(Re)building supportive relationships is a key task for unaccompanied minor refugees aspiring for a good life.
In this seminar Marte Knag Fylkesnes explores the role of new family-like relationships in building and sustaining wellbeing, from the perspectives of young people in Finland, Norway, and Scotland. She also discusses the usefulness of the wellbeing approach in this in this context.
Rather than conceiving wellbeing as an individual output, the analysis is inspired by Sarah White’s concept relational wellbeing. This directs the gaze towards how wellbeing is negotiated in the space between individuals and social systems.
Across the three case countries, young participants emphasized the importance of building close, committed, mutual relationships with friends and professionals; “like a father”, “a brother I live with”. The presentation will unpack what needs these relationships meet, as circumstances change over time in the transition to adulthood, and what this can tell us about the social structures unaccompanied minor refugees negotiate aiming for a good life in migration.
The presentation is based on the project “Relational wellbeing in the lives of young refugees in Finland, Norway and Scotland (the Drawing Together project), developed together with partners Marja Tiilikanen and Sharon McGregor. Further information about the project
Marte Knag Fylkesnes is a researcher at the NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, affiliated with the Regional Centre for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Child Welfare. Her research interests are children in migration and social justice through welfare service provision. Her most recent publication is a chapter based on data from the Drawing together project