Jessen, Astrid Daiana
Negotiating Agency: Age assessment experiences of former unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Germany
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society. 2020 (English)
Link to thesis: http://muep.mau.se/handle/2043/32724
The thesis explores on the negotiation of agency in experiences of age assessment of former unaccompanied refugee minors who seek asylum in Germany, as well as in their interaction with the situational context. As a combination of narrative and thematic analysis, the study is based on six online semi-structured interviews with young people and two with professionals working in Youth Welfare Offices. By employing the perspective of Emirbayer & Mische (1998), agency takes here the form of a temporal process. As a result of the juxtaposition between aspects embedded in the past: such as the fact of not having identity documents; their knowledge of age; images of childhood; experiences lived in the trajectory to Germany, and the interplay with the time, flexibility, and credibility in the practical implementation, the negotiation of agency at the time of the age assessment ranges between normalization and confusion. The findings contribute to the debate about age assessment in Germany unifying migration and childhood research. Furthermore, it advances with an empirical approach of agency in the sociology of youth.
Unaccompanied minors, Refugees, Agency, Age assessment, Germany