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Understanding waiting and wellbeing through liminal experiences of Syrian refugees

May Mzayek

Abstract

Using the anthropological concept of liminality, this paper describes an ethnographic study examining the wellbeing of Syrian refugees as they recount narratives of forced displacement and resettlement. The author observed 37 Syrian participants who had been relocated to Austin, Texas, United States, and interviewed 15 Syrian participants about their migration experiences. Through observation, interviews, and field notes, the author examines the refugees’ ideas of wellbeing during periods of peace, war and displacement, and resettlement. Throughout the displacement journey, Syrian refugees implemented resilience tactics to escape instances of waiting in order to reach their desired destination—resettlement.

Keywords

forced migration; refugees; wellbeing; resilience; liminality

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References

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