Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

Co-construction and recontextualisation of asylum narratives

Ämne: Nordiska språk
Projektledare: Hanna Sofia Rehnberg
Startår: 2017
Projekttyp: Projekt

In this study, we examine narratives the way they are constructed in the interpreter mediated situation of asylum interviews and the way they are later recontextualized in written form in the Migration Agency’s legal documents. We follow 10–15 adult asylum seekers throughout the asylum seeking process and collect data, in form of audio and video recordings, from the investigation interviews in which they participate. We also collect the decision documents that accompany the interviews and we conduct research interviews with all the actors involved in the process. The applicants in this study come to Sweden from Russian speaking countries. The research focus lies on the co-construction of narratives by the applicant, the case officer, the translator and the legal advisor and the recontextualisation of the narrative from oral to written form. We are additionally interested in understanding how the applicant is positioned in the interview and the accompanying documents and how their identity is thus constructed in this process.

Finally, we look for all the involved actors’ attitudes regarding the asylum interview and the generated documentation. The co-construction of narratives is analytically approached through the lens of interactionism, narrative identity and positioning. A special emphasis is given on the role of the interpreter as a mediator in the interaction. We also use the concept of discourses as representations of social actions in order to examine the legal documents produced after the interview and to understand what happens in the process of recontextualisation from oral interaction to written text. Finally, we analyse our research interviews with the help of activity theory as a heuristic model and we look for the involved actors’ goals and mediated actions and how these influence the result of the interview. Aim of this project is to contribute with a deeper understanding of the asylum interview and to lead to an improved and fairer asylum process.

Final report - Hanna Sofia Rehnberg - Co-construction and recontextualisation of asylum narratives