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Relational wellbeing in the lives of young refugees


Ravi KS Kohli, Marte Knag Fylkesnes, Mervi Kaukko, and Sarah C. White


In this Special Issue, we consider the ways in which a relational wellbeing approach can be used to understand the lives and trajectories of refugees in general and young refugees in particular. We mainly focus on the lives of young adults who came to the global North as unaccompanied children—that is, without an adult responsible for them when they claimed asylum. Many of the papers focus on ‘relational wellbeing’ for these young refugees—which often involves actions that repair and amplify a sense of social responsibility they and other people have to each other. Hospitality and reciprocity emerge through small acts of fellowship. In time, these actions lead to a mutual sense of ‘having enough’, ‘being connected’, and ‘feeling good’. Wellbeing becomes a relational endeavour. Overall, the contributions in this Special Issue stand at the conjunction between fields of research into wellbeing and refugee

studies. The papers span contexts and countries, offering an international array of experiences, joined by an issue of supra-national importance—that is, the ways interaction and relationality mediate the experiences of becoming

and being a refugee.

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