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The meaning of home for Karen and Chin refugees from Burma: An interpretative phenomenological approach

Rosbrook, Bernadette & Schweitzer, Robert (2010) The meaning of home for Karen and Chin refugees from Burma: An interpretative phenomenological approach. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 12(2), pp. 159-172.

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Abstract

Loss of home is common to all people from a refugee background yet we have little understanding of the diversity of meaning associated with this important concept. A phenomenological approach was used to explore experiences of home amongst Karen and Chin refugees residing in Brisbane. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine participants from Karen and Chin backgrounds. The participants comprised five females and four males (mean age 40 years, median length of time in Australia 1.33 years). Participants described their migration stories, including pre- and post-migration history. Analysis was conducted using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three superordinate themes, explicating the meaning of home for participants, were identified: home as the experience of a psychological space of safety and retreat; home as the socio-emotional space of relatedness to family; and home as geographical-emotional landscape. Loss of home was experienced as a multidimensional loss associated with emotional and physical disturbances. These findings, based upon a phenomenological paradigm, enhance understanding of the experience of being a refugee and of the suffering engendered by loss of home. They open up the possibility for conceptualizing refugee responses in terms of human suffering and meaning making.

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ID Code: 43253
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Refugee, Home, Trauma, Burma, Psychoanalytic, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
DOI: 10.1080/13642537.2010.488876
ISSN: 1364-2537
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > ANTHROPOLOGY (160100) > Social and Cultural Anthropology (160104)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > PHILOSOPHY (220300) > Phenomenology (220310)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: 2010 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 13 Jul 2011 13:10
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2012 20:25

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