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Title: Exploring the complexity of the refugee experience : towards an embodied narration
Author: Zucca, Giulia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 6016
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2015
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The refugee predicament can be regarded as a complex phenomenon where aspects from the individual level and the socio-political context are closely connected. Despite the various outcomes that may derive from this experience, most specialized literature seems to focus only on the negative side. Also the dimension of the body, in connection with refugee issues, seems to be mostly regarded negatively, being mostly presented in the form of somatic symptoms and epidemiological ratings. Having found these trends in the refugee literature, this thesis investigated (a) the issue of complexity in refugees' verbal narratives, and (b) the impact of the body, as a story-telling resource for increasing narrative articulation. With a sample of 20 refugees, 2 semi-structured interviews were administered to each participant, 7-10 days apart. 14 individuals were located to the main group (MG), and 6 to the comparison group (CG). The first interview was identical for both groups and focused on verbal complexity. The second interview (MG) included a specific focus on the body, in the form of "nonverbal expressive/communicative behaviours" (i.e., movements, hand gestures, positions in space and facial expressions). The second interview for the CG was uniquely verbal. The collected data was analysed using a hybrid thematic analysis, that combined an inductive approach with a deductive one. The results seem to suggest that when refugees can 'speak with their own voice' (Temple and Morain 2011), they can narrate complex stories of their experience of forced migration. Resilient and positive elements can be acknowledged, alongside negative ones. Moreover, the body can be truly regarded as a resource for narration, especially when concrete/tangible events are reconstructed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology