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Internal Displacement in Cyprus and childhood: The view from genetic social psychology

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr. Juliet Foster.

From the view of genetic social psychology the aim is to articulate the microgenetic, ontogenetic and sociogenetic processes of social representation (Duveen and Lloyd, 1990; Psaltis, 2015). These concerns changes in the social representations of people as a result of their social interaction with other people, their developmental trajectories and large scale historical changes or changes due to public debate. In my presentation I will discuss the issue of internally displaced Greek Cypriot children from the war of 1974, and the transformation of their views about refugeehood and the solution of the Cyprus problem in a situation of protracted displacement for the last 43 years based on recent quantitative and qualitative findings from focus group discussions and a review of the available data from previous work. I will explore the role of intergroup contact between the two communities in Cyprus (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots) that was made possible in 2003 and the institutional policies that both enable and constrain today the change of their representations and conflict transformation. At the centre of this analysis is a critical examination of the unintended consequences of an official policy of “I do not forget and I struggle” [Den xehno kai agonizomai] and its content relating to how it orientates (or not) children towards cohabitation with Turkish Cypriots through an examination of trauma and refugee identity as a burden or an empowering factor (see Hammack, 2008).

This talk is part of the Social and Developmental Psychology (SDP) Seminar Series series.

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