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What is a good life? A qualitative study into the cultural conceptions of wellbeing in the Somali community.

Adan, Hibo (2016) What is a good life? A qualitative study into the cultural conceptions of wellbeing in the Somali community. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The civil war represented a catalyst that thrust Somalis into a new environment. By moving to the UK, they were faced with new customs, cultural attitudes and religious practices. The Somali community were forced to use their strengths to adapt to this new scenario. Building on Harris’s (2004) recommendations, this research emphasise the strengths of the Somali diasporas and explained how this has shaped wellbeing. This study intended to explore the cultural conceptions of wellbeing. Participants were gathered using snowball sampling. These participants were Somali women who were between the ages of 18-45. The present research used a qualitative research design and six semi-structured interviews were carried out. Interview data was analysed using thematic analysis. Four themes were found these included religion, dealing with emotions, gender issues in the younger generation and interdependence. In all four themes participants attempted to explain, the ever-evolving concept of what it means to be Somali and how this was revaluated following displacement. Previous research has highlighted that religion encouraged emotional wellbeing and offered direction in challenging stages of life, negotiating the way people coped (Whittaker 2005). Findings corresponded with past research as religion was an overarching theme, participants demonstrated that it was important for wellbeing and had an impact on all aspects of life. Themes and implications are discussed below.

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