The research utilizes a multi-method research approach combining discourse analysis, semi-structured interviews, non-participant observation, and legal and case study analysis.
Drawing on discourse analysis, it will map how identity-based similarities and differences are constructed in homo- and heteronormative asylum practices and laws creating temporal socio-political spaces where rightlessness and rightfulness meet and converge. Such analysis involves the examination of secondary sources such as police and NGO reports of abuse of queer Muslim asylum seekers in refugee shelters and during immigration processes. Legal analysisof international and domestic asylum legislation and international and national newspaper articles will test European values of ‘tolerance’ through the looking glass of legal homo- and heteronormativity.
This project further deploys the technique of semi-structured interviews. During approx. 10 months of fieldwork in Germany, at least 30 in-depth interviews will be conducted with: LGBTQI+ and heterosexual Muslim asylum seekers and refugees; immigration and police – including LGBTQI officers; LGBTQI activists; gatekeepers of LGBTQI organizations; state policy makers (court officials, politicians); and staff at refugee camps in Berlin.
The study also deploys case study analysis based on individual’sinvolvement with the asylum process to explore the ways LGBTQI Muslims engage with Germany’s asylum system and their self-representations in terms of sexuality and religious affiliation.
Lastly, this project makes use of non-participant observation for gaining insights into the relationships amongst asylum seekers and between asylum seekers and immigration officers and/or LGBTQI gatekeepers. The goal is to understand the particular position of LGBTQI asylum seekers within the ‘community’ with which they are associated.
All the data is collected in accordance with existing EU legislation on Ethics and University of Bristol’s ethics policies.