Discursive Psychological Research on Refugees

  • Steve Kirkwood
  • Simon Goodman
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


As refugees are by definition people who have fled conflict, notions of peace and conflict are central to understanding arguments about their inclusion and exclusion. It will be argued that Discursive psychology is well suited for understanding these arguments. Discursive psychological research has illustrated how refugees, and their countries of origin, are constructed in ways that are linked with social and political responses to their situations. Therefore, the extent to which refugees’ countries of origin are presented as dangerous is central to the legitimacy of their claims for asylum. Asylum seekers’ and refugees’ accounts of violence—both in their countries of origin and in the host societies—can be understood as constituting their own identities and justifying their status as ‘real’ refugees. However, opponents of asylum seeking in host societies argue against the presence of refugees through presenting them as a ‘threat’ to peaceful relations in that society.


Asylum seekers Discursive psychology Peace psychology Racism Refugees 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Coventry UniversityCoventryUK

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