Integration and urban citizenship: A social-psychological approach to refugee integration through active constructions of place attachment to the city

Zisakou, Anastasia; Figgou, Lia and Andreouli, Eleni (2023). Integration and urban citizenship: A social-psychological approach to refugee integration through active constructions of place attachment to the city. Political Psychology [Early Access].

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12919

Abstract

The current research explores refugee integration through the analysis of active constructions of everyday life in Greek cities. It draws from critical social and political psychology literature that explores spatial aspects of intergroup relations and developments in citizenship and migration studies. For the purposes of the study, 25 walking interviews with refugees from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, and Syria were conducted in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki. Interviews were analyzed with tools and concepts of critical discursive social psychology. Analysis indicated three main repertoires related to corresponding space nuclei: “city squares and surrounding areas as minorities' spatial nuclei,” “political spaces as urban enclaves of belonging,” and “neighborhoods as un/familiar places.” Each of these broader compounds represented different people–place dynamics and presupposed different citizenship constructions and claims. These constructions entailed different ways of positioning oneself and others and constituted the ground for redefining integration based on local experiences and multilevel connections with urban networks. Drawing on these findings, the article proposes to reconsider integration through the concept of urban citizenship to explore everyday politics of intergroup relations in contexts of migration.

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