7 October 2019

Money for research project on female Syrian refugees

© iStockphoto.com/dinosmichail
© iStockphoto.com/dinosmichail

Research shows that Syrian refugee women experience  the bureaucratic system of the Dutch immigration services (IND) significantly different than men. That is why a new research project, funded by the Gender and Diversity hub, analyses Syrian refugee women as data subjects in the bureaucratic system of the Dutch immigration service (IND), focusing on their personal responses to this process of screening and datafication.

The research combines a top-down (data system) perspective with a bottom-up (data subjects) perspective on the IND’s data system, producing alternative knowledges and representations to the stories of migration and integration in the Netherlands.

Data and stories of Syrian women

The project will gather data by making use of the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For the first time, GDPR offers data subjects the right to access the information that is collected about them, and to find out how this data is further handled and shared. By analysing this data and combining it with the stories of Syrian women who are in, or have been through the IND’s decision-making process, the project will make an important contribution to critical data studies, gender studies, legal studies and migration studies.

The use of GDPR in research

The proposed project will be one of the first of its kind using GDPR, the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation, as an integral part of its research methodology. Successful results could be valuable for future research in, for example, the fields of law, governance, policy, gender and media studies. In addition, it will increase the understanding of the situation of refugees that are in between their travels and building a new life, and are dependent upon an increasingly technological bureaucratic system that tries to fit their often traumatic and chaotic experiences into neatly categorized boxes.

Gender and Diversity hub

Prof Sandra Ponzanesi received seed money from Gender and Diversity for this project, in collaboration with Prof. Albert Meijer, Prof. Marco van Leeuwen and Gerwin van Schie MA. Araa Al Jaramami will carry out the research.