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TYPES OF REFUGEES - CROATIAN AND BOSNIAN·HERZEGOVINIAN EXPERIENCES
; Faculty of Philosophy, Zagreb
Puni tekst: pdf (11 MB),
Str. 657 - 675
Some researchers have warn ed that in the field of refugee study and
research the dichotomic categorization "refugees vs. non-refugees", used
in legal and administrative procedures, is not considered satisfactory in
sociological analysis. The author of this article has come to the same conclusion
in his research about the prospects of return of Croatian displaced
persons and refugees, as well as Bosnian-Herzegovinian refugees. The
first series of inquiries was conducted at-the height of the refugee crisis,
at the beginning of 1992. We surveyed 726 examinees, Croatian dispIacees
in Croatia and Croatian refugees in Germany and some one hundred
interviews about the reasons of fleeing were recorded. Another one
hundred interviews were recorded on cassettes during a more recent
survey of Croatian and Bosnian-Herzegovinian refugees, conducted from
the summer of 1993 to the spring of 1994 in Croatia, Hungary and Germany.
At the same time, 1247 respondents from both groups of refugees
answered questionnaires. The results of both surveys and especially of
the interviews have led the author to construct several typologies of
refugees with regard to reasons of fleeing, the reaction of the examinees
to the situation of refuge and the issue of return. In this article the author
expounds the typology or categorization of refugees and displaced
persons based on differences in pre-refugee experiences. Thus, the main
categorization criterion of refugees into certain types was the degree of
danger for their physical and psychological integrity they were exposed
to prior to fleeing. Therefore, six categories of refugees and displaced
persons were discerned: I) anticipating refugees/displacees; II) semi-
-refugees/displacees; III) impelled refugees/displacees; IV) refugees/displacees
of war; v) expellees; VI) ex-camp inmates refugees/displacees.
ln elaborating his typology, the author put forward two broad er conclusions.
First, refugee groups are commonly composed of socio-psychologically
heterogeneous subgroups with greatly differing pre-refugee
experiences. Second, the political and societal dynamics of a refugee
crisis produces fluctuation within and among refugee groups or types.
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