Migration Experiences and Narrative Identities: Viewing Alterity from Biographical Research

Elsa Lechner, Letícia Renault


This paper addresses the ethical challenge of hosting the stranger that is implicit in the work of biographical research with migrant populations. It analyses the tasks faced by this dialogical and narrative research that is put forward both in social sciences and the Humanities. Drawing from ethnographic work conducted among different groups, the paper presents the method of biographical workshops, in which voluntary participants bring or produce testimonies about their experiences as migrants. Another goal of the paper is to analyse the radical alterity at play in the narratives of migrants and refugees. Hospitality is here understood as an ethical and civic skill that human beings can develop as a response to the hostility characterizing the general tendency of migration policies for exclusion and surveillance. The Ricoeurian concept of narrative identity is used to examine the plasticity of alterity in the methodological context of biographical research among migrants and refugees.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/CH/3436

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Copyright (c) 2018 Elsa Lechner, Letícia Renault

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Creative Commons License              ISSN 2533-1825

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