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Death and Mourning Among Migrants: Specifics, Networks, and Mutual Aid

Lilyane Rachédi, Catherine Montgomery, Béatrice Halsouet

Given the demographic changes in Québec society, the experience of mourning in immigrant communities and the adaptation of bereavement support programs to accommodate them have become unavoidable subjects. Yet research on the intersection of mourning and immigration is poorly developed in Québec (Rachédi et al., 2010). We are interested in documenting death and mourning among immigrant families not only in terms of their experiences, but also in terms of mutual aid and the participation of immigrants in various social networks, both local and transnational, that play a key role in events related to the cycle of life. Additionally, religious practices and knowledge, transmitted and adapted in these networks, provide a relevant avenue for better understanding death and mourning in their cultural context.
In this paper, we present some reflections on death and bereavement in the context of migration, drawing on both local and international literature, three qualitative research projects undertaken in Quebec, and the preliminary analysis of an interview conducted during an on-going research-action project that is currently in its initial phase of data collection.