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

Samuel Parker
2018 Critical Discourse Studies  
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
more » ... . 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. ARTICLE HISTORY
doi:10.1080/17405904.2018.1546198 fatcat:a3dsz3mgkvbqpdo2wi6kour3a4