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'Just eating and sleeping': asylum seekers' constructions of belonging within a restrictive policy environment

Parker, Samuel 2020. 'Just eating and sleeping': asylum seekers' constructions of belonging within a restrictive policy environment. Critical Discourse Studies 17 (3) , pp. 243-259. 10.1080/17405904.2018.1546198

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The ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe has drawn attention to the reasons why people risk desperate journeys to seek safety. However, less research has focussed on what happens to those on the move once they have reached their destination country. In recent years the UK government's ‘hostile environment’ policy for asylum seekers has taken precedence over attempts to integrate refugees, creating a system in which destitution, dispersal and detention have all become pervasive features. This paper takes a discursive psychological approach to the analysis of interviews with asylum seekers in Wales, UK. It argues that participants draw on economic repertoires of effortfulness to construct accounts in which belonging is dependent upon being able to contribute to the economic and civic life of the host society. It further highlights how participants construct accounts in which restriction from the asylum system is positioned as the reason for not belonging and that time spent as an asylum seeker is policy-imposed liminality. The findings suggest that allowing asylum seekers to work would be a key step forward in integration policy and contribute to generating a greater sense of belonging.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1740-5904
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 November 2018
Date of Acceptance: 26 September 2018
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 12:57

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