Title

Continuities and Discontinuities in Human Rights Violations: Historically Situating the Psychosocial Effects of Migration

Publication Date

6-1-2015

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Despite recent interest in the psychosocial effects of deportation, psychologists have rarely investigated the multiple forms of violence that compelled many undocumented migrants now living in the United States to “leave home.” This thematic narrative analysis of interviews with four Maya from Guatemala, part of a larger participatory and action research project, particularizes the experiences of Maya in the United States who are frequently subsumed under homogenizing constructs (e.g., “illegal aliens”) and labeled with universal psychological diagnoses that fail to reflect their complex histories, through which they give meaning to their lived experiences. Analyses focus on three major themes: violence and violation, multiple migrations, and suffering and survival. We illustrate how participants situate contemporary effects of deportation within the collective story of their people, connecting contemporary violations of human rights to earlier migrations due to extreme poverty and experiences of violence during and after 36 years of armed conflict.

Publication Title

Journal of Social Issues

Volume

71

Issue

2

First Page

244

Last Page

263

DOI

10.1111/josi.12108

Version

pre-print, post-print

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