Smith, Kate (2017) Women, asylum and resistance: A feminist narrative approach to making sense of stories. In: Feminist narrative research: Opportunities and challenges. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 179-202. ISBN 978-1137485670

In this chapter, I draw on an ESRC funded research that I conducted with women seeking asylum in the UK. Taking a narrative approach and drawing on feminist perspectives I examine the dominant narratives that influence particular stories told about people seeking asylum and I look at some of the ways women draw on broader narratives to construct their own stories. Inspired by the stories of the women in this study and drawing on nuanced concepts of ‘resistance’, this chapter offers a narrative framework of resistance for better making sense of the different stories of women seeking asylum. I suggest that adopting a feminist narrative approach can allow us to make sense of how and why women might tell their stories in relation to particular dominant narratives. Central to this chapter is the assertion that that feminist narrative approaches to research should not merely listen to women’s stories but rather explore the opportunities and constraints of narratives that might liberate or limit the stories told.

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