Lost and found: Reinvention of the self following migration
Ward, C. and Styles, I. (2003) Lost and found: Reinvention of the self following migration. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 5 (3). pp. 349-367.
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Migration can impact on a person's identity and this assault can require reworking or establishing aspects of the self. The study involved a cross sectional design, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to establish the impact of migration on women from the United Kingdom (UK) and Eire (N = 154) now living in Australia. A major aim was to determine whether the impact of multiple loss (loss of home, major attachment figure, family, community, culture, and social networks) can cause a grief reaction and threatened a person's identity, and, if so, what strategies might be used to buffer this impact and assist reinvention of the self. Bowlby's grieving process was used as a theoretical framework. Women who successfully reached the final stage were able to "reinvent" themselves using social strategies, whereas those less able used solitary strategies. Women, unable to reach the final stage of grieving, suffered psychological distress. The study has implications for future migrants. Migrants who use appropriate strategies to enable settlement and reinvention are also likely to achieve a sense of belonging to the new place.
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|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Education|
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