‘A proud history of protecting refugees’: Ambivalent responses to refugee integration in government policy documents

Parker, Samuel (2019) ‘A proud history of protecting refugees’: Ambivalent responses to refugee integration in government policy documents. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines, 11 (1). pp. 20-40.

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Abstract

In recent years asylum seekers arriving in the United Kingdom have been subject to a ‘hostile policy environment’ (Zetter et al. 2005) initiated by the UK government consisting of dispersal, destitution and detention. At the same time, the UK government has also focussed on ‘integrating’ refugees. In this paper, Critical Discourse Analysis of seven policy documents is used to demonstrate how ambivalence is a feature of UK and devolved government refugee integration strategies. Analysis revealed that each strategy is predicated upon rhetorical devices which construct the governments as having a ‘proud history’ of offering protection to those fleeing persecution by drawing on long histories and traditions of welcoming refugees. Such rhetorical and commemorative devices may also function to dialogically repress (Billig 1997) the UK’s history of not providing protection to refugees and of creating a ‘hostile environment’ for asylum seekers. It concludes that such devices construct refugee integration ambivalently, which is a result of an ideological dilemma (Billig et al. 1988) inherent in these strategies between the integration of refugees and deterrence of asylum seekers.

Item Type: Article
Date: 21 August 2019
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Samuel Parker
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 20:55
Last Modified: 13 May 2020 05:30
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7966

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