Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 28 Issue 3 (May/June 2018), Pages 109-187

“It's ok if it's hidden”: The discursive construction of everyday racism for refugees and asylum seekers in Wales (pages 111-122)

Abstract

Wales has a long history of migration; however, the introduction of dispersed asylum seekers in 2001 has led to Wales becoming a more superdiverse nation. Wales has often been positioned as a more “tolerant nation” than England; however, the increasingly superdiverse nature of Wales in a postdevolution era may now be calling this tolerance thesis into question. Models of refugee and asylum seeker integration suggest that the absence of racism plays a key role in integration. This paper reports the findings of research that centres on refugee and asylum seeker integration in Wales. Nineteen interviews were conducted with refugees and asylum seekers who had been living in Wales for between 1 month and 12 years. Each interview was analysed using a discursive psychology approach. In this paper, I show that the interviewees appeared to negotiate a dilemma when talking about experiencing potentially racist incidents within the interviews, constructing them as trivial so as not to appear critical of the protection they have received in Wales. The findings also highlight the more everyday and banal forms of racism that are regularly experienced by refugees and asylum seekers living in Wales.

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