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Longing for HomeForced Displacement and Postures of Hospitality$
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M. Jan Holton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300207620

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300207620.001.0001

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Fleeing Conflict and Disaster

Fleeing Conflict and Disaster

(p.81) Five Fleeing Conflict and Disaster
Longing for Home

M. Jan Holton

Yale University Press

Refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are among the most visible, but perhaps least understood, of the displaced due to the news media. Chapter 5 addresses how forced displacement disrupts the sense of belonging in the lives of refugees and IDPs. Characteristics of belonging, as understood here, include that it is reciprocal, it orients one’s identity, it is dynamic, and it requires practices of remembrance. With only a few exceptions, many IDPs are rejected as outsiders, even within their own countries, instead of being welcomed. Especially since 9/11 and the emergence of the political “management of unease,” refugees are most often relegated to foreigners—those to be feared and managed. Refugees as foreigners become targets of derision and social exclusion. This loss of belonging rejects a moral obligation to care for the other in our midst and results in a loss of belonging. Resilience in refugees and IDPs can and does emerge, even if with great difficulty, in ways that create “pockets of belonging” among the displaced.

Keywords:   Refugee, IDP, Foreigner, Belonging, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo), Rejection

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