Kunz (1973) argued that refugees are a distinct social type, whereas Coker (2004) referred to Victor Turner’s (1967) influential work on liminality to highlight the inherent ‘transitional’ nature of a refugee’s identity. It is an identity that is essentially liminal – a state characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. Refugees are faced with the loss of patterns that sustained previously established identities and new factors that require effective adaptation and identity transformations. The interplay between these factors results in tremendous identity struggles. Not surprisingly, identity confusion is one of the most common stressors facing refugees (Baker, 1983; Stein, 1986).
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