Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/91397
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Type: Journal article
Title: Narrative and silence: how former refugees talk about loss and past trauma
Author: Puvimanasinghe, T.
Denson, L.
Augoustinos, M.
Somasundaram, D.
Citation: Journal of Refugee Studies, 2015; 28(1):69-92
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0951-6328
1471-6925
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Teresa Puvimanasinghe, Linley A. Denson, Martha Augoustinos, Daya Somasundaram
Abstract: Using narrative methodology this paper analyses the life stories of 25 former refugees from two African countries, resettled in Australia. Study findings demonstrated a salient divergence between the stories of the two communities; within which there were also individual differences in structure and content of participants’ narratives. Five narrative types were identified along a continuum from detailed disclosure to near-complete silence about traumatic events and experiences. They were: (1) avoiding narratives; (2) struggling narratives; (3) prompted narratives; (4) narratives exceeding demarcated boundaries of disclosure; and (5) returning narratives. We discuss these differences in narrative structure, narrated experience, identity reconstruction, and meaning-making within the context of the personal, interpersonal, sociocultural and historical influences that have shaped the lives of participants. Findings were supported by interviews with 25 resettlement agency staff. Broader implications of the study’s findings for therapists and researchers working with refugees are also discussed.
Keywords: refugee; trauma; identity; meaning; narrative; qualitative; Australia
Description: First published online: July 3, 2014
Rights: © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved
RMID: 0030028111
DOI: 10.1093/jrs/feu019
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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