Honors Project - Open Access
My project, grounded in three months’ work and research with Jewish Resettlement Services (JRS), shows how US resettlement responsibilizes refugees through policies that teach independence and self-sufficiency while demonizing dependency. Yet, as I illustrate, refugees often want to be dependent on JRS. I combine ethnographic insights and discursive analysis to elucidate the contrasting ways in which JRS workers and refugees frame “successful” resettlement. I apply an anti-oppressive lens to show how US resettlement produces “responsible” citizens while evading its own responsibilities to properly support people whom the US has had a major role in displacing. I propose a new framework for resettlement, rooted in solidarity with refugees and in social justice.
Cooper, Lily C., "Teaching the American Dream: How U.S. Refugee Resettlement Responsibilizes Refugees" (2023). Anthropology Honors Projects. 36.
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