Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A study of asylum seeker/refugee advocacy : paradoxes of helping in a climate of hostility
Author: Wroe, Lauren
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 5267
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis is concerned with the extent to which hostility towards asylum seekers/refugees frames advocacy talk. Using a dialogical approach, I analyse how the identities of asylum claimants are dealt with by refugee advocates, in order to counter this hostility. My analysis is based on the collection of publicity materials from four refugee organisations, and from Narrative Biographical Interviews conducted with their staff, volunteers and asylum-seeking clients. Using the notion of dialogical network, I demonstrate how hostility enters advocacy talk, how it frames contemporary advocacy representations of refugees, and how it is challenged. In particular, I use Membership Categorisation Analysis to analyse how members of these organisations, the staff, volunteers and campaigners, maintain or challenge the frames provided by the organizations in their publicity materials. I demonstrate how asylum seekers/refugees themselves deal with the hostility and to what extent they are complicit in maintaining or challenging both hostile and advocacy representations of themselves. Hostility routinely enters the publicity materials and is countered through formulations of refugee identities along the lines of biographical contrasts that work to make the hostility irrelevant. These contrasts are socially resourced, and are organised along a set of 'sympathy themes', whereby asylum seekers are represented as having little choice, as naïve, as victims of violence and as having poor mental health. However, advocates, in their interview talk, push the boundaries of these frames of representation. They present new challenges to established practices of refugee representation, and demonstrate that the moments of antagonism called for in the literature already exist within mainstream advocacy organisations. Similarly, the narratives shared by asylum seeker/refugee informants challenge established representations of refugee-hood, in both mainstream and advocacy practices, providing rich and diverse images of themselves which go beyond representations of 'mute victims'. These cracks, these moments of ethical antagonism, suggest new ways forward for refugee advocacy. Importantly, even within mainstream services, these are live issues for their members. The challenge is to make them visible.
Supervisor: Leudar, Ivan; Wilkinson, Raymond Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Refugee ; Advocacy ; Asylum Seeker ; Mental Health ; Ethnomethodology ; Membership Categorisation Analysis