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Narrations of Belonging and Unbelonging of Refugee Women in Geneva

Estelle Gagnebin

Annex: interview guide

Texte intégral

1The method I used for the interview is the biographical narrative interview which entails three steps (Rosenthal, 1993: 60), first one is to ask a broad question regarding the person’s life history and let the person talk. Afterwards, I asked narrative questions on topics and biographical themes mentioned before. Finally (possibly during a second interview) I asked some specific questions about issues that have not been addressed.

  • 1st part: I would like you to tell me about your life in general but especially your journey to Geneva and experiences when arriving here. I am interested in your experiences of inclusion/exclusion and how you dealt with them (what did you do for overcoming difficulties, what helped you and how ….).

Concepts: the experiences of exclusion/inclusion should explain what kind of boundaries they experienced, and their reactions should show the processes of boundaries-breaking (or other processes to overcome those boundaries), probably related to the negotiation of their different identities (and consequently should reveal their various social locations)

  • Follow up questions about details or issues not mentioned (here are some examples of themes that might need to be addressed later on):

  • How were your first encounters with the swiss society? What kind of difficulties but also assistances, helps have you found in Geneva?

  • Do you feel accepted in the Swiss society? Do you feel that you can participate within the society?

  • Boundaries they experienced and processes of boundary work + local contexts

  • Informal membership and belonging

  • Do you feel like you belong to Geneva and to the Swiss society? What does it mean for you to belong somewhere and to belong to the Geneva society? What were the difficulties and opportunities, how did you create a feeling of belonging?

  • Belonging or not to the Swiss society and processes (negotiation of identities and boundaries work) in relation to

  • Following the same idea, what does it mean being integrated somewhere and being integrated in the Geneva society?

  • Same idea of belonging but with different words.

  • What has changed for you since you arrived in Geneva? Regarding the person you are, your friends and families, your encounters with the social world.

  • Processes tied to their identities and feeling of belonging and the changes over time

  • Did you keep links with your families, relatives back home? Was it a support, help or a burden when arriving in Geneva? How and why?

  • Transnational feeling of belonging


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