Trauma, Development, Dispossession: "Telling the Story" of Refugees and Suffering in Somali Ethiopia
AbstractEthnographic research about "the refugee experience" of Somalis in eastern Ethiopia is discussed, focusing on interactions of returnees with relief and development agencies, the story of one community, and a discussion of some Somali emotion words. Exclusively psychological or psychiatric approaches to working with refugees may not provide a satisfactory point of access to displacement- related distress among Somali refugees. Highly individualizing models of suffering, focusing on psychological distress, are of only limited salience to populations of Somali refugees and returnees in the Horn of Africa-politics, poverty, and perceived collective injustice must be addressed in conjunction with any exploration of emotional distress and personal suffering.
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