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The role of collective identifications in family processes of post-trauma reconstruction: An exploratory study with Kurdish refugee families and their diasporic community


  • Ruth Kevers

    (KU Leuven, Belgium)

  • Peter Rober

    (KU Leuven, Belgium)

  • Lucia De Haene

    (KU Leuven, Belgium)


While collective identifications of diasporic Kurds have attracted considerable scholarly interest, their possible role in familial processes of post-trauma reconstruction has hardly been studied. The aim of this article is therefore to develop an explorative understanding of the deployment and meaning of collective identifications in intimate family contexts by examining the interconnectedness between the transmission of cultural and political belonging and post-trauma meaning-making and coping in Kurdish refugee families. After contextualising diasporic Kurds’ collective identifications through an ethnographic depiction of the Kurdish diasporic community in Belgium, this article reports on findings from a small-scale, exploratory study with five Kurdish refugee families in Belgium. Thematic analysis of family and parent interviews indicates how cultural and political identifications may operate as sources of (1) dealing with cultural bereavement and loss; (2) commemorating trauma; and (3) reversing versus reiterating trauma. Overall, this study’s findings support an explorative understanding of collective identifications as meaningful resources in families’ post-trauma reconstruction.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruth Kevers & Peter Rober & Lucia De Haene, 2017. "The role of collective identifications in family processes of post-trauma reconstruction: An exploratory study with Kurdish refugee families and their diasporic community," Kurdish Studies, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 5(2), pages 107-133, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:ksjrnl:v:5:y:2017:i:2:p:107-133

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    Family; collective identity; Kurds; trauma; diaspora;


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