The aim of this thesis is to add to the knowledge about asylum seekers and refugees in the LJK by looking specifically at the experiences of women, who have often been overlooked. The thesis is underpinned by a concern with structure and agency, and the interplay between them. Thus, it explores women's actions and practices in a particular context.\ud \ud Firstly, it considers the structural context by looking at the constraints asylum seekers and refugees face as a result of goverm-nent policy more generally, but also specifically in terms of their dispersal to West Yorkshire. As well as focusing upon the constraining aspects of policy and practice, however, it also considers the supportive structures in place in West Yorkshire that assist people's settlement in an area. Within this discussion is a consideration of the practices of service providers who are often caught up in a contradictory role of care and control. Thus while they are able to offer support, at the same time they have to work within the bounds of government policy.\ud \ud Secondly, while the context in which women fmd themselves can present a number of barriers, this thesis looks at their actions and practices at an individual and collective\ud level. It illustrates that the women are able to draw on the resources available to then, and many are engaged in activities that assist their own settlement in the host society, as well as considering the needs of their children, other family members or the wider community. In addition, it is evident that some of the women, through their actions and practices, were changing the context for future arrivals of asylum seekers and refugees
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