Refugee Stories: Constructing a Bosnian Girl's Identity in E x i l e a Case Study

Eija Asikainen
unpublished
The breakup of Yugoslavia turned intoa violent civil war in Bosnia in the summer of 1991. The war did not begin as ethnic conflict, but ethnic traits were defined and collective memories were manipulated to mobilize people and to justijij the violence between groups. In the case of Bosnian refugees, the questions concerning ethnicity and identity are especially important. The objective of this paper is to discuss the constitution of the refugee identity of an adolescent Bosnian girl in the
more » ... xt of exile. The research methods used were collection of refugee stories and participant observation. By collecting refugee stories , it is possible to examine the processes of identity constitution and the flexibility of identities. La partition de la Yougoslavie a en-traink une virulente guerre civile en Bosnie li I'ttt 1991. La guerre ne s'est pas amorcke comme un conflit ethnique, mais des caractkristiques ethniques ont 6ventuellement ktk invoqukes, et la mk-moire collective a ttk manipulke pour mobiliser les populations et Ikgitimer la violence entre groupes. Duns le ces des rc;fugiks bosniaques, les questions d'eth-nicitk et d'identitk sont particulitre-ment sensibles. Le but du prksent article est de prockder ri une prksentation de l'identitt de rt5fngite d'une jeune ado-lescente bosniaque duns le contexte de Z'exil. Les mtthodes de recherche utili-skes ont 12. 4 la collecte de rkcits de rt5fn-gib et I'obseruation directe. La collecte de rkcits de r@giks a rendu possible l'examen des processus de constitution d'identitt et la flexibilitk de ces identi-tts. Eija Asikainen is a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Education, the
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