Refugees as troubled learners in troubling times Integrated Threat Theory and the education for diversity policy in the UK.

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Henry Asei Kum


This paper addresses the policy of education for diversity that seeks to facilitate refugee integration. The integrationist theory considers that a culturally homogenous society could be created as a result of immigrants adapting and changing their ways sufficiently to fit in with the host culture. Using qualitative data from refugee students from the UK, the paper adopts integrated threat theory as an analytical tool to interrogate the perceptions of refugee students as they try to ‘fit’ in UK schools. Findings indicate that refugee students identify perceived threats in their daily interactions with host community students. The study concludes that the restrictive migration trajectories, a hostile transitional climate, and some right wing anti-immigration discourse create a climate of suspicion, alienation leading to actual experiences of refugee racism. Integrated threat theory therefore offers a useful insight into understanding these differences in group dynamics between refugee learners and their hosts and how this affects the implementation of intercultural interaction.


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Kum, H. A. (2020). Refugees as troubled learners in troubling times: Integrated Threat Theory and the education for diversity policy in the UK . International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 8(10), 126-144.


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