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Telling stories of resistance and ruination: Women seeking asylum

Smith, Kate (2016) Telling stories of resistance and ruination: Women seeking asylum. Journal of Resistance Studies, 2 (2). pp. 33-64.

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This paper examines the relationships between narratives which have come to dominate in the twenty-first century about people seeking asylum and women’s stories of resistance and ruination. Identifying two narratives - the ‘hate figure’ and the ‘female victim’ – I develop understandings about some of the social, legal and historical contexts in which these narratives have come to dominate. Drawing on an ESRC project with women seeking asylum to explore some of the ways narratives can generate possibilities for some women, this paper also identifies how narratives can be deeply problematic for those who struggle to tell a story. Four analytical frameworks are used to make sense of how and why women tell their stories offering a critical theoretical engagement with the concepts of resistance and ruination. The analysis opens up a critical space that highlights the importance of resistive stories and consequently enriches our understanding of the diversity of forms of resistance. In doing so, I also explore how and why women might tell stories of ruination and some of the constraints placed on their stories. I position resistance as necessary for research processes that seek to disrupt and challenge the formation of dominant narratives. I argue for new and different narratives which accommodate some of the complexities and contradictions of women’s lives and open up the possibilities for women to tell their own diverse and different stories.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Kate Smith
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2016 15:04
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 16:41


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