Looking (also) at the Other Side of the Story. Resilience Processes in Migrants

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Abstract

Studies on migration have focused on obstacles and barriers encountered by migrants when they arrive in a new country. Recognizing that there are difficulties, it is also important to know the resources used by migrants to overcome adversity. This study springs from a theoretical perspective of resilience, based on a culturally significant ecological model (Ungar M, Resilience across Cultures. British Journal of Social Work, 38(2), 218–235, 2008) to analyze the processes of cultural adjustment to the host country in migratory movements. Thus, it seeks to understand the various dynamics in adversity and in resources experienced by migrants in Portugal originated from Portuguese-speaking countries (Guinea, Cape Verde, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique). To this end, seven focus groups (N = 35) were facilitated for a discussion on the dimensions of resilience processes. The thematic analysis revealed five main themes in the adversity dimension with some of its topics further grouped in specific sub-topics. In the resources dimension, four salient themes have emerged. Data was discussed in an articulated perspective of themes, illustrating some of the difficulties and resources of migrants in the specificity of the Portuguese context. Implications for research on resilience are highlighted, and some bridges are built for the context of intervention in migrant integration.

Keywords

Resilience Ecological model Migrants Focus groups 

Notes

This study was funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (doctoral Grant SFRH/BD/60693/2009)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Cis-IULLisbonPortugal

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