On being there to help: A critical reflection on discourse and something post modern for the social inclusion of refugee communities

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Psychology and Social Science




Guilfoyle, A. (2009). On being there to help: A critical reflection on discourse and something postmodern for the social inclusion of refugee communities. Tamara Journal of Critical Organisation Inquiry, 8(1/2), 146. Available here


Analyzing discourses is potentially a very powerful method for social research, and any such analysis should have a powerful voice, but to be truly powerful it must be able to have something to contribute towards policy. In this paper I reflect on discourse analysis broadly and how it might engage policy makers more fully. The paper suggests why policy-makers in Western nations might not listen to, or resist the demonstration of how discursive forces shape their experiences and indeed their understanding of the plight of refugees. This problem can be traced to Western society's reliance on a discourse of modernism which conflicts with policy-makers need to critically examine issues of inclusion, racism and integration as a result of large refugee intakes. As analysts we need to make sure we too move to something postmodern, and rather than a broad attack on policy-makers we need to find a way to engage new inclusive discourses to unpack discursive instances in local settings in a collaborative fashion and allow a space for policy-makers to not only read and act on the discursive research findings, but engage in the very tenets of social 'constructionism'. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

Access Rights