Rebuilding memories: young refugees in Portugal

  • Maria Cristina Santinho Universidade Lusófona
Keywords: Youth, Refuges, Suffering, Narrative, Identity


This essay was first presented in September 2007, within the seminar "Programa de Cooperação em Ciências Sociais para os Países da CPLP", promoted by LIESP - Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. It is a work in progress, leading to a PhD thesis on medical anthropology. It aims to present refugee's youth and asylum seeker's condition in Portugal, particularly in regard to mental health. The fieldwork conducted with these youth comprised active listening of their suffer narratives, provoked not only by life experiences in their original war contexts, with testimonies of violence and torture, but also the difficulties felt during the long flee journey and subsequent insertion in Portugal. Isolation, pain, mental suffering, linguistic barriers, lack of social and family networks as well as socio-cultural and symbolic references, compromise their development as youth, leading us to question the value of identity references on the construction of self and even the concept of youth.


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How to Cite
Santinho, M. (2009). Rebuilding memories: young refugees in Portugal . Saúde E Sociedade, 18(4), 582-589.
Part I - Articles