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Narratives of Service Provision: A Dialogical Perspective on the ‘Support’ of Asylum Seekers

Brown, Philip (2005) Narratives of Service Provision: A Dialogical Perspective on the ‘Support’ of Asylum Seekers. In: Narrative, Memory & Everyday Life. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 199-210.

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      Abstract

      This chapter focuses upon some of the narratives of housing and ‘support’
      service provision set against the backdrop of the support of asylum seekers in
      the United Kingdom. Since 1999 specific asylum seeker support teams have
      been established within a number of local authorities throughout the UK
      contracted to the Home Office to provide housing and social support to
      destitute asylum seekers. Currently, the regions of the UK, operate within a
      national legislative arena led by the Home Office whilst simultaneously
      negotiating the local expectations of local ‘communities’. From this position
      these professionals are required to fulfil a range of often seemingly conflictual
      and contradictory roles including among others, housing provider, social carer,
      informal immigration control and community liaison. In recent research Sales
      and Hek (2004) have raised the issue of the tension that they perceive exists in
      the work of these professionals with asylum seekers between the ‘care’ of
      asylum seekers and the ‘control’ required by national legislation and policy.
      However, rather than professionals performing a ‘balancing’ between these
      seemingly ‘conflictual’ roles, as suggested by Sales and Hek (2004), what this
      chapter suggests is something that resonates with the Bakhtinian notion of
      ‘polyphony’ (Bakhtin, 1984). From this perspective the roles and duties of an
      asylum support professional are not approached from a position where a
      professional has to weigh up between the performance of either one role or
      another, where an individual worker can only fulfil these caring and controlling
      roles at separate times. Rather, it is recognised that roles and duties can be
      deployed equally and simultaneously where professionals can be both caring
      and at the same time controlling. What this chapter would like to suggest is
      that such simultaneous performance of a number of roles appears to enable the
      emergence of a seemingly unproblematic ‘multi-voiced’ worker that
      successfully negotiates between care, control, community, integration, and
      segregation and a variety of other positions and discourse.

      Item Type: Book Chapter
      Additional Information: Copyright for chapters remain with individual authors at all times and permission should be sought from the author for any reproduction other than for personal use.
      Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
      B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
      Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > Narrative and Memory Research Group > Narrative and Memory Research Group Annual Conference
      School of Human and Health Sciences
      Related URLs:
      Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
      Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2009 14:37
      Last Modified: 30 Jul 2010 14:12
      URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/4953

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