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  • Author or Editor: Maggie O’Neill x
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Issues of asylum, migration, humanitarian protection and integration/belonging are of growing interest beyond the disciplines of refugee studies, migration, and social policy. Rooted in more than two decades of scholarship, this book uses critical social theory and the participatory, biographical and arts-based methods used with asylum seekers, refugees and emerging communities to explore the dynamics of the asylum-migration-community nexus. It argues that interdisciplinary analysis is required to deal with the complexity of the issues involved and offers understanding as praxis (purposeful knowledge), drawing on innovative research that is participatory, arts-based, performative and policy-relevant.

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Of Spaces Past, Present and Future

This distinctive and engaging book proposes an imaginative criminology, focusing on how spaces of transgression are lived, portrayed and imagined. These include spaces of control or confinement, including prison and borders, and spaces of resistance.

Examples range from camps where asylum seekers and migrants are confined, to the exploration of deviant identities and the imagined spaces of surveillance and control in young adult fiction. Drawing on oral history, fictive portrayals, walking methodologies, and ethnographic and arts-based research, the book pays attention to issues of gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity, mobility and nationality as they intersect with lived and imagined space.

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This chapter centres on the creative ways refugee communities in the UK have survived and managed to construct lives for themselves in host countries. It is also concerned with the representation of asylum seekers and refugees in the mainstream media and the research that has occurred in documenting this. The discussion focuses on two examples: the workshop organised as part of Making the Connections and the work of Somali Afro European Media Project (SAEMP), an online community television station based in Leicester.

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This chapter reviews the methodological issues that were raised in Chapters Three and Four. It documents a research trajectory that was conducted for over a decade using the ethno-mimetic research, participatory-action research and participatory-arts methods with the new-arrival groups and communities. These communities were situated in the asylum–migration–community nexus. The research discussed here includes linked Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB)-funded research exchange and a series of AHRB-funded research projects.

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This chapter provides a documentation of the key findings from research. It examines in detail the experiences of children, young people, and unaccompanied young people, who narrate their own experiences through participatory arts- and arts-based research. This research raises themes of relational needs, poverty, community-based support, and humiliation. The chapter ends with an account of the experiences of young people, and comments on the broader social structures and processes that are involved.

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This chapter talks about women refugees and asylum seekers. It begins with a discussion of women who claim asylum and the gender-biased asylum policy. The chapter then moves on to the various research conducted on women refugees and asylum seekers. The migration–trafficking nexus is introduced, and research on refugee and asylum-seeking women is presented in detail. The chapter also highlights the possibility of a gender-sensitive asylum system.

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This chapter considers the refused asylum seekers and discusses destitution, poverty, and social networks. It begins with a discussion of the European policy context and the status of destitution in the UK. The chapter ends with a section on some asylum seekers who do not return for voluntary assisted return due to fear of persecution and those who do not receive support from the state. Several excerpts of personal accounts are provided as well.

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This chapter clarifies the importance of ‘understanding’ experiences of humiliation and mis-recognition that are experienced by people in the asylum–migration nexus. It examines the importance of fostering human dignity and social justice both globally and locally, and addresses some questions on social justice and the asylum–migration nexus. The chapter determines that using participatory research constituted by recognition and respect for asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants is the key to answering these questions.

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This chapter discusses the process of globalisation and the international context to the movement of people across borders. It also studies the important role of humiliation in processes that lead to migration, and the humiliation experienced in seeking asylum and refuge. The chapter provides a description of the international network for human dignity and humiliation studies (HDHS), which is slowly gathering force. The chapter shows that the HDHS network is composed of scholars and practitioners from all over the world who want to be involved in creating a different way of being and doing research.

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This chapter examines the asylum–migration–community nexus as it is experienced in the United Kingdom (UK) within the context of globalisation. The various concepts and understandings of ‘community’ are viewed in the context of wider historical and social processes. The discussion also references Yar’s recognitive-theory community and Nancy’s concepts of the ‘inoperative community’ and ‘being singular plural’.

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