What is it about?
Using the metaphor of a pumpkin that floats on the water, following its currents, but retaining own integrity, we emphasize that it may actually be the impact of adversity that awakens certain qualities and skills in people. Processes analogous to post-traumatic growth may be in effect in increasing the potential of the individual to develop a silent and potential form of understanding the world around oneself, a sort of ‘personal wisdom’. Hence, a positive psychology approach to studying the personal effects of forced migration is advocated.
Photo by Arnaud Weyts on Unsplash
Why is it important?
It offers a reflection of contextual factors in shaping the world of migrants and their potential to cope and adapt, and the role of donor agencies in imposing ‘learned dependency’. It shows that the approach to providing humanitarian aid to migrants and refugees is often not in line with what that is supposed to achieve, nor are the ways the effects of such activities are often measured.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The Floating Pumpkin Syndrome: Forced Migration, Humanitarian Aid, and the Culture of Learned Helplessness, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, January 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/19448953.2018.1532685.
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