Mari Kira, UM Psychology

Moving Past the Barriers: Experiences of a Good Life and Meaningful Career among Resettled Refugees in Germany and the USA
Mari Kira


Winter 2023
Lecture Time: 
Friday, February 10, 2023 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 

R0220, Ross building

Introduced By: 
Manju Ganti


In May 2022, the United Nations announced the number of forcibly displaced people in the world having exceeded 100 million. Of these, almost 30 million are refugees, i.e., people forcibly displaced across country borders. A life as a refugee entails profound physical, psychological, and social hardships, but even amidst these hardships, refugees’ stories bear witness to psychological strength and resourcefulness. With the help of qualitative interview data collected in Germany and the US, I will discuss three studies uncovering refugees’ experiences of and strive towards a good life and a meaningful career in their new home country. The first study explores identity threats, identity-threat coping, and resulting identity growth among refugees as they seek to integrate in the working life in Germany. The second study addresses unique features in refugees’ career construction in the resettlement, also suggesting important contextually relevant extensions to the career construction theory. In the third study, we hear from adolescent refugees; what a good life means to them and how they strive towards such a good life. This study highlights the role of temporality in refugees’ experiences of a good life. Taken together, these three studies address the potential for and the processes of adversarial psychological growth and psychological well-being in midst of chronic adversities faced by refugee populations.

Recording & Additional Notes