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Pragmatic mobilities and uncertain lives: agency and the everyday mobility of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda

O'Byrne, Ryan Joseph and Ogeno, Charles (2021) Pragmatic mobilities and uncertain lives: agency and the everyday mobility of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Journal of Refugee Studies, 33 (4). 747 - 765. ISSN 0951-6328

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jrs/feaa085


This article investigates the pragmatic, everyday journeys of South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda's Palabek Refugee Settlement through a mobilities-focused analytical lens. Despite the repatriation of vast numbers of refugees, little is known about the diversity of refugees' later movements. Recognition of this complexity is important. Although many of our South Sudanese interlocutors take part in multiple interconnected movements both within and across borders, these are frequently irregular and unpredictable. We define these refugees' 'pragmatic mobilities' as 'the experience and practice of multiple, distinct yet interconnected mobilities, despite trying times and unknowable circumstances', thereby attending to the fractured (dis)junctures between these journeys as well as to their full temporal and geographical scope. By setting the practice and experience of South Sudanese refugees' ongoing and everyday mobilities within wider personal and regional historical perspectives, we argue that the diversities within these refugees' 'pragmatic mobility' practices demonstrate powerful manifestations of agency. We consequently understand these movements to be essential elements within everyday - yet crucial - practices to gain and maintain personal and collective control in otherwise uncertain contexts.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: ?? FLIA ??
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 12 May 2021 15:57
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2024 21:09

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