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Title: Refuge: Syrian Refugee Incorporation and the Production of New Minorities
Authors: Gowayed, Hebatalla
Advisors: Zelizer, Viviana
Duneier, Mitchell
Contributors: Sociology Department
Keywords: gender
Subjects: Sociology
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Drawing on two years of ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews, this dissertation examines the experiences of Syrian refugees. I focus on the lives of 18 Syrian families resettled in the United States. In the final chapter, I compare their experiences to Syrians resettled in Canada, who sought asylum in Germany, and who were resettled or sought asylum in Italy. I show that the Syrian refugees in this study, in all four countries, experienced three sets of crucial losses in their displacement: (1) human capital, (2) social relations—in terms of patterns of family life as well as relations outside of the household—and (3) a sense of security—or sense of legal and interpersonal safety. In light of these losses, I examine what I call refugees’ process of recuperation—or how these men and women rebuilt these resources within the opportunities and constraints of a resettlement or asylum system. Through this focus on process, and through the cross-national comparison, I contribute to existing literature on refugees by centering the role of the state in facilitating or hindering refugees’ production of these resources. I argue that refugees’ ability to produce human capital, their management of social relations and their sense of security are the product of the opportunities and constraints imposed by immigration laws and social service systems that comprise resettlement and asylum policy. These systems reflect policy-makers’ understanding of their humanitarian obligation to people outside of their borders, and those within them who are in need of social services. Because the resources I examine are crucial determinants for immigration outcomes, I argue that the state shapes the socioeconomic mobility of these new newcomer refugees by facilitating or blocking the recuperation of these resources, and thus shapes the kinds of racial and economic minorities they can become.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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