking asylum
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||15 Jul 2020|
|Publication status||Submitted - 24 Oct 2019|