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Förändringar av hembegreppet hos internflyktingar i staden Cartago, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
”Home” during displacement - Changes in conceptualizations of ”home” among internally displaced persons in Cartago, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. (English)
Abstract [en]

Return is often considered the most desirable solution to the refugee problem, and return in this context meaning return to “home”-, which generally is considered being a geographical area where one has his “roots”. This is a very problematic assumption. The body of existing research on place identity and conceptions of “home” has mainly a transnational focus, so further research on the meaning of “home” for the internally displaced is of great importance. “Home” is here considered a multidimensional concept, involving temporal, spatial and social aspects. The aim of this study is investigate how the individual conceptualizations of “home” change during displacement, and is altered by the events leading up to displacement. In this case study, qualitative in-depth interviews with nine persons were conducted- all displaced from their rural habitual places of residence due to generalized violence/fear of persecution and now residing in the city of Cartago in the Colombian region of Valle del Cauca. Acknowledging the concept of “home” as a social construct, this study investigates 1) how the flight influenced place identification with the former home , 2) the circumstances that are obstructive-, or conducive to place identity formation in the new environment, and 3) the individual conceptualizations of “home”, among this group. Based on the analysis of the interviews, the main results where: 1) I identify „loss of home‟ as the dominant way of perceiving the former home, where memories of violence are important in weakening place identification. Further, the hopes of return to the former home where non-existent or return was perceived as unrealistic, facilitating place identification and home-making in the new environment, a conclusion consistent with the theory of „the myth of return‟. 2) The failure to comply, by local authorities with the national policies towards IDP‟s is seen by the participants as the main obstructive circumstance to place identity formation in the new environment. 3) Finally, the dominant conceptualization of home among the participants is of „home as a haven‟, it is an idea of home as a safe environment where they are able to create a future for their children, but it is not bound to a specific place, per se.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 50 p.
Keyword [en]
Colombia, home, place identity, IDP, place
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-84479OAI: diva2:580540
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2012-12-22 Last updated: 2013-03-12Bibliographically approved

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