Previous research on the integration of asylum seekers and refugees has aimed to develop conceptual frameworks for understanding integration or to measure the extent to which people are integrated. However, this research tends to pay insufficient attention to the rhetorical functions of integration discourse. The current study addresses this gap through a discursive analysis of ‘lay’ accounts of asylum seeker and refugee integration in Glasgow, Scotland. The analysis highlights that accounts of integration ‘failure’ may support ‘two-way’ conceptions of integration while still blaming asylum seekers for any lack of integration. Furthermore, accounts of integration ‘success’ may reinforce assimilationist policies or otherwise function to reinforce the view that adult asylum seekers generally do not integrate. The analysis highlights the importance of attending to the rhetorical functions of integration discourse in order to understand how particular policies and practices are supported or criticized at the community level at which integration takes place.
- refugee integration