Identity-Making and 'Home': Resettlement of Post-2003 Iraqi Refugees in Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas
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This thesis examines post-2003 Iraqi refugee narratives of identity in the United States and the intricacies constituting the establishment of 'home' in the country that remains an occupying force within their native land. The project provides insight into the lived experiences, feelings of belonging, and resettlement of Iraqis in two U.S. cities. I draw on interviews focused on the resettlement experiences and expectations of Iraqis currently living the Pacific Northwest city of Portland, Oregon and how that may compare to constructs of identity and conceptualizations of home in the southwestern city of Austin, Texas. I employ work by geographers and the growing body of literature on diaspora, refugee studies, and resettlement in other related disciplines to frame important and challenging questions about refugee identity, home-making, and sense of belonging.