Get access

Negotiating Reintegration and Meanings of Space: Formerly Abducted Youth in Uganda

Authors

  • Lise Paaskesen

    Corresponding author
    1. The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
    • Correspondence to: Lise Paaskesen, Heemraadstraat 18, The Hague, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands, 2586SX.

      E-mail: mail@liseconsultancy.nl

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Lise Paaskesen is a consultant specializing in youth in development.

ABSTRACT

The war in Northern Uganda has ended, and youth who were abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army continue to return to communities. Research conducted in the summer of 2010 in two locations in Uganda, Gulu and Masindi, shows that the process of reintegration is an ongoing process in which formerly abducted youth (FAY) negotiate social relations for reintegration in a very interactive way. FAY consciously decide to stay quiet about their past to avoid compromising social reintegration. The experience-oriented approach has allowed for an in-depth exploration and understanding of the reintegration process from the perspective of FAY. In Northern Ugandan cosmology, meaning given to FAY personal spaces dominates. With FAY facing social exclusion by community members and the need to overcome boundaries to reintegration, coping mechanisms are adopted to facilitate reintegration and to carve out personal space within the Northern Ugandan cosmology. In the exploration of the process of negotiating reintegration, a conceptual model is adopted and adjusted to represent personal space within Northern Ugandan cosmology. The main findings suggest that FAY negotiate social relations for reintegration in a very interactive way and that they consciously decide to stay quiet about their past so as to not compromise social reintegration. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary