Belongings Beyond Borders: Reflections of Young Refugees on Their Relationships with Location

Article


Muir, Jessica and Gannon, K. 2015. Belongings Beyond Borders: Reflections of Young Refugees on Their Relationships with Location. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology.
AuthorsMuir, Jessica and Gannon, K.
Abstract

Young separated refugees are exiled from familiar places and on seeking asylum encounter
new, potentially alienating, places. Yet, there is limited research regarding the effects of
location on the psychological experiences of young separated refugees. This study explores
the relationships that young adults who arrived in the UK as separated refugees have with
the spaces that they inhabit and the consequences of these. It draws on qualitative interviews
with young men from Iraq and Afghanistan who are living in London. Four key themes
emerged from the analysis. Participants felt frustrated in bureaucratic settings where
processes of labelling and physical manipulation prevented their sense of subjectivity from
being expressed. Certain community spaces offered a rich range of support. Micro-spaces of
belonging and embodied processes of exploration in the wider community were also reported
to be psychologically beneficial. The themes suggest that considerations of young separated
refugees’ relations to place may provide alternative psychological understandings of their
experiences, particularly in relation to concepts such as trauma. Policy implications related
to immigration control and the benefits of community projects are highlighted.

JournalJournal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
ISSN10529284
Year2015
PublisherWiley
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/casp.2260
Publication dates
Online14 Sep 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Oct 2015
Accepted07 Aug 2015
Copyright informationThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Belongings Beyond Borders: Reflections of Young Refugees on Their Relationships with Location, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/casp.2260. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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