While the United States has been praised for its so-called pragmatic policies that focus on the talent of refugees and enhance their social mobility, geopolitical considerations have produced very different life outcomes for different groups of refugees.
In the United States, refugees are subjected to various forms of injustice – from normalized discourses of exclusion that position refugees as problems to be solved, to forms of militarized violence.
The US project focuses on the case of California, whose situatedness along the US-Mexico border, the Pacific Ocean, and upon Indigenous territory, in addition to the state’s history of grassroots activism and social movements, make it a dynamic site to study academic engagement in the lives of refugees.
engaged scholarship has an important role to play in promoting refugee inclusion
Given the mutual relationship between policy and scholarship, knowledge and power, engaged scholarship, which aims toward social transformation, has an important role to play in promoting refugee inclusion. That being said, the neoliberalization of higher education combined with the hegemony of the state and exclusionary cultures in the academy have made it increasingly difficult to advance socially transformative engaged scholarship. In light of these challenges, this project aims to explore the cooperation of academia and society in promoting the social inclusion of refugees, as well as how engaged scholarship, specifically, contributes to, or impedes, refugee inclusion in California.