Trauma of chechen refugee women living in İstanbul: meaning and coping strategies
Özen, Hatice (2013) Trauma of chechen refugee women living in İstanbul: meaning and coping strategies. [Thesis]
This research aims to explore how Chechen refugee women living in Turkey who lived through the distress of war made sense of what happened to them. More specifically, it examines the meaning making and coping strategies of the Chechen refugee women, in particular traumatic loss of a family member. The semi-structured interviews which are conducted with 11 Chechen refugee women provided the main data of this research. Interpretive phenomenological analysis was used as the basic methodology for the data analysis. The analysis of the accounts of the Chechen refugee women showed that the traumatic experiences that these women lived through influenced their psychology profoundly, they have became vulnerable and distressed. In response to the traumatic experiences of war, they deepened their religious and spiritual beliefs, yet these beliefs provide resources for dealing with their traumatic memories. Considering the meaning making and coping strategies of the Chechen women in my study, the accounts of these women revealed 10 recurrent themes: increased religious service, submitting to the will of God, Elhamdilullah, theological explanations for the causes of war, depersonalization of traumatic experience, what makes a martyr, expected benefits of martyrdom, deserving the honor of martyrdom, idealized martyr, and obliged narrative of happiness. All coping strategies, except obliged narrative of happiness were found to be important source of strength, coping and resilience for Chechen refugee women. However, obligatory narrative of happiness appeared to interfere with the healing processes of these women.
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