Conflict and Forced Migration: Volume 51

Cover of Conflict and Forced Migration

Escape from Oppression and Stories of Survival, Resilience, and Hope

Subject:

Table of contents

(16 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xiv
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Introduction

Pages 1-7
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Part I The Social Structure of Conflict

Abstract

The immigration conundrum to craft policy that ensures border security and safeguards human rights is grave and complex. Individuals fleeing religious persecution made finding refuge part of our heritage since colonial times. This American tradition has enshrined our values to the world. This essay is limited to summarizing the asylum process and recent events through the summer of 2018 which affect it. Policy changes are ongoing. The asylum process is complicated by illegal immigration. The surge in migrants arriving at and/or crossing the border has led to controversial policies over the years. Unlike those who illegally cross the border and remain unknown to law enforcement, everyone who makes an affirmative asylum claim to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer, or a defensive asylum claim in immigration court, has been thoroughly vetted through identity, criminality, and terrorism background checks. Granting refuge to those fleeing persecution reaffirms the values of a country that is, as Lincoln richly stated, the last best hope of Earth. Comprehensive immigration reform is needed on many immigration issues, two of which are to ensure border security and safeguard the asylum-seeking process.

Abstract

The conflict in Darfur reached crisis proportions in 2003 when rebel groups began to attack Government of Sudan forces. These attacks were motivated by years of neglect by the government and by political polarization of the area. Despite ceasefires and peace talks, the violence continues in 2018. This essay examined the crisis in Darfur from the perspective of social structure. Three social structures were identified: global climate change, race, and gender. Although there are significant complexities associated with these three social structures, possible paths to agency for the people of Darfur are discussed.

Abstract

The history of Circassian diaspora by expressing experiences of Syrian Circassians with oppression and resistance was informed by Archer’s three-stage cycle in the context of analytical structure-agency dualism leading to social change. In the last period, Turkish Circassians’ political awakening in the name of “return to homeland” overlaps the last forced migration experience of Syrian Circassians. As a matter of fact, return to the homeland is nothing but a return to the past and a call to account for solidarity in the diaspora. Therefore, the new refugee experience of Syrian Circassians has strengthened social construction of return to the past and recalled a search for reassessing their past. But, more importantly, it shows transnational solidarity of diasporic subjects beyond nation-states.

Part II Voices of Survival, Resilience, and Hope

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Abstract

A personal narrative of my escape with my mother and siblings from South Sudan as refugees is presented. The narrative then chronicles the time in Egypt applying for refugee status and eventual resettlement in the United States. In the United States, resettlement began in Newark, New Jersey. I then document my move from Newark to San Diego, California to, eventually, New York City. In New York my life as a model, DJ, actress, and founder of Stand for Education is narrated.

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Abstract

A personal narrative of my escape from Kosovo, and the genocide and ethnic cleansing that occurred there are presented. My time as a refugee and my efforts to be resettled in the US are chronicled. An account of my life in the US, highlighting the enormous generosity I received from my sponsors and others along with personal and professional conflicts I encountered in the US, is reported. My narrative ends with my hopes for Kosovo and my fears about the future of refugees in the US.

Bendito Infierno

Pages 157-164
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Abstract

For those who reside along the US/Mexico border, the border means everything and at the same time it means nothing. It is every juxtaposition imaginable: a challenge and an opportunity, a joining and a dividing, a clashing of two worlds and a constant flow of ideas, people, and goods. Bendito Infierno (Holy Hell) is an ethnographic narrative illustrating the complexity of the borderlands as perceived and experienced by migrants. It speaks to the perpetual contradiction of the US/Mexico borderlands as an agonizing terrain juxtaposed by the promise of opportunity. Revealingly, the piece highlights the agency displayed by forcefully displaced migrants amidst an oppressing political structure.

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Abstract

A story of my time in Damascus and falling in love.

Abstract

This chapter brings to the forefront various challenges of engaging in both critical and participatory forms of knowledge building, in particular with queer and trans migrants with precarious status. Two scholars trace their previous experiences of engaging in participatory and critical research as well as their shift toward reflexive ways of knowing. This shift elicits the ways in which Critical Participatory Action Research (CPAR) may be used to build reflexive knowledge with and about queer and trans migrant communities, and in particular, LGBTQ refugees and MSM Latino migrants.

Part III Humanitarian Advocacy

Abstract

This chapter examines historical and contemporary issues related to child protection and argues that the social construction of immigrants requires an examination of the values that shape child welfare practice. Discussion of the historical context of the US child welfare system is followed by a discussion of the separations of children from their families as a result of deportations or separations at the border. The intersections of child welfare, racism, and xenophobia are discussed, highlighting historical trauma, forced separations of Indigenous and Latinx children, and the importance of social constructions of immigrants in shaping child welfare practice and policy.

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Abstract

Families who left their homes in Central America and Mexico searching for a better life in the United States often left their children behind until they were financially secure enough to send for them. The children usually waited years to reunite with their parents while many never made the voyage. The children’s emotional stories are conveyed in their own words detailing how vulnerable they felt when abandoned, confused, and at times, rejected after finally connecting with their long-lost families. The psychological trauma for the parents, and especially for their children, is documented via the children’s voices.

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Abstract

A small private university in rural Indiana has connected itself irrevocably to the protracted Syrian conflict. Through the efforts of committed students, faculty, and community members – stupefied by the endless violence – this cohort of kindred souls has committed itself to creating solace and support for Syrian students, their families, and their countrymen everywhere. Inspired by a story of torture and displacement, a professor, along with her Syrian students and their American allies, have implemented outreach education programs, campus and community initiatives, local business partnerships, and social media support, creating agency for displaced Syrians, not as passive beneficiaries but as co-partners for change and solidarity.

Part IV Art and Hope

Abstract

This essay addresses the interplay between structure and agency, oppression and resistance, as pertains to the Refugee and Forced Migration subject, and the particular opportunity revealed through artistic form. First, a critique of the structures and predominant discourse surrounding the subject presents the ramifications and constraints inherent in traditional modes, which objectify, simplify, and oppress. Into this context enters the unique intervention and alternative presented by the Bildungsroman, that is, the “novel education” provided by this literary form, which grants agency to the Refugee and Forced Migration subject in the re-construction of his or her own coming-of-age through narrative. Through the delineation of this process in the critical reading of three such novels, a dynamic view of subject-formation and non-canonical experience challenges the norm – indeed, as this essay argues, discourse becomes the means through which the Refugee and Forced Migration subject (re)-constitutes him- or her-self, in a narrative space for releasing, expressing, and connecting what has otherwise been repressed, denied, or disconnected through exile and displacement. To conclude, this project’s efforts for further examination and appreciation of such works may be seen to open the field for more shared insights and co-mingled understandings of identity, belonging, and communication.

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Index

Pages 281-287
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Cover of Conflict and Forced Migration
DOI
10.1108/S0163-2396201951
Publication date
2019-10-21
Book series
Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Editor
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83867-394-9
eISBN
978-1-83867-393-2
Book series ISSN
0163-2396