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Researching refugee youth

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Hopkins, Dr Robin Finlay, Dr Matt Benwell



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


In this Doing geography guide, we discuss some of the ethical and methodological challenges of carrying out qualitative research with refugee and asylum-seeker youth in European cities.This is neither a guide to how to use specific research methods, nor is it a toolkit that explores the advantages or disadvantages of using specific methods over others. Instead, we consider some of the ethical, political, and methodological quandaries and challenges that have arisen in our research with young refugees and asylum seekers in the four European cities of Brussels, Amsterdam, Leipzig, and Newcastle upon Tyne. In each city, we have worked closely with arts and theatre groups, community organisations, language conversation classes and other groups; some of the insights referred to here draw from these collaborations.We provide examples of research encounters that worked well, and those where challenges arose, or queries and problems emerged. In some discussions, we deal with more practical insights that surfaced during fieldwork, whereas others are more of an open discussion. Hence, in some cases, the solutions were obvious, but in other cases they were not. We discuss how we worked through these contestations in an open and collaborative way.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Huizinga R, Hopkins P, De Backer M, Finlay R, Kirndörfer E, Kox M, Bastian J, Benwell MC, Felten P, Haack L, Hörschelmann K, van Liempt I

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Guides for Researchers

Year: 2022

Pages: 1-20

Print publication date: 08/08/2022

Online publication date: 08/08/2022

Acceptance date: 01/08/2022

Institution: Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers

Place Published: London


DOI: 10.55203/VCAT7733