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Reconstructing Life, Place and Identity in Rome and Amsterdam
196 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-391-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2009)
eISBN 978-1-84545-956-7 eBook
“This book provides excellent and much needed insights into the lives of refugees in general, and those from the former Yugoslavia in particular.” · H-Urban
“By focusing on meanings and practices of home making among refugees from former Yugoslavia in Rome and Amsterdam, Korac’s book invites readers to rethink the experience of displacement/emplacement as a complex and interconnected set of processes that produces a pluralization of identities and solidarities. This insightful perspective - overlooked in dominant institutional approaches to ‘integration’ and in a significant part of the academic literature too often driven by donors’ policy agendas and inclined toward some form of methodological nationalism - represents both a valuable contribution to the debate and an invitation to explore further the relationship between different scales of refugee governance and processes of ‘nesting’.” · Journal of Refugee Studies
“This book – based on ethnographic qualitative research and sensitivity to cultural complexity and human resourcefulness, combining comprehensively and comparatively search material with theoretical reflections on migration cultural processes – is a valuable contribution to the ever growing migration studies literature and to our understanding of current European cultural and social tensions.” · Anthropological Notebooks
Rather than emphasising boundaries and territories by examining the ‘integration’ and ‘acculturation’ of the immigrant or the refugee, this book offers insights into the ideas and practices of individuals settling into new societies and cultures. It analyses their ideas of connecting and belonging; their accounts of the past, the present and the future; the interaction and networks of relations; practical strategies; and the different meanings of ‘home’ and belonging that are constructed in new sociocultural settings. The author uses empirical research to explore the experiences of refugees from the successor states of Yugoslavia, who are struggling to make a home for themselves in Amsterdam and Rome. By explaining how real people navigate through the difficulties of their displacement as well as the numerous scenarios and barriers to their emplacement, the author sheds new light on our understanding of what it is like to be a refugee.
Maja Korac is Reader in the School of Social Sciences, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of East London. She is author of Captives of Their Sex: Social Identity of Young Rural Women Between Traditional Culture and Contemporary Values (1991, Belgrade: Institute of Sociological Research, University of Belgrade; published in Serbo-Croatian), Linking Arms: Women and War in post-Yugoslav States (1998, Uppsala: Life & Peace Institute), and co-editor of Feminists under Fire: Exchanges across War Zones (2003, Toronto: Between the Lines).