Constructing Narratives through Storytelling

A Study of Refugees in Estonia


  • Aminul Islam Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at Tallinn University


refugees, Estonia, narrative, storytelling, identity


Very little investigation is done on refugees in Estonia and their construction of narratives in a new society. Refugees portray their memories of their own country while in exile in order to create their present individuality in a new land and to adapt to a new culture. This paper attempts to investigate refugees placed at a refugee accommodation centre and to analyze their present and past memories and stories to associating them with their coping mechanism. Using qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews, this paper brings out the argument that, in spite of being displaced from their homeland, refugees portray their country of origin via idyllic stories; family and community life are emphasized with the contrast of individualism. This paper argues that specific narratives can produce doubly-marginalized people, while at the same time, stories and memories from the past are significant for developing agency, so as to establish counter narratives.