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Natalie Slade

Doctor of Philosophy, (Development Studies)
Study Completed: 2019
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
(De)constructing 'refugeeness': Exploring mediated discourses of hospitality, welcome and refugee (self)representation in New Zealand

The 2015 refugee crisis created a groundswell of public support and compassion around the world for those seeking refuge. In New Zealand, media commentators urged the government to increase the annual refugee quota and welcome in more refugees. Although driven by humanitarian concern, discourses of solidarity and welcome stereotype refugees as vulnerable victims who need to be saved. These stereotypes can have long-term implications for successful resettlement, with former refugees finding it difficult to shed the 'refugee' label and be accepted as New Zealanders. Ms Slade critically analysed the relationship between discourses of solidarity, national identity, and refugee representation in the mainstream media, and explored notions of belonging and identity among former refugees in New Zealand. She found that while refugees may be labelled in certain ways, they use their agency to contest and transform these discourses, creating space for the construction of their own identities in the process.

Dr Sharon McLennan
Associate Professor Juliana Mansvelt