Immigrants and Refugees: Trauma, Perennial Mourning, Prejudice, and Border Psychology

Author(s) : Vamik D. Volkan

Immigrants and Refugees: Trauma, Perennial Mourning, Prejudice, and Border Psychology

Book Details

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Throughout his extraordinary career, Vamik Volkan has met with and listened to political leaders, refugees, traumatised groups, families, intellectuals, and ordinary citizens throughout the world. He has gathered a wealth of intimate, textured information about our collective engagement with the irrational, with a focus on the dynamics of large groups and the unconscious origins of ethnic identities in conflict. In this book, he links this perspective with his own experience as an immigrant, his detailed psychoanalysis of individual immigrants, and his clinical study of immigrant families, children and adults. Volkan has a profound understanding of loss, mourning, and the ways the trauma embedded in the immigration experience is passed on to the next generation. The book is a vivid and evocative portrait of immigration and the irrational and developmental sources of prejudice. With his understanding of the origins of hatred of the “other”, Volkan allows us to see through our clouded vision, opening the possibility of actually learning across difference.’
— Edward Shapiro, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center and Former Medical Director/CEO, Austen Riggs Center

‘This is the right book for the right time. Vamik Volkan has dedicated his working life to understanding large-group psychology in order to provide politicians, decision makers and a wider public knowledge about collective human behaviour. The author describes various aspects of the psychology of refugees and immigrants, as well as those of people in host countries who receive them. This book helped me understand better what we are now witnessing in Germany and throughout Europe, and I consider the author’s observations and conclusions to be vital to finding ways to deal with this refugee issue constructively. I recommend this book wholeheartedly, not only to psychoanalysts, but to a wider public as well.’
— Regine Scholz, PhD, member of the Management Committee of Group Analytic Society International and a member of the Advisory Council for Science and Research of the German Society for Group Analysis and Group Psychotherapy

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