This qualitative study highlights the experiences of ten Serbian refugees who migrated to South Australia from former Yugoslavia as a result of the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s. Multiple semistructured interviews were employed to examine participants' experiences before, during and after the conflicts. Eight stages of the refugee journey were identified: prewar peaceful co-existence, outbreak of war, fleeing towards refuge in Serbian-held territory, realisation that the pre-war life cannot be regained, dissatisfaction with the family's transition situation, decision and application to emigrate, migration and resettlement in Australia, and adaptation to life in Australia. A number of factors were found to influence each stage of the refugee journey (e.g., social, practical and health challenges, age, and negative Serbian stereotypes). From these findings, three adaptation patterns -active integration, passive integration, and segregation-were identified as specific to the participants in the current study.
- Civil war
- Ethnic conflict