Identity

Symbolic boundaries; identity and super-diversity; belonging

Refugee for sale? A multi-methodological research project on international refugee organizations’ public communication strategies towards the Syrian and Central African displacement crises (2011-2018)​

Description: While the world is currently facing one of modern times’ worst refugee crises, many countries are implementing restrictive refugee policies. Hence, public communication has become essential for refugee organizations' operations. As (international) refugee organizations significantly contribute to the public perception on refugees, this project critically investigates their public communication strategies towards the recent Syrian and Central African crises. We pay particular attention to (1) the production process by means of interviews with refugee organizations, (2) the practices of representing refugees, and (3) the reception of this communication by citizens, refugees and journalists. Apart from its topical nature and relevance for a better understanding of the political, economic and cultural dimensions involved in these organizations' public communication, this project provides a significant empirical contribution to key debates in the field of international communication.
Promoter(s): Stijn Joye
Researcher(s): David Ongenaert
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Period of time: 2017 - 2022

Space, Place, Identity, Mobilities, Minoritiy Politics, History of Geographic Thought

Description: My research centers around space, identity, minorities, and mobilities in general. I have specifically written on Muslim minorities in the United States and Europe, minorities in Turkey, and history of geographic thought. I am particularly interested in the role of place in constructing identities, drawing boundaries and maintaining differences. Uneven power relations are at the center of my analysis. I believe that without understanding power relations and the role of place in power struggles, one cannot fully understand the contextuality, contingency and complexity of mobility, space and identity. Discourses produced, policies formed, narratives and memories created reflect complex power relations. The power to define, to draw boundaries, to dominate, to resist, to create and maintain differences is a central issue in mobilities and identities, whether it is immigration or emigration, integration or assimilation, reconciliation or alienation.
Promoter(s): Ilse Derluyn
Researcher(s): Ilhan Kaya
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2021 - 2022

Violence and the impact on well-being, health and identity in male migrants in transit zones in Belgium and France, on their way to the United Kingdom

Description: After entering the European mainland, an increasing amount of refugees continues their journey to the United Kingdom by crossing the English Channel. In the media, these men and boys are often displayed as being dangerous, undesirable and a threat to society. As a result of such gender stereotypes, they are perceived as less vulnerable when compared to women and children. Yet, each individual affected by forced displacement is inevitably exposed to adversities at different levels. Therefore, our research project (2021-2025) aims to gain deeper understanding about the impact of adversities, including violence, during transit on the health, wellbeing and gender identity of this mobile population in Belgium and France. Ultimately, the findings of the study will generate policy recommendations and response strategies for practice.
Promoter(s): Ines Keygnaert , Ilse Derluyn , Massil Benbouriche , Caroline Desombre
Researcher(s): Leni Linthout
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences , Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2021 - 2025