More than just Forced Migrants
Using Intersectionality to Understand the Challenges and Experiences of Older Refugees in Western Societies
Keywords:intersectionality, older refugees, social status, Western societies
Ageing in refugee situations is plagued with complex challenges occasioned by multiple factors of age-related decline in health, disabilities, trauma, low income, limited education and language which interact and intersect to increase the difficulties faced by older refugees. However, research on older refugees has seldom underscored how these different layers of identity and social status intersect to influence the lives and experiences of older refugees. In this article, we will be presenting an argument for the adoption of intersectionality as a theory in research with older refugees in Western societies. The article presents a conceptualization of older refugees, and intersectionality, a discourse on the different layers of identity and social status like age, gender, disability, language, race, culture and ethnicity that affect older refugees. The discussion reveals how the complementary interaction of intersectional and interlocking processes of these layers of identity shape the experiences of older refugees. The article concludes by making a case for the utilization of intersectionality in research with older refugees for a more holistic understanding of their experiences and challenges.