Strangers in strange lands: discourse, risk, liquidity

The concept of the stranger derives from Simmel’s short text (1950 [1908]). lt was developed by significant sociologists (Wood, Schutz, Park), and is still fruitful with contemporary contributions (McLemore 1970; Bauman 2004; Skoric 2013). This notion can become vital to the research of the refugees’ issue. Here, we will analyze the refugees’ sensation of their situation, along with risks and liquidity in social and urban space. As risk is distributed in the modernization process, hazards and potential threats have been unleashed to an extent previously unknown (Beck 1992, 19). Refugees face the liquid modern culture of disengagement, discontinuity, and forgetting (Bauman 2004, 117). This study aims to analyze the discourse that refugees convey to interviews and stories. These texts are posted on international organizations’ websites (UNHCR, lOM). Discourse analysis is applied in order to examine aspects of the concept of the stranger in refugees interaction, clashes, adaptations, solidarity actions. The narratives are not neutral reflections of the world but play an active role in order to create and change our identities, social interactions, societies (Jørgensen and Phillips 2002). lt will be interesting to examine the way in which narratives are reflected in different practices, shaped by and shape these practices and also produce new narratives (De Fina and Johnstone 2015). This combination of methodologies and material will result in a deeper knowledge about the sensation that refugees form. lt is the first time that refugees’ stories are linked with the Sociology of the stranger. Applying discourse analysis is also vital in order to examine the subjective view of the refugees, their risks and uncertainties, and to reconstruct relationships in the uncertainty of cities and camps.

Parole chiave: sociology of the stranger, refugee narrative, discourse analysis, social space, risk and liquidity


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