Date of this Version
Published in The Counseling Psychologist 43:8 (2015), pp. 1114–1134 doi: 10.1177/0011000015606221
Refugees are often forced into states of imposed vulnerability in which loss is common and migration is normative. Karen refugees from Myanmar have endured a long civil war with the Burmese government, followed by their forced relocation to refugee camps and subsequent global resettlement. This phenomenological study aimed to understand the meanings ascribed to pre-resettlement stress among resettled Karen refugees. We interviewed six participants who were identified through purposeful sampling in a Karen refugee community. Using phenomenological analysis, we identified and interpreted 286 meaning units. The meaning units were then grouped into four themes: (a) Loss From Oppression, (b) Resignation and Acceptance in a Context of Regular Violence, (c) Ongoing Insecurity While Confined in Camps, and (d) Redefined Selfhood. The results provide a contextual understanding of the pre-resettlement stressors experienced by Karen refugees.
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