Collective Resistance as a Means to Healing. a Collective Narrative Participatory Project With Black and Ethnic Minority LGBT Refugee & Asylum-Seeking People

Prof Doc Thesis

Papadopoulos, S. 2020. Collective Resistance as a Means to Healing. a Collective Narrative Participatory Project With Black and Ethnic Minority LGBT Refugee & Asylum-Seeking People. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsPapadopoulos, S.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

The number of people in exile is rising. Forced migrant populations often navigate treacherous journeys, experiences of losses, and hostile realities in reception countries. Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) refugee and asylum-seeking people present with special psychological and socio-economico-political challenges; yet little is still known about how services can support their healing. Existing literature investigating resilience and wellbeing cartographies in this population is sparse and has neglected to examine collective understandings of resources, alongside the performative aspects of local resistances. Hoping to offer valuable insights into how we can all ethically stand by this population’s needs, this study endorsed a collective narrative participatory design, to explore collective ways of resisting oppression amongst BME LGBT refugee and asylum-seeking people, through concerning itself with how such stories can be constitutive of healing.
A social constructionist epistemology was appropriated. Purposeful sampling procedures were pursued in collaboration with a London-based charitable organisation to locate suitable participants. Data comprised participants’ story-telling, as captured over two sequences: individual and collective. Story-telling was aided through the co-construction of a novel metaphor: ‘The Passport of Life’. ‘Narrative Analysis’ was employed for the processing of the data, the direction of which was co-shaped with participants.
Findings indicate that participants’ (collective) story-telling is crafted as a site for resistances to emerge and be re-affirmed. Resistance pathways are inextricably linked to participants’ diverse subjectivities, reflecting respective opportunities and constraints. Participants’ narrativisation of their intersectional subjectivities mirrors their multiple contextual realities and is indicative of an ‘ever-becoming’ process that challenges the fixedness of borders and dominant western identity conventions. Healing is constituted as a dynamic process, bound by discursive and physical configurations of spaces of togetherness and belonging, which have re-definitional, hope-inducing, and social justice properties. The results also support the use of participatory, narrative, and creative means (e.g. metaphors) for expanding people’s (untold) stories and supporting opportunities for healing and social justice.

KeywordsLGBT; refugee; asylum-seeker; sexual minority; forced migration; resilience; wellbeing; resistance
PublisherUniversity of East London
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online01 Oct 2020
Publication process dates
SubmittedMay 2020
Deposited01 Oct 2020
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