Accepted paper:

Being human, being Tamil: exploring Tamil refugees' sense of identity and agency

Author:

Anne Sigfrid Grønseth (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer)

Paper short abstract:

From a study based on engagement in everyday life focusing on Tamil’s illness and well-being, this paper presents a case story of a Tamil woman. The case gives opportunity to explore how embodied memories of the past are intertwined in today’s everyday life and future visions. Taking an analytic approach of embodiment, the paper discusses Tamil individuals’ agency and selfhood in creating well-being to their present daily living.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores how Tamil refugees in Norway experience self and personhood in everyday life of today. As a refugee population, Tamils are exceptional in the Norwegian context of being economically well integrated but socially segregated. Investigating this social reality, issues concerning Tamils' memories of the past, everyday life in the present and visions of the future become significant. From an ethnographic study based on participant fieldwork and engagement in everyday life with focus on Tamil's illness and well-being, this paper presents a case story of a Tamil woman. The case gives opportunity to explore how embodied memories and nostalgia of the past are intertwined in today's everyday life and future visions. Taking an analytic approach of embodiment and 'being-in-the-world', the paper discusses Tamil individuals' agency and selfhood in creating a sense of well-being and meaning to their present day-to-day living. The paper suggests how Tamils reconstruct and negotiate embodied Tamil values and practices in motivating and creating a life of today and in the future.

panel W028
Being human, being migrant: dealing with memory, dreams and hopes in everyday life