Addressing societal discourses: negotiating an employable identity as a former refugee
journal contributionposted on 2021-11-09, 21:09 authored by Emily GreenbankEmily Greenbank, Meredith MarraMeredith Marra
This paper explores a critical area of refugee resettlement, namely securing stable, desirable employment in host nations. When telling their ‘narratives of flight’, our analytic focus, refugees demonstrate discursive agency and identities that conflict with a societal stereotype of vulnerability and helplessness that employers might expect. Insights suggest opportunities for new ways of supporting former refugees to find appropriate employment in a context in which their agency may be constrained and their strengths overlooked. This includes challenges to wider societal discourses and a two-way strategy where onus is placed on ‘hosts’ as much as on newcomers.