Examining Resilience, Subjectivity, and Trauma: The Case of Migrants´ Mental Health in Chile

Liliana Acero


Chilean society has been deeply affected by the expansion of Venezuelan migrations in the last two decades, and that from Haiti earlier on. Conceptual frameworks - providing interpretations of resilience, subjectivity, and trauma– as outlined in this paper, are valuable for ongoing research on these migrants’ experiences. It discusses the psychosocial/socioenvironmental perspective and most especially, cultural and feminist approaches to human resilience processes useful for promoting migrants´ mental health, and explores how they can be articulated with adult trauma theory. Methodologically, the study involves a selective appraisal of concepts and theoretical frameworks that can be articulated to address the mental health and well-being of migrant populations. The issues raised are illustrated with examples from the experiences of Venezuelan and Haitian migrants in Chile. The review identifies conceptual lacunae in the frameworks considered. These include the need to attend to the role played by identity within socioenvironmental/psychosocial and cultural approaches, and to interrelate the resilient subject´s history (and body) with the causes and intra-psychic effects of trauma. Examples are provided concerning how public policies targeting migrant communities can detect problems in strategies for resilience and mental health, and how they might propose meaningful intercultural measures to overcome deficits.  

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/iss.v12i1.21847


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Issues in Social Science  ISSN 2329-521X

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