- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The aspects and meanings of citizenship
- 2 Personal lives
- 3 Social policy and citizenship
- 4 Refugees, asylum seekers and citizenship
- 5 Citizenship, identity and belonging
- 6 Citizenship and access to welfare
- 7 Citizenship as ‘participation in social life’
- 8 Knowledge and evidence
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 Further resources
from The Open University
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Who counts as a refugee?
The words ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ have a wide variety of connotations in Britain,...
The words ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ have a wide variety of connotations in Britain, many of them negative. This unit explores how changing social policy and terminology help to shape, and are shaped by, the experiences of people seeking asylum in the UK.
By the end of this unit you should understand:
- changing constructions of ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’ over the last century;
- ways in which the study of refugees and asylum seekers raises profound questions about the basis and legitimacy of claims for ‘citizenship’;
- how the personal lives of refugees and asylum seekers have been shaped by social policy that constructs them as ‘other’;
- how refugees and asylum seekers have negotiated and resisted these effects and themselves shaped social policy;
- how ‘knowledge’ about refugees and asylum seekers is produced and reproduced through research;
- how poststructuralist, feminist and postcolonial theoretical perspectives address some of the issues listed above.
DD305: Who counts as a refugee?
This unit explores the dynamic interrelationships between citizenship, personal lives and social policy for people who have fled their country of origin seeking asylum in the UK.
This unit is an adapted extract from the course