Living with the legacy of displacement: An exploration of non-return and the long-term effects of displacement on social life in Pabo, northern Uganda

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Living with the legacy of displacement: An exploration of non-return and the long-term effects of displacement on social life in Pabo, northern Uganda

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Living with the legacy of displacement: An exploration of non-return and the long-term effects of displacement on social life in Pabo, northern Uganda
Author: Kwaks, Juul
Issue Date: 2019-01-31
Keywords: internal displacement
Uganda
Pabo
IDP camp
anomie
non-return
masculinity
gender relations
land conflict
life histories
Abstract: War ravaged northern Uganda for over two decades after its start in 1986. During this time, over 80% of the Acholi population living there was internally displaced. This occurrence has disrupted social life in more ways than often acknowledged in policy-making and discourse surrounding displacement. This thesis draws focus to personal experiences of people who moved to Pabo – the former site of one of the displacement camps – during the war, and who have not left this place since. Using data from life histories collected in Pabo during seven months of fieldwork, it explores motivations for non-return and shows that displacement is more than a forced move from one geographical location to another; it involves economic, social, and cosmological considerations and touches upon identity and belonging. This thesis also explores the long-term effects of displacement on life by zooming in on social relations within the household. Using the concept of anomie, it is argued that, in this particular post-conflict context, there is lessened social guidance on desirable goals and accepted behavior as well as a discrepancy between goals that are still valued and the means available to achieve them. Building upon the life histories, the argument is constructed that the situation of anomie has contributed to intergenerational friction and to families breaking up. The goal of this thesis is to lay bare the interface between structure and agency, and to counter the trend of turning internally displaced people as well as refugees into abbreviations and subjects without a voice.
Supervisor: Walraven, Klaas van
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: African Studies (Reseach master)
ECTS Credits: 25
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/68251
 

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