PurposeUsing the holistic approach to migrant exclusion, the purpose of this paper is to examine the refugee crisis as a preparation stage for future exclusion in the host countries. In previous migration analyses, the preparation stage involved only the country of origin, where people were becoming acclimatized to casual and low-status work and an ethos of survival. In the refugee crisis, this important stage spans across three spaces: the country of origin, Turkey as an intermediate stage and the hotspots of Greece.Design/methodology/approachThis is a qualitative research that was based on 22 semi-structured interviews with refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan who live in the hotspot of Moria which is situated in Lesvos, Greece.FindingsThe research shows that in the first two countries of the preparation stage, refugees have become accustomed to casual and low-status jobs, which results in the loss of their labor identity and the development of instrumental work orientations. Similarly, the living conditions at the hotspots are so problematic that refugees are becoming desperate to escape this environment. These can have serious consequences for integration in the host countries, as refugees become pacified and at the same time strongly inclined to enter casual and low-status employment. Both developments can drastically undermine the refugees’ relation to the societies of the host countries.Originality/valueThe paper suggests that, given the preparation stage in these three settings, migration policy in the host countries should focus on recognizing long marginalization processes, immediately decongesting the hotspots and pay particular emphasis on the acknowledgment or creation of skills that can distance refugees from casual and low-status work.
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 9, 2018
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