This study examines the messages in a citizenship preparation class being utilized by refugees and instructors. Through an ethnographic study of a citizenship class at an urban community center in a Midwestern city, an examination of these messages reveals assimilationist expectations and norms for refugees adjusting to American society. Responses from the refugees reveal how these messages are being either accepted or resisted as they negotiate new identities. A contradiction was found between what the citizenship class teaches and the perceptions of refugees regarding the meanings of American citizenship. In particular, refugees reported to often face a difficult situation in which their legal status upon becoming American citizens is not readily acknowledged by the perceptions of other Americans.
Craig, Brett J.
"“I am an American”: Communicating Refugee Identity and Citizenship,"
Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research:
Vol. 11, Article 6.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/kaleidoscope/vol11/iss1/6