Enduring borders: precarity, swift falls and stretched time in the lives of migrants experiencing homelessness in the UK

Simon Stewart, Charlotte Sanders

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Abstract

In this article, we draw attention to the border and border governance as key mechanisms of class and ‘race-making’ in the context of an increasingly hostile immigration environment. Focusing on the life-story narratives of migrants experiencing homelessness, we extend the reach of analysis beyond the experiences of asylum seekers to gain a stronger understanding of migrant experiences more broadly. In our analysis, we reveal the temporal continuum of suffering endured, ranging from the ‘slow violence’ of the everyday, rooted in precarity and restricted access to the labour market and support services, to moments of rupture where there is a swift decline in circumstances, leading to homelessness. When, at last, the tempo of suffering slows again, these individuals are increasingly excluded from meaningful calendars of activity as they spend their time waiting, often in vain, for an outcome of a Home Office application or for the possibility of some longer-term accommodation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-419
Number of pages17
JournalSociology
Volume58
Issue number2
Early online date26 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • migrant
  • homelessness
  • borders
  • precarity
  • time
  • UKRI
  • ESRC
  • ES/V011081/1

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