Handbook of Research Methods in Migration
Show Less

Handbook of Research Methods in Migration

Edited by Carlos Vargas-Silva

Covering both qualitative and quantitative topics, the expert contributors in this Handbook explore fundamental issues of scientific logic, methodology and methods, through to practical applications of different techniques and approaches in migration research.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 19: Using Qualitative Research Methods in Migration Studies: A Case Study of Asylum Seekers Fleeing Gender-based Persecution

Connie Oxford


Connie Oxford This chapter outlines the strengths and limitations of using qualitative research methods in migration studies. Its focus is a case study of asylum seekers who sought refuge in the United States from gender-based persecution. Gender-based persecution includes harm such as female circumcision, domestic violence, rape, coercive family planning, forced marriage, honor killings, and repressive social norms. In this chapter, I draw from my fieldwork experiences. I discuss the research design and how the research questions were formed, entrée into the field, which qualitative methods were used in various settings and which ones were not and why, and the challenges of working with vulnerable populations.1 The research for this project was done in Los Angeles, California from 2001–03 and in New York City, New York from 2009–10. The qualitative methods used in this study were in-depth interviews with asylees, immigration officials, such as asylum officers and immigration judges, immigration attorneys, immigrant service providers, and human rights organization employees and activists; observations of immigration court asylum hearings; participant observation with immigrant service organizations and human rights groups; and content analysis of documents such as asylum applications. The interviews and observations of immigration court hearings from New York City provide comparative data, a valuable feature for understanding migration that is uncommon in qualitative studies in general. In this chapter, I discuss how qualitative methods reveal the nuances of how geographic location affects the process of seeking asylum in the United States from gender-based harm. The culmination of the...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.