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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.
- 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
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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
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 13th July 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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