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Every Campus A Refuge

A Small College’s Engagement with Refugee Resettlement

Diya Abdo and Krista Craven

Every Campus A Refuge is a novel initiative whereby college campuses provide housing and support to refugees navigating the resettlement process in the United States. This article details the founding and development of the Every Campus A Refuge initiative, particularly as it has been implemented at Guilford College, a small liberal arts college in North Carolina. It also details how Guilford College faculty and students are engaging in a multifaceted research study to document the resettlement experiences of refugee families who participate in Every Campus A Refuge and to determine the efficacy of the program in providing a “soft er landing” for refugees. Overall, this article aims to provide a detailed account of Every Campus A Refuge so as to show how such a program may be implemented at other college campuses.

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“I Don't Want to Claim America”

African Refugee Girls and Discourses of Othering

Laura Boutwell

In this article I draw from the Imani Nailah Project, a participatory action research initiative with a group of African refugee girls living in the US. I examine a particular fusion of racialized, gendered, and nationalized narratives that discursively construct the refugee girl. I interrogate this discursively produced refugee girl construct and highlight how actual refugee girls interact with this discourse with a focus on resistance strategies and emergent counter narratives of citizenship. Throughout the article, I use italics when I am referring to the refugee girl construct in order to maintain a central focus on interrogating a sociopolitical discourse—the refugee girl—as a construct distinct from actual refugee girls. My central aim is to highlight spaces and moments when actual refugee girls are in conversation with this imposed refugee girl discourse.

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‘Refugees Are Welcome Here!’

How Public Opinion Got Ahead of Government in Summer 2015 and Stayed There

Maurice Wren

In the summer of 2015, UK public attitudes towards refugees shifted significantly in the face of a substantial and sustained increase in the number of people entering Europe from the Middle East and North Africa in search of refugee protection. Contrary to what might have been expected, given that the prevailing public mood on refugees had up to this point been, at best, guarded and wary, this change in attitudes was not only overwhelmingly positive, but it also forced the UK government into a dramatic and significant policy change. This article considers whether this shift in opinion represented a real sea change in public attitudes, or was a fleeting and unsustainable compassion spasm.

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Ocean, Motion, Emotion

Mobilities and Mobilizations in the Pacific

Matt Matsuda

The Pacific is a constantly shifting domain of cultures, encounters, and natural phenomena. As such, histories of the Pacifi c are marked by transits, circuits, and displacements, both intentional and unintentional. By sketching out examples from the sailing voyages of the open-ocean canoe Hokule‘a, to the enslavement of a South Asian woman transported on the Spanish galleons, to the Australian government’s contested policy for dealing with seaborne refugees, to the challenges posed to low-lying islands by rising sea levels, we see how peoples in motion underscore so much of global history.

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Cultural Research and Refugee Studies

New Knowledge, Methodologies, and Practical Implications—A Panel Commentary

Khalid Koser, Pnina Werbner and Ien Ang

Khalid Koser: I will focus particularly on the notion of future research directions … from a refugee studies perspective. I think what today’s workshop has confirmed to me, yet again, is the strength of anthropology in this whole area of refugee studies. There is no doubt that anthropology is one of the leading disciplines in the study of refugees … Anthropology and law have got refugee studies wrapped up, while other disciplines have not really made enough of a contribution to this area.

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Immigrant and Refugee Women

Recreating Meaning in Transnational Context

Denise L. Spitzer

Migrating to another country is potentially fraught with both challenges and potential opportunities. This article examines ways in which mature Chilean, Chinese and Somali women who migrated to Canada deploy personal and communal resources to imbue shifting relations and novel spaces with new meanings. Through these activities, they create a place for themselves on Canadian soil while remaining linked to their homelands. I argue that the ability of immigrant and refugee women to reconstruct their lives—often under conditions of systemic inequalities—is evidence of their resilience, which consequently has a positive effect on health and well-being.

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Volunteering as Protest

Against State Failure or the State Itself?

Jan Křeček

Although the Czech Republic (CR) is not a favorite destination nor even a transit country for migrants through Europe, the refugee crisis has materialized into a strict state policy of rejection. The CR rejects proposals for European solutions and detains and imprisons immigrants, most of whom are inadvertently arrived there. This preliminary refusal strategy is peculiar to both the political and media spheres (and public opinion) and is described in the opening sections of this work. However, the CR, is also a country in which the tally of immigrants is less than the number of Czechs citizens traveling beyond their national borders to help refugees congregating along the “Balkan Route”, where they frequently outnumber volunteers from other countries. This paper goes on to describe the development of these grassroots Czech volunteer organizations and activities in 2015. From the beginning it was characterized by spontaneity and a lack of hierarchy, with the Internet and social media playing a vital role during mobilization and organization. The methodological section defines how this sample was analyzed and the manner in which it was dealt. Section five summarizes the most important findings of the case study: (1) the results of a questionnaire survey among volunteers, (2) the results of a qualitative content analysis of their communication in social networks. Besides basic mapping steps (features of volunteer’s participation), the analysis attempts to capture motivations for volunteer’s participation. Comparison with selected motivation typologies emphasizes the protective (later the normative) motivation, on which the hypotheses are based regarding the dispute about the national identity of volunteering as an ideological, and therefore foreseeable, dispute.

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The Persistent Issue of Refugees

Organized Hypocrisy, Solidarity, and Mounting Protest

Tiziana Caponio and Teresa Cappiali

In 2016, migration issues in Italy became synonymous with the “refugee crisis.” Dramatic images of boat people, rescues, and the deaths of thousands of people in the Mediterranean Sea have catalyzed public attention. Examining the Italian government’s responses, we argue that the “refugee crisis” is the result of an “organized hypocrisy” aimed at containing, rather than managing, the crisis and at gaining access to international protection. Structuring the immigrant reception system on the opposition between humanitarian and economic migrants, Italian policies struggle to offer adequate responses to current mixed flows. Furthermore, this system often has a negative impact on local communities, where we find diversified responses that range from solidarity to opposition and, more recently, the emergence of a “reception market.” Additionally, our analysis suggests that the dysfunctional nature of the Italian reception system, combined with alarmist attitudes promulgated by the media, amplifies discomfort and contributes to an increase in public hostility toward immigrants.

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Refugee studies in Austria today

From challenges to a research horizon

Leonardo Schiocchet, Sabine Bauer-Amin, Maria Six-Hohenbalken and Andre Gingrich

This article sets out to highlight present-day anthropological contributions to the field of forced migration and to the current debates on this topic in Europe through the experience of developing an international and interdisciplinary network for the study of refugees based in Vienna, Austria. To this end, this article engages with the grounding facts of the present Central European sociohistorical context and global political trends, grapples with shifting and questionable research funding landscapes such as the focus on “integration,” illustrates some of the main current research challenges, and highlights pressing topics. It concludes proposing a research horizon to counter present strong limitations on forced migration research and steer this research toward a more meaningful direction.

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“It’s Being, Not Doing”

Hospitality and Hostility between Local Faith Actors and International Humanitarian Organizations in Refugee Response

Olivia J. Wilkinson

Local faith actors are deeply involved in assisting refugees around the world. Their place in refugee response, however, can be in parallel with and, at times, in disagreement with the efforts of international humanitarian organizations. Focusing on the interactions between local faith actors and refugees and local faith actors and international organizations, the lenses of hospitality and hostility are used to analyze the tensions between these types of actors. Through a review of the literature and interviews with 21 key informants, I show that processes of marginalization occur to the extent that local faith actors lose their positions of host to the dominance of the international humanitarian system, and feelings of hostility ensue. This demonstrates to international actors why they might be ill received and how they can approach partnerships with local faith actors in more diplomatic ways.