• Asylum-seekers and refugees: A structuration theory analysis of their experiences in the UK

      Healey, Ruth L.; University of Sheffield (Wiley, 2006-07-06)
      Much of the literature on asylum seekers and refugees tends to be atheoretical. This article uses ideas from Giddens’ structuration theory as a conceptual framework to analyse the voices of a group of asylum seekers and refugees. The empirical database consists of semi-structured interviews with 18 asylum seekers and refugees living in the UK from a wide range of countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Poland, Somalia, and the Yemen. The study shows that the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees are impacted by both structural and individual agency factors. The former, it is argued, consist of public and political reaction towards the increase in the number of asylum applications, while the latter include asylum seeker and refugee experiences of specific places and people which can create social networks. Structural factors had the greatest impact upon the integration of the participants into the host society. The nature of the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees can influence the way they feel about their position in the host society. For example, negative experiences of the UK can reduce their sense of security in the society whereas positive experiences can increase their feelings of comfort. Structuration theory conceptualises how asylum seekers and refugees utilise coping strategies to raise their comfort level in the host country.
    • Displacement in Casamance, Senegal: Lessons (Hopefully) Learned, 2000–2019

      Evans, Martin; Coventry University (Taylor & Francis, 2021-09-05)
      The paper reflects on fieldwork conducted since 2000 with displaced communities in Lower and Middle Casamance, Senegal, amid arguably West Africa’s longest-running civil conflict. While this is a small conflict in a geographically confined space, Casamance presents a microcosm of dynamics common to other displacement situations in Africa. In this context the paper explores how the understandings, lived experiences and practices of the displaced transcend normative categories used by aid actors to define and manage such situations. Five thematic areas are examined: enumeration of the displaced; complex mobilities, both rural-urban and transnational; historiographic understandings of displacement; political manipulation of displacement situations; and the dynamics of return and reconstruction. The paper concludes by summarising failures of understanding in these areas among much of the aid community, and their consequences. It argues that well-grounded and socially nuanced understandings of displacement may inform more effective aid interventions and enhance the peace process.
    • Gender Variation in Asylum Experiences in the UK: The Role of Patriarchy and Coping Strategies

      Healey, Ruth L.; University of Chester (Research Centre for Identity and Migration Issues (RCIMI), 2010-09-01)
      Previous work suggests that female asylum seekers and refugees have more constraints on their actions than their male counterparts, as structural forces from the country of origin are reproduced in the host country. This paper explores the use of structuration theory in interpreting the impact of gender upon asylum seeker and refugee experiences in the UK. The experiences of, and coping strategies used by 8 male and 10 female asylum seekers and refugees from two different cities are analysed. Their experiences are examined in relation to different patriarchal forces. In comparison to the males, differences are apparent in the level and types of agency of the female asylum seekers and refugees. Within this study certain types of patriarchy are reproduced in British society particularly at the household level, whilst individuals are also influenced by institutional patriarchy within the wider society. The variation in experiences found here suggests the need for policy to recognise the heterogeneity of these groups, so as to provide the most appropriate support for individuals.
    • Gratitude and hospitality: Tamil refugee employment in London and the conditional nature of integration

      Healey, Ruth L. (2014-01-01)
      The policy of integration attempts to address different elements of exclusion, yet relatively little research has considered what integration means to the refugees themselves. This paper explores one key area for supporting integration: employment.