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Of laughter and remembering : violence, displacement and the trials of "moving on" for Vancouver's Cambodians

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Of laughter and remembering : violence, displacement and the trials of "moving on" for Vancouver's Cambodians

McKinlay, Catrina Alissa (2006) Of laughter and remembering : violence, displacement and the trials of "moving on" for Vancouver's Cambodians. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

How do people 'move on' after experiencing extreme political violence, such as genocide? Discourses in the fields surrounding conflict and refugee studies often exclude the voices of those most affected by violence, while media imagery tends to portrays them as powerless 'victims.' This amounts to the silencing of both witnesses to violence and refugees. With the large number of tragedies and atrocities continuing worldwide, a better understanding of how people experience violence and what can be done to assist them is an important and relevant question. In this thesis, I have talked to a group of Cambodians now living in Vancouver, British Columbia, to try to understand what tactics and strategies they have used in order to 'move on', if they have been able to at all. Since the Cambodian genocide 'officially' ended in January, 1979, these voices offer insight into the lives of people who have experienced genocide and displacement decades ago, and have achieved social and economic success in Canada. The actions, responses and contradictions that arose provide an opportunity to view the perspective of these Cambodians as it pertains to their experiences of genocide almost twenty-five years after the event. They reveal a diverse cross-section of thoughts and opinions of life after violence, the proposed Khmer Rouge tribunal and the possibility of 'justice'. While their stories make a case for the ongoing and long-term affects of violence told through lived experience, they provide a critical view into the ways in which people seek to understand and re-build order in their lives

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:McKinlay, Catrina Alissa
Pagination:iv, 175 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Amit, Vered
ID Code:9164
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:46
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:49
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