Opportunities and Limitations for Collective Resistance Arising from Volunteering by Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Northern England

Tom Vickers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article asks whether volunteering by refugees and asylum seekers holds potential to foster collective resistance to the British state’s increasingly punitive asylum policies. It draws on research that included four organizational case studies and in-depth qualitative interviews with refugees and asylum seekers volunteering in a city in Northern England, and analyses this data using inter-related concepts of contradiction, hegemony and social capital. This research found that volunteering by refugees and asylum seekers had potential to contribute to cohesive social blocs that might form a basis for resistance, yet also exhibited tendencies to divide refugees and encourage individualised forms of action, which reinforced a subordinate position for the majority. The article concludes that realizing the potential of voluntary activity as a basis for collective resistance to the state’s asylum policies may require it to be combined with political education and organization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-454
JournalCritical Sociology
Volume42
Issue number3
Early online date2 Jun 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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