Article published in:Dialogue in institutional settings
Edited by Franca Orletti and Letizia Caronia
[Language and Dialogue 9:1] 2019
► pp. 172–190
The discursive construction of unaccompanied minors’ agency in Italian residential care
Professionals working in residential care for children everyday perform the institutional relevant activity of constructing their cases. This article analyzes the ways in which they construct the case of ‘unaccompanied minors’ (UAM) and how, in doing so, they talk into being their everyday practices of work. Drawing on ethnographic interviews with Italian residential care professionals, this study adopts a Discourse Analysis approach. Findings illustrate how the discursive assemblage of UAM relies on participants’ multiple distinctions and on a contrastive rhetoric that is widely used in social work. Differences in the case-construction of UAM mirror participants’ institutional settings and overall socio-cultural debate, paving the way for future investigation.
Keywords: discursive construction of clients, unaccompanied minors, agency, social work, residential care, ethnographic interviews, Discourse Analysis, othering process
- 2.Constructing the cases: Performing an institutionally relevant activity in the field of social work
- 3.Unaccompanied minors: A zombie category?
- 4.Design and methodology of the study
- 5.Unaccompanied minors’ agency: Making ‘inevitable’ distinctions
- 5.1Asylum-seekers’ agency
- 5.2Economic migrants’ agency
- 7.Concluding remarks
Published online: 05 July 2019
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