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“Another home not another place to live”: The discursive construction of integration for refugees and asylum seekers in Wales

Parker, Samuel ORCID: 2018. “Another home not another place to live”: The discursive construction of integration for refugees and asylum seekers in Wales. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Whilst, at the UK level, there has been some research into the integration experiences of refugees and asylum seekers (e.g. Phillimore et al. 2008; Kirkwood et al., 2015; Basedow and Doyle, 2016) there has been little research focusing on the devolved Welsh context. This thesis seeks to address this lacuna through applying Ager and Strang’s (2004) Indicators of Integration Framework to an analysis of qualitative interviews with refugees and asylum seekers living in Wales. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 19 refugees and asylum seekers from 13 different countries of origin. Interviews are analysed using a discursive psychological approach (Potter and Wetherell, 1987), and focused on the ways that participants’ talk functioned in the interaction. In addition, a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of seven UK and devolved government refugee integration strategy documents was also undertaken. Analysis of these policy documents revealed that each drew on notions of the individual nation having a ‘proud tradition’ of protecting refugees which worked to construct refugees as being in need of protection only, obscuring any economic or civic aspirations that they may have. Analysis of the interviews, by contrast, revealed that participants constructed integration in a more multi-faceted way in which they had aspirations of contributing to both the economic and civic life of Wales. The research finds that these constructions point to a need for re-thinking the categories “refugee” and “asylum seeker” and that the term “forced migrant” better reflects the protection and aspirational needs that participants constructed. As such, it argues for a shift in focus from integration “processes” to situated “practices” of integration. A further ideological dilemma (Billig et al., 1988) is also discussed between the UK government’s ‘hostile environment’ approach to migrants which seeks to deter asylum seekers from entering the UK and the stated aims of both UK and devolved governments of ensuring refugee integration. Policy implications are suggested including the need for the Welsh Government to better reflect the economic and civic aspirations of refugees and asylum seekers within its refugee integration strategies and to call for devolved responsibility over asylum support so that it can achieve its aims of seeing Wales become a ‘Nation of Sanctuary’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 October 2018
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 11:49

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