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Research Article

“Support Your Documents”: Negotiating Identities In Displacement Narratives.


Eucabeth Ong'au Mong'are

Kisii University, KE
About Eucabeth
Dr. Eucabeth Mong’are teaches Kiswahili at Kisii University, Kenya. Her research interests are in discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, communication and African studies.
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Narratives have the capacity to give meaning to human experience both individually and socially. In narratives, individuals apprehend reality and use them as a means of communication. They make sense of who they are and others too as they interpret their past experiences and reflect on their future. While most recent research has focused on the challenges, settlement and coping strategies of Southern Sudan refugees in Kenya, little attention has been given to the narrated experiences of the refugees in the host country. Of interest is how the refugees navigate their agency while evaluating events and people that they interact with. Using in-depth interviews with two Southern Sudan youth refugees (Adut and Ajang-not their real names) living in Kenya, this article examines linguistic resources employed by the narrators to portray their experiences as refugees. It explores how they understand their experiences and thereby ascribing meaning to events. The paper argues that an understanding of their perceptions about conflict and displacement is invaluable for understanding how they represent and structure happenings in their lives and how they construct individual, collective and national identities.
How to Cite: Mong'are, E.O., 2022. “Support Your Documents”: Negotiating Identities In Displacement Narratives.. Journal of African Cultural Heritage Studies, 3(1), pp.28–44. DOI:
Published on 27 Apr 2022.
Peer Reviewed


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