Moving beyond 'refugeeness': problematising the 'refugee community organisation'

Piacentini, T. (2012) Moving beyond 'refugeeness': problematising the 'refugee community organisation'. TSRC Working Paper Series, 85,

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This paper explores processes of change and development within asylum seeker and refugee-led associations in Glasgow. I argue that adopting a life-cycle approach to association emergence and continuity (Werbner 1991a: 15) provides a more rounded and sophisticated understanding of not only the factors giving rise to such groups, but also of processes of change within groups. By problematising the ‘refugee community organisation’ label, I suggest that the focus on ‘refugeeness’ fails to attend to internal diversity, specifically relating to changing and differentiated immigration status within such associations. Exploring an externally constructed fictive unity using Werbner’s framework provides one way to challenge these effects. Rather than see this framework as made up of linear stages, I argue that groups move through and between stages of associative empowerment, ideological convergence and mobilisation simultaneously and that features differentiating stages may be co-present. This paper is relevant for policy-makers, practitioners and third sector organisations and can aid thinking about how to move beyond labels in approaching broader questions, practices and experiences of ‘settlement’, integration, belonging and social cohesion.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:RCOs, refugeeness, community groups, sustainability, settlement and integration
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Piacentini, Dr Teresa
Authors: Piacentini, T.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Creativity Culture and Faith
Research Group:Third Sector Resource Centre
Journal Name:TSRC Working Paper Series
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 TSRC
First Published:First published in TSRC Working Paper Series no. 85
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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