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The experienced complexity of 'home' in migration: A psychosocial empirical investigation

Delgado da Silveira Ramos, Helena (2021) The experienced complexity of 'home' in migration: A psychosocial empirical investigation. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Throughout human history people have left their place of origin to live elsewhere. ‘Home’ is often a central tenet of analysis when considering the circumstances and experiences of ‘refugees’ and other ‘migrants’. However, ‘home’ is difficult to define as it encompasses different meanings and multiple elements, facets, layers and dimensions. These are differently prioritised by the many professional and academic fields that study ‘home’, contributing to its various conceptualisations. Research relating to ‘home’, in the context of the situation of ‘refugee’ and other ‘migrants’, has focussed in many aspects of ‘home’. Still, studies tend to separate people according to distinct categories of ‘migration’ -‘voluntary’ and ‘involuntary’/’forced’ -implicitly assuming that people’s experiences and meanings of ‘home’ are consequently different. Whilst not denying the potential differences of these types of ‘migration’, this study builds upon the existing research and literature, as well as, on the diversity of individual experiences, to explore how the perceptions and experiences of ‘home’ by ‘migrants’ may be interlinked with their experiences throughout the ‘migration process’, without resorting to categorical distinctions of ‘voluntary’ and ‘involuntary’/’forced’ ‘migration’. The participants’ accounts were gathered through semi-structured interview and an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach was used for analysis of the data collected. The findings support the idea of an interconnection between the participants’ perceptions and experiences of ‘home’ and their experiences of ‘migration’. ‘Migration’ experiences highlighted the importance of ‘home’ by eliciting a sense of not ‘at home’, shifted the meanings of ‘home’ and influenced re-negotiation of identity and belonging and re-construction of ‘home’. The circumstances of their pre-‘migration’ ‘home’ influenced their appraisal of the decision to move and the move itself. ‘Home’ was perceived as a base for development of ways of comprehending (‘migration’) experiences and surrounding world. Overall, the findings highlight the complexities of ‘home’ in ‘migration’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Helena Delgado Da Silveira Ramos
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2021 12:30
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2021 12:30

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