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Unpacking the micro-macro nexus: narratives of suffering and hope among refugees from Burma recently settled in Australia

Brough, Mark K., Schweitzer, Robert, Shakespeare-Finch, Jane E., Vromans, Lyn, & King, Julie A. (2013) Unpacking the micro-macro nexus: narratives of suffering and hope among refugees from Burma recently settled in Australia. Journal of Refugee Studies, 26(2), pp. 207-225.

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Abstract

Narratives of forced migration are open to a variety of interpretations. In mental health, refugee narratives of arduous journeys in the face of systemic macro socio-political forces are often transformed from this context into a medicalized micro context of inner individual worlds. Both the dominant pathogenic lens of trauma studies and the growing salutogenic lens embodied in resilience research, often reflect a western cultural idiom of focusing on the individualized nature of these phenomena. Using qualitative data collected from refugees from Burma now settling in Australia, the article emphasizes the need for a more reflexive and expansive account of both suffering and hope within refugee narratives. It recounts these narratives within a conceptual framework which acknowledges the importance of the connections between the micro individual experience and the macro, socio-political context. This is not only a question of political principle, but also a matter of listening to the voice of those who know most about the relationship between macro forces of human rights violations and their impact on individual, family and community trajectories.

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ID Code: 53406
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: First published online: August 27, 2012
Keywords: Burma, Australia, Refugees, Mental Health
DOI: 10.1093/jrs/fes025
ISSN: 1471-6925
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > ANTHROPOLOGY (160100) > Social and Cultural Anthropology (160104)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The Authors
Deposited On: 31 Aug 2012 08:48
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2014 09:57

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