Limbo: A Virtual Experience Of Waiting For Asylum.
From a psychological perspective, work with refugees and asylum seekers is often undertaken in the context of hostile media coverage, which has exploited the rhetoric used in the ‘war on terror’ to conflate terrorism with asylum, and in the context of a stream of punitive government policies and widespread public fear and resentment towards asylum seekers. The political context of this work is riddled with the complexities of domestic and international legislation, rapidly changing and tightening government policies, limited resources and professional pressures to conform to traditional psychological models of service delivery. Arguably, psychology, as theorised and practised in the West reflects the experiences and the worldviews of those with Western backgrounds and risks being overgeneralised and uncritically applied to those with differing backgrounds, including asylum seekers and refugees. However well intentioned, psychological practice in this field requires continued scrutiny of its ethnocentricism, as well as needing to take into account current philosophical, legal and sociological debates on human rights and their implications for psychology. This short article with its accompanying 9 minutes video clip gives some perspective from an asylum seeker’s view.
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