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Belonging and Becoming in a Multicultural World: Refugee Youth and the Pursuit of Identity

by Laura Moran

Rutgers University Press, 2020


Paper: 978-1-9788-0305-3

Cloth: 978-1-9788-0306-0

eISBN: 978-1-9788-0309-1

About the Book
Children and youth are front and center in the context of global mass migration and the social discord around questions of multicultural inclusion that it often ignites. Imprecise portrayals of their inclination to either embrace diversity or to incite racism are used to exemplify both the success and failures of the multicultural project. In the context of young people’s heightened politicization, Open Access volume Belonging and Becoming in a Multicultural World shifts the focus to a group of Sudanese and Karen refugee youth’s own insights, explanations and practices as they attempt to create a sense of identity and belonging in Australia. These young people engage race, racism and national identity in creative and unexpected ways as they are confronted with the social and moral implications of multiculturalism.

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About the Author
LAURA MORAN is a cultural anthropologist who researches issues of youth and identity, race and ethnicity, the refugee experience, and multicultural inclusion. She lives in the northeastern United States.
“This book offers a rich ethnography of the lives of refugee youth in a culturally diverse world. Eschewing both celebratory multiculturalism and a narrow focus on racism, the book deftly examines the ways race and friendship are woven together in the identity-making practices of young refugees. Moran insightfully foregrounds the importance of understanding the ‘responsive’ nature of identity in forging a sense of place and belonging in culturally diverse schools.”
— Greg Noble, Coeditor of Convivialities: Possibility and Ambivalence in Urban Multicultures

Belonging and Becoming in a Multicultural World is a wonderfully fresh account of how refugee-background youth challenge, invert, and identify with racialized and ethnicized identity categories and navigate difference in their daily lives. The book foregrounds the voices of young people themselves, offering a much-needed counter-narrative to the all-too-often calcified identity constructs that animate much political discussion today. More than anything, it offers a rich account of the narrative forces that shape how diverse young people are able to realize a sense of belonging in a multicultural society. 

— Amanda Wise, Coeditor of Convivialities: Possibility and Ambivalence in Urban Multicultures

"Laura Moran’s work is innovative, well researched and engaging. It reminds us of the importance of micro-perspective, accounts of young people and the meanings young people give to broad social narratives they encounter and shows the value of extensive ethnographic fieldwork."
— Ethnic and Racial Studies

— New Books Network: New Books in Anthropology

"The book is exceptionally legible and accessible, is written clearly and concisely, and is available as an Open Access volume. It will appeal to scholars and students across disciplines – such as education, anthropology, sociology, geography, ethnic studies, political science, social work, and public administration – as well as to a general public that is interested in human rights, migration, youth, race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism."
— Anthropology Book Forum

Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies, Australia, Multiculturalism, Belonging, Pursuit, Becoming, Assimilation (Sociology), Teenage refugees, Multicultural World, Human Rights, Identity, Cultural & Ethnic Studies, Political Science, Social Science
Open Access Information

Label: Funded by Knowledge Unlatched

License: CC BY-NC-ND