Seeking Asylum in the UK: An Ethnography of Destitute Lives ruled by paper

Project Details


People seeking asylum are among the most marginalised groups in the UK. Often facing highly complex legal battles to get refugee status, asylum seekers are forbidden from working, and are either supported by the Home Office at a minimal rate or, if they have no pending asylum claim, are destitute. This project looks at how lives of those who seek asylum are shaped, on the one hand, by long-drawn out bureaucratic and legal processes and, on the other, by extended periods of destitution and poverty - and at how people seek to move forward with their lives when stuck in the system. The methodology involves long-term engagement with organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers, as well as extensive life story interviews with asylum seekers.
Short titleR:HSA Seeking Asylum in the UK
Effective start/end date1/11/1831/07/22


  • asylum
  • refugees
  • migration
  • destitution
  • legal ethnography
  • bureaucracy


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