Agency, identity, power, refugee, asylum
This article explores the negotiation of subject positions, identities, and their recognition. It develops a theoretical model of identity and recognition, which is applied to the exemplar of a young Palestinian woman negotiating the refugee recognition process in Ireland. The paper is divided into five parts, as follows: (1) methodology; (2) a theorisation of subject positions, identity, and recognition based upon the work of Austin, Barnes, Davies and Harré, Butler, Foucault, Giddens, Goffman, Heidegger, Jenkins, and Searle; (3) the application of these perspectives to the complex performance of identity in a cross-cultural context; (4) the negotiation of the subject position asylum seeker; and (5) short conclusion-cum-epilogue. What emerges is that social actors occupy multiple conflicting subject positions; they are structurally constrained by others’ perceptions and refusals of recognition, thus frequently affirming subject positions that are contrary to their own desired identity-construction.