This thesis examines grassroots mobilisations in France and England in\ud support of children and families with no right to remain on the territory. It aims\ud to provide a better understanding of the influence of 'childhood' as a social\ud concept and 'the child' as a social actor on social mobilisations in support of\ud 'non-status' children. It also intends to analyse the impact of national contexts\ud on mobilisations.\ud The study is comparative in scope and relies on the analysis of 1,272\ud claims made in newspapers and 65 interviews with grassroots campaigners.\ud The thesis first maps the field of contention as it applies to 'non-status'\ud children. It then goes on to investigate actors' pathways into campaigning\ud and their reasons for getting involved and sustaining involvement. It finally\ud considers actors' conscious work to attract and mobilise bystanders.\ud This thesis shows that the presence of children considerably affected\ud campaigning activities. First, children played an important role as key\ud recruiting agents and influential collective actors. Second, childhood as a\ud concept constituted a powerful mobilising factor, and campaigners\ud strategically used the image of the child as innocent and vulnerable when\ud making claims.\ud Overall, mobilisations in support of 'non-status' children and families in\ud France and England presented many similarities, including their strong\ud emotional component and the central role of schools. However, national\ud contexts also played a role in enabling or constraining mobilisations. I identify\ud both structural and discursive differences between the French and English\ud contexts which considerably affected campaigns. In particular, structural\ud differences in the implementation of migration policies had a noticeable effect\ud on campaigners' perceived ability to exert change. Furthermore,\ud mobilisations in France grew into a national network able and willing to make\ud political claims. By contrast, mobilisations in England remained isolated and\ud rarely adopted a political stance, focusing instead on the individual child or\ud family
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