From refugee to good citizen: A discourse analysis of volunteering

Davidson, Sarah, Yap, Su Yin and Byrne, Angela (2011) From refugee to good citizen: A discourse analysis of volunteering. Journal of Refugee Studies, 24 (1). pp. 157-170. ISSN Online: 1471-6925 ; Print 0951-6328 Full text available

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This paper is concerned with how refugees who work as volunteers with a refugee organization talk about themselves and their work. A Foucauldian Discourse Analytic approach is employed in order to explore how participants construct themselves as both refugees and volunteers, the discourses they draw on, and how this impacts on the possible ways-of-being open to refugees. The findings indicate a meta discourse of good citizen; volunteering was constructed as a technology of self, a way of transforming the refugee into a ‘good citizen’. Volunteering was also seen as a way of preparing for entry into the labour market and a means of self-improvement.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: First published online November 29, 2010
Uncontrolled Keywords: Foucauldian Discourse Analysis
Subjects: Race and Culture > Refugees
Department/People: Special Units

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