Refugees' Social Trajectories and Trajectories of the Self

  • Marko Valenta Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Keywords: identity, refugees, ethno-social practice, biography, integration


The focus of this article is on refugee's social integration in the receiving country. It examines how refugee ethno-social preferences and practices fluctuate and develop. The primary goal is to explore how post-resettlement social trajectories are linked to changes in identities. It is argued here that ethno-social practices and identities of refugees need to be seen in the light of their migration biographies, everyday experiences, and anticipated futures. The findings in the article have important methodological implications in terms of the methodological potential offered by biographical narratives as a tool in gathering qualitative data. In demonstrating the advantages and weaknesses of biographical narratives, the article is of relevance not only to researchers, but also to social workers and other service providers who work in the field of social integration and who can use this approach to map out the social life of each refugee. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs100256


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Author Biography

Marko Valenta, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Marko VALENTA is a sociologist (PhD). He is a post doc at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department for Social Work at Health Science. He is also Senior Researcher at NTNU Social Research. He has collaborated in numerous scientific projects and policy evaluations with focus on immigrants and refugees. His research/work interests are integration of immigrants and refugees, labor migration, Diasporas and transnational communities, repatriation of refugees, bilingualism and ethnic relations. He is the author of one book and a numerous research rapports and book chapters. He also published a number of works in professional journals about immigrants and refugees, ethnic relations and ethnic prejudice, integration and resettlement of refugees.
How to Cite
Valenta, M. (2010). Refugees’ Social Trajectories and Trajectories of the Self. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(2).