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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.136

Home and Hope


  • Tian SHI

Primary authors

  • Tian SHI (Social and Cultural Anthropology Department, KU Leuven)


Since the 1970s, millions of Southeast Asian refugees have been resettled in Western European countries. This article aims to track the resettlement and integration processes among Laotian Hmong refugees in France and Germany. Particular attention goes to the pivotal role of emotional and intimacy capital in Hmong community to provide comfort and courage to group members, while adapting to a new environment. Through emotional and intimate labor processes courage and hope are created to empower them face and overcome the challenges of integration. This article aims to scrutinize the deep role of emotional and intimacy capital in refugees’ daily life through family support in providing strong psychological effects to comfort, console, and relieve daily anxiety and frustration. In so doing family and group members are empowered to recast hope and regenerate energy to fight for survival, healing and material improvement. Home - both as a physical space of body dwelling as well as an intangible space of belonging – provides advice, comfort and re-centering for these refugees and thus contributing to emotional and intimacy capital. It has in other words the potential to transform suffering into hope.