‘Lost Voices’: The targeted hostility experienced by new arrivals
thesisposted on 25.11.2020, 23:30 by Amy L. Clarke
This thesis explores the ‘everyday’ lived realities of new immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees who experience a wide range of targeted victimisation, and highlights the emotional and behavioural impacts of those experiences on victims and the wider immigrant population. The study employs the concept of ‘super-diversity’ and develops an original empirical approach to exploring the racism, discrimination and targeted hostility experienced by new arrivals through this lens. This thesis provides a platform for the ‘hidden’ voices of particularly new arrivals from socially, culturally, economically and ethnically broad backgrounds to be heard and acknowledged in all their complexity. In particular, the research focuses on the ‘everyday’ incidents of microaggressions and infrequently discussed ‘micro-crimes’ that range from being insulted and ignored to harassment and threats of violence. By moving away from dominant, decades old perceptions of ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ and official definitions of hate crime, this research develops scope to ensure that the everyday experiences of people targeted because of their perceived nationality, legal status or ‘foreign’ identity are also captured. The study adopts a qualitative, flexible and reflexive approach that draws from interviews with new arrivals, participant observation and the supplementary use of ‘imaginative’ and non-conventional methods of data collection. The findings of this study highlight the pervasive nature of both direct and indirect targeted victimisation of new arrivals perpetrated by both White British residents and by members of the same or different ethnic minority community. The findings also reveal the importance of perceived ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ space, feelings of belonging and freedom of identity in shaping new arrivals’ sense of happiness in their host society. The findings also demonstrate how structural racism, discrimination and exclusion all serve to limit and restrict the opportunities and social mobility of new arrivals which ultimately has significant implications for their chances of wider, meaningful integration.