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This article proposes that people working with integration projects in Sweden are driven by a wish to help immigrants integrate into the host society.
Thousands of individuals each year seek refugee status and the question of who can be accepted requires politicians within democracies to seek a public mandate.
Unlike other socio-political categories individuals cannot self-identify as refugee; the category must be bureaucratically conferred.
The analysis uncovers an hegemonic social representation of humanitarianism indexing "the refugee" as the passive recipient of help framed by a public narrative diachronically frozen in the initial act of flight.
Three objectifying reification processes stabilize the category.
The article examines the narratives of collective belonging among two migrant groups, Somalis and post-enlargement Poles, who live in the London borough of Ealing (United Kingdom).
Sussex Centre For Migration Research Working Papers
In order to gain a better understanding of the processes of social identity formation, the article proposes a synthesis of a social identity approach, in particular the recent discursive developments in the field, with a political opportunity structure approach.
Established in 1997 as a University Centre of Research Excellence, the Sussex Centre for Migration Research draws together researchers from the disciplines of anthropology, development studies, economics, geography, law, political science, psychology and sociology.
The Centre is coordinator of the Development Research Centre on ‘Migration, Globalisation and Poverty’, a network funded by the UK Department for International Development that brings together researchers from Albania, Bangladesh, Ghana and Egypt.
Over the last decade, I have established a research programme focussed on how state institutional and policy approaches to migration and ‘integration’ shape migrants’ identification processes and life chances, often working within a cross-national comparative framework.
More recently, I have started an additional strand of research on retirement migration of Westerners to Thailand.