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Understanding the experiences of Ismaili Afghan refugee children through photo conversations

  • Author / Creator
    Kanji, Zeenatkhanu
  • Children are rarely asked about their experiences in the aftermath of war. Each child if given an opportunity has a unique and precious story to share. It is most likely that embedded within their experiential stories are essences of resilience. The purpose of this study was (1) to understand the phenomenon of resilience in an exploratory way with regard to how Afghan refugee children adapt despite facing adversities in the aftermath of war, and (2) to contribute to the knowledge of nursing science and practice for healthy childhood development. The core research question was: What are the experiences of Afghan refugee children currently living in Canada in the aftermath of war? The sub question was: How do Afghan refugee children describe their experiences of day-to- day life? Gadamer’s (1960/1989) hermeneutic philosophy was used to understand the experiences of Afghan children in the aftermath of war. In addition, hermeneutic photography, which is based on the methodology of hermeneutic (interpretive) inquiry, was used as the methodological approach as well as method. Data were collected with the aid of photographs of the children’s own choice. Two to three photo conversations were done with seven children residing in Edmonton, Alberta. The participants ranged between the ages of 13 to 17; five were females and two were males.They were all born in Afghanistan and had two parent families and belonged to the Shia sect of Islam specifically,the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. Gadamer’s approach to data analysis was adopted throughout the study. Four themes emerged that described the day-to-day life experiences of the Afghan refugee children: (a) cherishing the family; (b) treasuring the Afghan culture; (c) creating opportune spaces to dwell; and (d) building and sustaining resilience. Recommendations were drawn as a useful guide from the findings of this study for education, practice, policy development, and future research to benefit Afghan refugee children and their families to dwell in a new country.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2009-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R37938
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Faculty of Nursing
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr, Cameron, Brenda (Faculty of Nursing)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Knight, Andy (Political Science)
    • Dr. Berman, Helene (School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario)
    • Dr. Kirova, Anna (Faculty of Education)
    • Dr. Ogilvie, Linda (Faculty of Nursing)