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Telling the Right Story at the Right Time: women seeking asylum with stories of trafficking into the sex industry

Jobe, Alison

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Abstract

Exploring the (re)emergence of human trafficking as a global social problem, this article presents an analysis of asylum determinations where claims for Asylum and/or Humanitarian Protection included accounts of trafficking to the UK. The article traces the emergence of trafficking as a credible claim for refugee status and argues that this recognition was time-specific and story-specific. Trafficking victims were identified by the UK Home Office where a claimant’s narrative mirrored the narrowly defined female ‘sex trafficking victim’ presented in campaigns and fictional depictions of human trafficking in the early 21st century. Through an exploration of the work that trafficking stories did in establishing an ‘ideal’ trafficking victim in asylum determinations, this article illustrates how social problems and legal judgments can be profoundly shaped by situated and strategic storytelling. These findings develop an understanding of the social construction of, and relationships between, social conditions and micro-meso-macro narratives of identity.

Citation

Jobe, A. (2020). Telling the Right Story at the Right Time: women seeking asylum with stories of trafficking into the sex industry. Sociology, 54(5), 936-952. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038520932019

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 4, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 20, 2020
Publication Date Oct 1, 2020
Deposit Date May 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 21, 2020
Journal Sociology
Print ISSN 0038-0385
Electronic ISSN 1469-8684
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 54
Issue 5
Pages 936-952
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038520932019

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Advance online version This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).




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