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Asylum-seeking migration, identity-building and social cohesion: policy-making vs. social action for cultural recognition


  • Amadu Wurie Khan


This article considers two UK government policies, which are aimed at immigrants' assimilation around an 'imagined' Britishness and at managing multiculturalism and social cohesion. It specifically argues that the policies are an attempt by 'new governmentality' at identity-building of a homogeneous British cultural identity and the governance of multiculturalism in the contemporary western state. It considers asylum seekers/refugees' alternative forms of identity-building through proactive social actions to demonstrate that immigrants are capable of resisting governmentality's 'assimilationist' agenda. It is argued that asylum seekers/refugees' identity-building practices constitute a process of 'disidentification'. Further, it demonstrates that racialised minorities are capable of managing public anxiety about asylum-seeking migration as posing a threat to social cohesion and multiculturalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Amadu Wurie Khan, 2014. "Asylum-seeking migration, identity-building and social cohesion: policy-making vs. social action for cultural recognition," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 285-297, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:9:y:2014:i:3:p:285-297
    DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2012.682087

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