Immigrant and Refugee Families: Global Perspectives on Displacement and Resettlement Experiences
Jaime Ballard, University of Minnesota
Elizabeth Wieling, University of Minnesota
Catherine Solheim, University of Minnesota
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN 13: 9781946135018
Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
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The book provides a comprehensive overview of a complex topic. The book is timely and helpful to understand the challenges and experiences of those immigrating. The book discusses the challenges of day to day living for immigrants, like access to... read more
The book provides a comprehensive overview of a complex topic. The book is timely and helpful to understand the challenges and experiences of those immigrating. The book discusses the challenges of day to day living for immigrants, like access to healthcare. As a professor in teacher preparation, this book will be very helpful for my students to gain understanding of the experiences of families in the communities in which they live and work. The book tackles a complex issue but the book is very accessible. The inclusion of definitions, case studies, discussion questions, and links to resources will make this text quite useful in my classes.
I did not find any errors.
The topic of immigration is complex and data including statistics around migration would need to be updated with some regularity. The authors also included many links to resources, which may need to be checked and updated.
The authors did a great job of stopping to define terms and concepts consistently throughout the text. And, they backed this up with references and links to websites that would provide additional information. This helps the reader ensure they are tracking and engaging with the material using the same definitions as the authors.
The text is consistent in use of terminology and framework. This makes it easy to read and follow and would also make it a good classroom text. The text stays on point by sharing the experiences and significant challenges of people immigrating to a new country.
The book has clear organization and layout. Each chapter is divided into smaller sections with titles making it easy to use in a classroom setting. The chapters include photos, charts, and/or other visuals that add to the narrative. The resource links at the end are also helpful to extend the learning.
The book is well organized and easy to follow. I appreciated the way in which the authors organized the book into smaller sections. The information is rich and the situations complex, so the natural break is helpful to stop and engage in discussions. I enjoyed the case studies that they included in the book and believe these would open the door for group discussion and deeper understanding of experiences that may not be our own. They also included discussion questions and resources at the end of the chapter. I was particularly excited about the resources as it allows for students to continue to explore a specific topic by following the links. The authors also did a great job of providing detailed definitions and explanations to make sure their readers were tracking the information accurately.
The book is easy to engage with. It includes photos and links to resources and is visually welcoming. The text boxes at the end of the chapter are noted in two specific colors, making them easy to identify.
There are a couple of grammatical errors, but they did not detract from the content.
The authors did a really nice job of including the stories and experiences of different groups of immigrants. The authors included stories and case studies that allowed the reader to gain deeper understanding of multiple experiences from different complex situations.
This textbook provided a comprehensive overall look at the issues relating to immigration and refugee settlement in the U.S. The structure of the book is well-organized. In the book, the authors provided a road-map of the pathway of immigration,... read more
This textbook provided a comprehensive overall look at the issues relating to immigration and refugee settlement in the U.S. The structure of the book is well-organized. In the book, the authors provided a road-map of the pathway of immigration, including the history and political background, policy initiative, the journey of immigrant families, issues of human rights, challenges and barriers of immigration, social problems, crime and victimization, and more. As a faculty in the field of criminal justice, I believe it would be a great introduction-level textbook for students who are beginners in the topics of immigration and immigration policies. As some previous reviewers mentioned, the book invested a great amount of text to the topics pertain to the immigrants who resettled in the U.S. instead of elsewhere in the world. Therefore, the title of the book can be misleading. In chapter 3, the authors touched the important issues of human rights of the immigrants in the United States, as well as the history and general theories of human rights law and domestic sovereignty, particularly in the U.S. Again, the author could add one more chapter to refer to other foreign policies on immigrants and refugee resettlement to boast the “global” perspective.
Each chapter, the authors provided a great number of detailed narratives of the topics. The photographs, quotations from the immigrants, well-organized bullet points, and the references are well presented to the readers. I personally have not encountered any issues of inaccuracies or errors.
Due to the recent changes on immigration policies and political climate, it might require the authors' frequent updates of certain chapters. However, I believe the authors had done a great job to lay out the foundation of issues of immigration and policies. In addition, the references after each chapter include official organization sites. As readers, we can easily get into the source and check on any updates.
The textbook was written in a lucid and accessible fashion. The authors did a great job to lay out the context with highlights, sections, bullet points, and final remarks. Review questions and additional readings help readers to understand these complicated issues. No ambiguity has been found in the text.
The textbook was organized in a systematic and consistent manner. Again, the authors gave the readers a road-map of the history and current affairs of immigration and refugee settlement.
Each chapter of the textbook could be a stand-alone reading module. I have read through the book not in order and has no difficulties to understand the content. Within each chapter, the authors also had done a great job to break down the topics in titles and subtitles. The quotations and policies are introduced separately in a proper manner. It is easy to follow and easy to refer across the book.
The authors have outdone their job on the organization and construction of the chapters.
Overall, the authors did a great job to keep the readers engaged while regarding the book with properly attached pictures, quotations, as well as the review questions and further readings. It would be also helpful if the authors could consider adding a sidebar to list all the key terms.
No grammatical errors have been noticed.
The context of the book is culturally relevant. It inclusive, comprehensive, and sensitive.
Comprehensive only in terms of listed topics. There is no index. The only bibliographic information is at the end of each chapter, making the bibliographic information difficult to access. The reader must know what chapter a desired reference... read more
Comprehensive only in terms of listed topics. There is no index. The only bibliographic information is at the end of each chapter, making the bibliographic information difficult to access. The reader must know what chapter a desired reference "might" appear in. Should have a comprehensive bibliography at the end of the book. The only definitions given are embedded in the text (in boxes). There should be a comprehensive glossary at the end of the text. Some boxes labeled "Definitions," actually do not have definitions, but refer to reader to cited sources. For example, the authors do not provide their own definition of "Refugee," but send the reader via a link to another document.
Cannot answer this question without reading all the cited sources.
The sources cited are up-to-date. However, the legal and policy information might change and need updating. Since the book is essentially a policy manual and a literature review, it should be easy to update.
The writing is not interestingly written. As it stands, it probably cannot be interesting as the beginning chapters read like a government manual and the remaining chapters are essentially an extensive literature review. The is no indication or presence of the authors.
The book follows a consistent pattern and organization in each chapter.
The book is modular and divided into sections that could stand alone.
In my opinion there could be a more logical organization of the chapters. For example, the two background chapters (#1, #3) are separated. I would order the chapters as follows: #1 - Chapter 1 #2- Chapter 3 #3 - Chapter 2 #4 - Chapter 4 #5 - Chapter 9 #6 - Chapter 8 #7 - Chapter 6 #8 - Chapter 5 #9 - Chapter 7 #10 - Chapter 10
There are good links to many of the bibliographic sources. Perhaps other links could be added. It is very difficult to move around in the text. One has to scroll through each chapter separately. Actually, one cannot scroll through an entire chapter, but only through each individual section of a chapter. There is no index. And, there are NO page numbers in the book. It would be impossible to cite anything from the text unless the reader counts and numbers the pages themselves.
There are a few errors that got past the editor, but no significant problems.
The text is culturally sensitive and not offensive in any way. However, to me, "cultural relevance" means it should consider CULTURE in some depth. This book does not. I am hard pressed to find even any sociological relevance without going to the cited works.
I thought perhaps this book would be useful for a new anthropology course I am developing on immigrants and refugees. The only reason I would refer students to this book is that it is a relatively useful handbook or manual on policy and might be useful as a bibliographic source guide, and, its free. The book is essentially a book-length literature review, with nearly every sentence having an in-text citation. I could not identify anything in the text that is evidence of the authors' knowledge, experience, or analysis. In fact, any sort of analysis if completely absent. For example, in section 8.1, the authors say "maybe" the reason fathers from S.E. Asia, Armenia and Iraq do not work (based only on statistics presented) is because they suffered more trauma. There is no supporting evidence for making this statement that is likely not true if the authors knew anything about those cultures. The book is not readable but is very dry and "fact" and "statement" oriented. The "Case Studies" are anecdotes - not case studies. The Discussion Questions ask questions for which there is not enough cultural or sociological information in the text to be able to answer the questions or for which the text does not answer in any way. For example, one question asks students to discuss the "immigrant paradox," but I could not find that term used anywhere in the text. By accident I discovered that a cited author uses that phrase in the title of his paper. Another example of a question for which there is not enough cultural or sociological information in the text to be able to answer is the following: "How would you explain the attitude toward work and education of most immigrant or refugee families? What do you think is behind these attitudes?" In-text citations have no page numbers to guide a reader to the exact location of a particular reference. In-text citations should not include more than two authors, but in the case of three or more, should use "et al." When you open the book online there is no title page that gives title, authors, date of publication. The authors are identified several pages in. But the only indication of the title or date of publication I can find is in the Open Text list of titles. A reader should not have to go to the "catalog" to find this necessary information. This book exemplifies my skepticism about open and free textbooks. However, I decided to browse some other examples in your catalog and even with a quick perusal found other texts that were quite different and that meet my scholarly expectations and are ones I might use. One I believe I will cite for all my future students is Choosing and Using Sources. This book is a clearly written guide with excellent examples. Another book I found I would use is Sustaining the Commons. This book is engagingly written, has helpful diagrams, asks relevant questions not only about the material but ones that lead a student to connect what was read to their own experience - it also has page numbers and can be scrolled though in its entirety. I'm glad I scanned some other titles as otherwise my skepticism about the quality of free textbooks would have been substantiated had I only looked at Immigrant and Refugee Families.
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the American immigration process and policies with specific emphasis on global immigrants that migrate to the United States. The contents of this book, as they flow from chapter to chapter,... read more
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the American immigration process and policies with specific emphasis on global immigrants that migrate to the United States. The contents of this book, as they flow from chapter to chapter, effectively captures the socio-spatial, economic, cultural, and political imagination of the long drawn out and often quite complex processes that global migration ensues as well as the unique experiences that immigrants face by being part of it. The selling point of the book lies in the way different topics about immigrants and refugee families are tied together and consolidated in one accessible space, that the book is. For anyone interested in understanding the basics of how an immigrant is defined differently from a refugee or asylum seeker; or what various immigrant policies or human rights protocols mean in various contexts; to more nuanced knowledge of the psycho-social, economic, cultural and health impacts that immigrants endure from the start of the migration journey to resettlement in a new country, this is a definitely 'go-to' book.
I do not find any overwhelming inaccuracy in the data or definitions in the book. For the sake of data validity, the book is well supplemented by links and references to various relevant sources. However, having said that, there is a need to define the word 'global', wherein from the perspective of the book, the word global only seems applicable to 'global immigrants' in the American context, not necessarily to the process or dynamics of 'global migration’ itself. Because there is no specific reference to historical or social contexts of the causal factors that drive the global migration process in the source or destination countries, there seems to be some generalization in treating immigrants, refugees, or asylum seekers and their experiences as one simple category.
Content of the book is contemporary. However, population and migration data and concepts do change frequently and therefore a suggestion in that regard would be to update data sources and statistics in this book from time to time to keep the content of the book current.
The language of the book is accessible, and the tone of communication is objective and unbiased.
The topics in the book are quite consistent from the start to the end. The book remains true to its purpose, that is, mapping out the immigration process in the United States and documenting the various experiences of immigrants as they re-build their lives in a new nation.
All chapters are well organized, paragraphs are concise and to the point, and illustrated with reference boxes, flowcharts, data sources, and visuals. All these effectively communicate the purpose of each chapter and the way they link to other chapters. External links to additional sources, discussion questions, and sidebars in each chapter keeps the topic interesting for potential students and provides resources for instructors using this textbook for teaching.
The book is well organized and chapter transitions are logical. Perhaps an introductory chapter dedicated to some of the theories or concepts that discuss the causes and effects of human migration in an era of globalization, would strengthen the book to a great extent. This is particularly important if the book aims to capture some of the audiences in the traditional disciplines in the social sciences.
The book has a good interface, is user friendly, visually interesting, and engaging for its readers.
Except for a few typos, overall grammar seems okay.
All references in the book are culturally sensitive. However, there isn’t much reflection or discussion on the class-gender-racial/ethnic differences among immigrant communities in the US to the point of generalizing the experiences of immigrants as all very similar and all groups are equal or are at par with each other.
A slightly misleading aspect of the book is the emphasis on the word 'global' in the title, where readers seeking an internationalist perspective on immigration or the causal dynamics that has led to heightened human migration in an era of globalization may be disappointed in the very American focus of the book on this matter.
This is a concise book on a subject that is both wide-ranging and of enormous import. As such, it will be very useful for those wanting to get a comprehensive overview of a complex situation without getting bogged down by too many particulars. ... read more
This is a concise book on a subject that is both wide-ranging and of enormous import. As such, it will be very useful for those wanting to get a comprehensive overview of a complex situation without getting bogged down by too many particulars. For someone with interest but without specialized knowledge, such as myself, it provides a valuable orientation. The effects of immigration, both on the immigrants and the communities that receive them, is an increasingly important focus of my introductory politics course and this text will be useful. Part of the value of this text for me is that it is not too comprehensive; it doesn’t try to cover everything.
Not being directly involved in the field I don’t feel qualified to confidently assess this book’s accuracy but I can affirm that nothing I read here conflicts with those what I know of the subject from a lay-person’s perspective. I would add to this that the sources cited are solid and current.
Given the times, this is an extremely relevant text and, if kept updated, will remain so for decades to come. There is no doubt in my mind that, with the possible exception of climate change, immigration will become (is becoming) the most urgent issue of our day and this book addresses aspects that are not often part of the public discussion (mental health, substance abuse, partner violence, resilience, etc.). We should all be better informed about these matters and these readings provide an opportunity to present them in the classroom. This is such a fluid topic, given both geopolitical developments and constant legislative changes, that it will take a real effort on the part of the authors to keep parts of this text relevant.
Even though I have no particular expertise in this subject matter, this text was direct and clear. Everything, from the terminology to the history, was explained and illustrated (in most cases) with examples.
This text is consistent throughout, both in its focus on its stated aims and stylistically.
Part of the utility I see in this text comes from the way it lends itself to the presentation of certain individual aspects of the general issue. For example, I could easily use readings from Chapters 5, 6 and 8 to enrich my course on the politics of Latin America as they tie into other readings I have assigned but the scope of the course does not allow time to include other sections.
The material is organized in a logical manner. Even if you choose not to use/read the entire text you can easily find the information relevant to your purpose. Some sections could be broken down further and ordered by a problem-possible solution structure.
I have only accessed this on a Mac computer using Preview. It works fine and the layout is attractive and easy.
I found no grammar errors in the text.
Given its focus, the ‘cultural relevance’ of this text cannot be separated from its general relevance, which has already been discussed.
As I have mentioned a couple of times already in my responses above, I feel this text could be useful for those, like myself, who want to build a larger component dealing with immigration issues into a course that does not necessarily have this as its primary focus. In my case, courses on the politics of Spain and Latin America can benefit greatly from a concise look at some of the issues presented here. I would use these readings primarily to provide a framework for class discussion. They are not so detailed or “wonkish” as to be inaccessible to those outside the field or newcomers to the issue.
For a BSW and Family Studies course, this book was exactly what I needed. It had the basics that I could then add to (video, articles or speakers). It does not cover the plethora of exceptions to "basic immigration" - Cubans, Migrant Workers,... read more
For a BSW and Family Studies course, this book was exactly what I needed. It had the basics that I could then add to (video, articles or speakers). It does not cover the plethora of exceptions to "basic immigration" - Cubans, Migrant Workers, transmigrants, Temporary Protection, etc. BUT it gives the essence of what beginning practitioners need to understand to begin interacting with immigrants and refugees. I was not looking for detail on the ins and out of policy- I wanted students to be sensitive to what the issues immigrants and refugees are facing and this book more than filled the bill. It is strong on the human rights. Links to more in-depth information was also a bonus.
It is likely that the book avoids immigration policy details in order to remain relevant for a period of time. I found no inaccuracies.
The book is very much up-to-date as it is recently published. I imagine the beauty of an online book is that it is easy to update. It would seem easy to update based on the text but also because the authors include links to information, even the most recent information could be linked to the text. Nonetheless, since it is not a policy book and it does sensitize readers to common experiences, I believe it will be relevant as is with minor updates for several years.
The authors do not assume any particular background through my junior and seniors were better able to relate the content to human behavior in the social environment more readily. The writing is clear with minor grammatical and spelling errors. There were some points that it would have been nice to have exact definitions- such as for "human rights".
The book remains clear throughout. We were even able to skip around to chapters out of order without losing comprehension.
The book is easy to use with larger print and headings. I am new to using an online book so I could have used some instruction for myself and students as to which format to read it in and how to use tools of innovation - but that is not the fault of the editors. The PDF format was least interesting to read.
Our class needed the final chapter on assimilation and theories of displacement much earlier to have a context for mental health, domestic violence etc. Nonetheless, it was easy to have them read ahead.
No students complained or questioned how to interact with the book. I had the most challenges understanding how to use the technology beyond accessing the link and downloading everytime I accessed the book. Again, the PDF was not an easy format to read but the other formats I experimented with worked fine. So, for example, I knew I would be writing this review and wanted to highlight areas that had grammar or spelling errors or places where the definitions were ambiguous but I did not have the skills to highlight, comment, save and re-access that information.
Only minor grammatical errors. However, being new and a bit skeptical about open source books, the first few errors made me more suspicious about the quality. I was not at all disappointed.
The book was inclusive and referenced a wide variety of immigrant cultures.
I want to thank the co-authors Jaime Ballard, Elizabeth Wieling, and Catherine Solheim for writing and making this available. I care deeply about people being able to access this information and I shared the link with our Refugee Resettlement office and other professors at our school. Mid-semester, I took a short workshop that showed how one could annotate and add information, video links, articles and web pages to accompany the text so students could use e-books in a more interactive way. I am now motivated to learn more about the technology.
The title of the book is a little misleading: as it is an entirely US-focused text, “global perspectives” is an odd choice. Within the parameters of a book about immigrant and refugee families in the US, the range of issues / chapters is otherwise... read more
The title of the book is a little misleading: as it is an entirely US-focused text, “global perspectives” is an odd choice. Within the parameters of a book about immigrant and refugee families in the US, the range of issues / chapters is otherwise broad, which is useful but unfortunately comes at the expense of depth in some areas, most notably the first Section, on Context. Chapter 4 is packed full of issue areas that might have been better addressed as stand-alone chapters (covering health, housing, and work) and education is a topic mentioned at multiple different junctions but not focused on specifically. Religion likewise. Given the brevity and desire to cover quite a lot of different topics, some areas suffer in terms of detail. Refugee experience outside the US is one of these issues, and it's perhaps beyond the remit of the book in general. For example, in Chapter 3 there's a number of general claims about the particular experiences of women in refugee camps, but with inadequate attention to the hows and whys of issues mentioned, or to complexities and confluences of different causal factors. Across other chapters there’s scope to more deeply connect immigration policy to other policy areas—including labor rights, healthcare, welfare, and foreign policy—which significantly inform the contours of immigration debates and immigrant experience. These issues are explored to some extent in later chapters, but it should be more clearly stated at the outset that immigration as a feature of US life and immigration policy are deeply ideological and informed by socio-political realities, whereas the analyses herein focus more on individual-level (family unit) analysis. That’s understandable given the stated intentions, but it does seem like there is more scope to more explicitly discuss political decisions as lying behind funding for human services; labor protections, etc. Given the attention to intersectionality theory in the penultimate chapter, that decision seems strange in hindsight. There’s also scope to explain (or even just to note more clearly) that there are significant differences between states—in terms of policy but also in terms of community-based services, language access, community breadth, etc. across different geographic regions in the US. This important fact is too-often obscured by overly general statements about immigrants in the United States. I was also surprised that there was not more inclusion of the grassroots immigrant rights organizations, or immigrant-led advocacy groups. The Sanctuary Movement and its influence is notably absent from the historical chapters. “Communities” are given little attention in terms of identified stakeholders and there’s an overreliance on experts’ publications rather than research conducted by community-based organizations. As a result, it feels quite ‘top down’ in tone, with other people’s stories told as “case studies” but with their agency quite diminished. There is also notably little mention of how and why different stakeholders strive to influence policy, and it is unclear from where the “Future Directions” recommendations that end each chapter arise. In terms of inclusiveness, I appreciated mention of LGBTQ / same-sex families in the opening chapter, but on the whole the text does not consider how non-normative families can be impacted in particular ways (including other unusual but still relevant family arrangements, such as grandparents or aunts raising children; cousins living together, etc.) I sense that many, but not all, of these issues could be avoided if the theoretical framing chapter (9) were placed much earlier in the text. In general, the text needs to be complemented by further resources, reading, and debate in most areas.
There’s an over-reliance on normative claims and a lack of critical engagement with immigration policy at various points. This leads to a few uncomfortable dichotomies being established in the text early on. There is not sufficient attention to how legal status, for example, is often a changing rather than fixed feature of immigrant family experience, and how mixed-status families encounter specific challenges (though this is briefly mentioned at points). More notable is the focus on “documented” versus “undocumented” status, and the strict differentiation between refugees and non-refugees. This leaves little space to explore different types of visa status; to differentiate or draw similarities between asylum seekers, asylees, and refugees; to note how complex and multiple factors prompt migration: i.e. people can seek better financial circumstances while also fleeing persecution, etc. The normative assumptions also somewhat undermine the notion of “global perspectives” mentioned in the title. I am an immigrant in the US, and I conduct research with immigrant communities. I found some of the rationale given for people’s decisions re: healthcare, savings, education, etc. quite conceptually narrow, and possibly not very appreciative of how the hyper-capitalistic / for-profit nature of many U.S. institutions and services can be critically regarded by immigrants, rather than being not understandable, or simply “foreign” to us. The overall assertiveness about challenges immigrants face has the unfortunate—and likely unintended—consequence of giving a broad-brush impression of immigrants as on the whole uneducated, disempowered, victims. The chapter on Human Rights and that on Substance Use buck this trend, and in general are more analytical/ nuanced, albeit in different ways. The case studies and questions that end each chapter are quite emotive, and seemingly intended to elicit empathy / value judgments rather than critical engagement with policy and structural discriminations as the causes of challenges faced by immigrants. I appreciated the points where those issues are addressed in the text, but found that they were often missing from these Case Studies / questions. In the Mental Health chapter the authors assume that causes of trauma, stress, and depression all emerge from past experiences, rather than present circumstances. This is strange particularly as the chapter follows detailed explanation of how ill-health, low-waged work, labor exploitation, lack of access to housing, financial insecurity, etc. all disproportionally impact immigrant communities. There should be more explicit attention to how racism and xenophobia are causes of stress and depression here, as well as trauma past. Likewise, it appears to be taken for granted that IPV is not a significant issue in the United States, and that U.S. patriarchal norms are not contributing factors to high incidence rates. There are really invaluable data and analyses of attitudes towards and approaches to dealing with IPV and DV in POC and immigrant communities in the U.S. produced by organizations like INCITE!, and these should really be included in such discussions. In terms of accuracy of law and policy, I appreciated the links to sites that are (or at least should be) kept up to date, and to research bodies that are continuously publishing analyses of new legislation (such as MRI). Again, however, closer attention to state-level differences would have been useful to tease out the nuances and diversity of experience.
In general, policy issues are very well suited to the type of easily updated format Open Source web-based textbooks provide. That is clearly an intention of the authors, and there’s areas where that will be quite simply done in the future. Some information is already out of date, however, and seems particularly glaring where there’s direct reference to Obama / Obama-era policies. Some language choices throughout the text however seem unsuitably assertive, for example: “Never before has policy been so inclusive or aimed so intensely on family reunification.” This type of line is at once unclear (what does “inclusive” mean here?) and given the nuances of the Trump administrations’ approach to immigration, already outdated—or in need of caveats regarding country of origin; qualifications, etc. The links directly to government sites should help here, though reading it in November 2017 it already feels sadly out of date in some areas. Section I: Context is the most likely to suffer in this sense. The other two sections are more focused on experience, longterm trends, and family needs, rather than specific policies for the most part, so should better stand up under changes to law (to an extent). These are more likely to remain relevant and insightful for the longer term.
The text is very easy to read, and clear. Organization could be improved: some information is hidden in appendixes that could be more clearly signposted or included earlier to provide more detail. Language is simple and for the most part jargon-free.
Overall, the text is consistent, with the exception of framework—there does seem to be different political perspectives promoted in various chapters. Again, this might have been better explained (not necessarily avoided) by featuring a discussion of different theoretical approaches to the topic earlier on, rather than left until the end of the text. Assigning Chapter 9 early in a course will allow students to identify if a particular set of authors is taking, for example, an assimilationist position as opposed to an intersectional framework. I appreciate the plurality of voices otherwise—though there was scope for more diverse perspectives and inclusion of more grassroots insights—and overall they cohere.
The book is notably modular, and well-suited to being divided up by the assigning professor within as well as across chapters. Cross-references are rare, and hyperlinked for ease of reading.
Chapter 9, which situates different theoretical frameworks, would have been useful earlier on, as it is really a “Context” chapter. It explains many of the terms used earlier on, and as such would make it easier to understand what chapter authors mean when they choose to use specific language (“acculturation” for example). Other organizational choices make sense overall.
The book is largely text-based and easy to navigate. There are few tables / images (though scope for more of the former especially). The drop-down menus and hyperlinks work well.
There are very few proof-reading errors: an incomplete sentence at the end of a page; a repeated sentence, an errant comma etc. Nothing that is distracting--really only a handful of mistakes throughout.
I wouldn’t say the book is offensive, or necessarily insensitive, but I do feel it is quite ethnocentric, and as mentioned above, quite ‘top-down’ in its approach. I believe that the authors have made a real effort to be inclusive and thoughtful in their language choices, for example explaining why they use “Latino/a” rather than “Hispanic” and why they use “survivor” rather than “victim” when discussing IPV. I however felt that there were too many broad-bush statements made throughout the text (e.g. “In Asian families, family cohesion stems from Confucian values” is quite an assertion!), and a lack of nuance regarding differences in experience, which is an expected challenge in a book that is addressing “immigrants and refugees”—a huge, diverse population. I'm a queer immigrant woman who studies the U.S. asylum system and LGBTQ immigrant experience, so my own perspectives are quite particular, and evidently shape my response to this text. Perhaps especially because of the recent changes to immigration policies and debates under the Trump administration, and perhaps more so because of recent social trends and incidents, I do feel that more explicit attention to racism, and anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment would make this text more culturally relevant. I felt that there were opportunities to highlight state-by-state / urban-rural differences within the United States, in terms of reflecting the diversity of experience immigrants can attest to here. There was scope to include perspectives and research conducted by immigrant-led organizations, especially in southern border states, to better round out the case studies and examples, which became repetitive. The subjects of the text felt precisely that—subjects, not agents or interlocutors. Given how central community-based supports are to immigrant families in the United States, this seems to be an oversight.
Provides an excellent overview of immigration policy, the experience of immigrants and refugees and many of the major issues confronting the communities who take them in and the families who’ve landed in a new country and culture. The authors... read more
Provides an excellent overview of immigration policy, the experience of immigrants and refugees and many of the major issues confronting the communities who take them in and the families who’ve landed in a new country and culture. The authors clearly highlight the complexities and contradictions of U.S. policy and the convoluted process that immigrants and refugees must navigate. And, they thoroughly cover many of the barriers refugees and immigrants face when fleeing home, trying to enter the U.S. and building new lives in the U.S.This book is especially useful for those who know little about U.S. policy or the issues surrounding immigration. The TOC provides a clear overview with active links to the topics listed.
I didn't find any inaccuracy although the authors did generalize at time. They did, however, acknowledge this.
Immigration policy has also swung between extremes, but despite the fact that policy is in flux, most of the information in this book remains relevant. Many barriers that immigrants face and the forces that push and pull them to start new lives in the U.S. don't change even if the specific circumstances do. The topics ranged from national and international policy to individual and family issues that are relevant to a number of disciplines and courses. I could see using this textbook and supplementing with current news and journal articles that provide updates on policy but also examples of different experiences and cultures. Also, the authors can easily update as new policy and laws are enacted.
Thanks to the TOC that outlines the major topics, the structure is very clear. Additionally, the writing is concise and easy to follow and understand. Each chapter follows a similar format including a case to begin and end each chapter. Cases and questions at the end of the chapters help pull together the issues and would make good class discussion prompts.
I didn't find any inconsistencies in the text.
The chapters were clearly delineated and an instructor could easily assign chapters based on varying course content. As an instructor, I can easily assign either whole chapters are sections as well as the cases and discussion questions. Each chapter was well-referenced with up-to-date citations that offer additional sources for faculty and students.
The book is well organized and each chapter is self-contained with a logical flow between chapters.
I only used on my computer as a pdf file and it was easy to navigate and move back and forth as well as search. The images and text were easy to read/view with no distortions.
I found a couple of what appear to be typos, but nothing that distracts from the book.
There was nothing insensitive or offensive. As mentioned earlier, the authors did paint immigrants/refugees with a broad stroke, but for the most part that didn't impact the impact or credibility of the content. And, they do address the need to avoid generalizations in Future Directions in the last chapter and at several of other points within the book.
If I had a negative comment, it would be that authors paint immigrants and refugees with a broad too a brush. For example, they suggest that most are impoverished. They idea that the majority of immigrants work in low-wage jobs is inaccurate. Much depends on their country of origin, their legal status, and the circumstances surrounding their immigration. If not exposed to immigrant/refugee communities and the resilience, strengths and community supports a reader might come away feeling pity rather than awe at what many immigrant and refugee families and communities accomplish. Chapter 8 does discuss resilience, but I would like to see more of the positive examples woven throughout and a couple of cases that present a success before the end.
What a timely text! This textbook covers the journey that immigrants and families makes from their home country to their destination country, includes relevant policy background and covers common problems that are experienced as a result of this... read more
What a timely text! This textbook covers the journey that immigrants and families makes from their home country to their destination country, includes relevant policy background and covers common problems that are experienced as a result of this often traumatic and tumultuous journey (substance abuse, intimate partner violence, mental health, economic struggles, etc). I found the immigration policy descriptions especially useful as it explains many political factors that influence the immigration and resettlement process. This is great guide in helping us to better understand their situation in context of the family. For most immigrants and refugees, their families are some of the only ties they have to their home country. It can be their greatest source of strength and resilience. The few textbooks offered regarding immigrants and refugees view them as individuals rather than a family-system.
Of course this textbook is written from a pro-immigration perspective which is inherently biased. I did not encounter any grammatical errors.
This text is up-to-date including recent ICE raids for deportation in early 2016. Especially with our current political climate, I feel like the chapter on immigration policy will be ever evolving which will call for updated editions.
I was impressed by the clarity of this textbook. It breaks down all terms and policies that often get confused in a simple and understandable way.
I found this textbook to be very consistent in usage of terminology and theoretical frameworks (human rights perspective).
I found the modularity of this textbook to be especially useful because the chapters logically flow one into the next, taking you through a literal journey with immigrant and refugee families. I can already imagine how I would form a course using this text, perhaps using one family case study to follow each journey: the immigration process and the resettlement process. Students could easily use this text to imagine what each family might be experiencing.
As mentioned above, this textbook naturally flows and takes you on a step-by-step process of immigration and resettlement.
The interface is very well developed, using case studies, quotes, pictures, discussion questions and helpful links. The only drawback I would mention is that throughout the text there are some large blocks of text that could be discouraging for readers.
I did not encounter any grammatical errors.
I think content matter of this textbook speaks for itself here. It is a culturally competent text.
This will be a great resource for anyone working in any capacity with immigrants and refugees or someone who just wants to be informed. It is very accessible across disciplines.
This text covers issues related to immigration in the United States as well as refugees, legal issues, human rights, issues of mental health, chemical dependency and violence in immigrant and refugee families, resettlement issues, and resilience. ... read more
This text covers issues related to immigration in the United States as well as refugees, legal issues, human rights, issues of mental health, chemical dependency and violence in immigrant and refugee families, resettlement issues, and resilience. The case studies in each chapter provide poignant examples to help the reader understand how immigrants and refugees are impacted on legal, health, chemical dependency, and violence issues. The text provides in-depth information on how federal policies on immigration have formed over the decades and how it impacts the make up of immigrants in this country today. This textbook provides more than many texts I have reviewed on the subject of immigrants and refugees.
The textbooks is as accurate as the year it was published (which I cannot find the date of publication but it was sometime around 2016 based on bibliographies). This makes information quite accurate up to the point of our last election. As immigration and refugee policies were part of the current administrations campaign promises and indeed recent event have shown this, it will be necessary to make some edits on information as new policies develop. It is free of bias and has no misinformation but provides factual data backed up by appropriate references in the bibliographies after each chapter.
With current global upheaval and movement of thousands of refugees across the globe, this is a very relevant book indeed. I would like to see more on the topic of climate change and refugees as I believe this will be a very relevant topic in the coming years. The text could easily be updated with the latest information by the authors with minor edits. I believe edits will be necessary within the next year or two as new immigrant and refugee policies are developed by our current federal government. More information on global impacts of the massive movement of refugees would be helpful in context to this book as some countries in Europe will be forever changed by the refugee impact.
The text is very easy to read. I would place it at the undergraduate level. It is free from jargon and technical terminology - and when used is defined and explained - including case examples that assist the reader in understanding what the authors wish to convey.
The text is multi-authored but reads with an easy flow. There is no differentiation between sections or chapters. It flows well and is easy to follow. Case examples in each chapter assist the reader with a clear picture that readily flows from one section to the next.
What I particularly like about this textbook is that I can uses different sections within a chapter and/or different chapters throughout a course. I would not necessarily need to use the entire book but can visualize using parts of the book at different times through the course semester that relates to the topic we are discussing in class. It would not be disruptive to use only part of the text for a class as each chapter does stand alone - yet is organized in such a manner that it flows whether the decision is to go from each chapter in sequential order or not.
Each section and chapter are logically sequenced in a orderly fashion. The subjects flow naturally from one section to the next with great case examples to enhance the understanding of concepts and terminology.
The interface is okay but it is a little challenging at first to navigate. Moving from one page to the next is not difficult so much as it is not particularly friendly. As I think of my online reading - using things such as tablets or a Kindle - I can bookmark a page, I can search a topic and find something that I am looking for with relative ease. This is a bit more challenging to do that - other than go to by chapters and sections. It would be nice to have a feature to save your place from one reading to the next.
I found no grammar errors in this text.
This textbook has nothing culturally insensitive or offensive within sections or chapters. The text is presented free of bias.
I will be using parts of this textbook for my Globalization of Social Welfare class as we discuss immigrants and refugees. I do not need the entire text but will certainly use specific chapters. I see this as a very well written book that explains the bio-psycho-social-political-cultural-economic issues that are involved in working with or understanding of immigrants and refugees in the United States.
The authors did an excellent job of comprehensively describing the immigrant and refugee experience in the United States. Each chapter provided extensive coverage of topics and issues that are very relevant to understanding and working with... read more
The authors did an excellent job of comprehensively describing the immigrant and refugee experience in the United States. Each chapter provided extensive coverage of topics and issues that are very relevant to understanding and working with immigrants and refugees. This book provides an excellent overview of the immigrant and refugees experiences, their journey to the United States, some of the mental health and other health concerns they may present with when seeking assistance, and specific ways that can be helpful in their resettlement. I especially appreciated the chapter on Resilience and factors that facilitate that process, as often the negative aspects of immigrants and refugees are highlighted. I found the authors' emphases of the book from a systems perspective to be an appropriate model in terms of how we can view the families from a collectivistic rather than individualistic perspective. I think the authors did a great job of presenting both theories and research on this important topic, and comprehensively covered the areas they wanted to include in the book. The only things missing were the index and glossary. This book makes a major contribution to the literature on immigrants and refugees.
This book presented a variety of perspectives on immigrants and refugees. The statistical data presented was accurate and up to date. They often provided links to sources of data for further exploration and information, which is a major strength of the book. The approaches to understanding immigrants and refugees were balanced, as they often presented many views, including opposing views, to ensure comprehensive coverage of the issues.
This book makes an outstanding contribution to the literature on immigrants and refugees because of its up to date statistics, research studies, and coverage of currents events such as the Affordable Care Act and its impact on immigrants and refugees. I think that the book is amenable to updates as they become available and can easily be inserted in the appropriate places in the chapters because it is an E-book. I see the contents as being relevant at this time because of the current occurrences related to refugees (e.g. Syrian refugees), and the policies about immigration that are being discussed. This book has an important place in understanding how we, as Americans, can assist in the resettlement of both immigrants and refugees. This book also provides important information for health care professionals in responding in a culturally-relevant manner to the needs of immigrants and refugees.
This book is written for a very wide audience from the volunteer who desires to assist his/her neighbor who is an immigrant or refugee to the professional who wants to ensure that that she/he has a grasp of how to approach their work with immigrants or refugees. I appreciated that the authors clearly defined some of the terms they used. For instance, they often explained the theories they described in common terminology and provided definitions when necessary. All of the topics they chose to emphasize were clearly delineated and illustrated with case examples.
The overarching theme for the book is how we can understand and assist immigrants and refugees. Consequently, they organized the chapters that build on each other as they tell the story of immigrants and refugees. They provide convincing data to support what they propose and emphasize that there is no unilateral manner to understanding and assisting immigrants and refugees. I like their theme of seeing immigrants and refugees, in the context of their families, throughout the book.
This book is well organized and flows well. The chapters build on each other, although they can be read as individual units. The book starts out with understanding policies, recognizing the journey, the importance of human rights, economic considerations, mental health issues, including intimate partner violence and substance abuse, the role of resilience, and understanding resettlement. The book covers information that is essential in an understanding of immigrants and refugees.
One of the advantages of this book is that it can interface with a variety of devices and it displays well. I liked the links to further information. The text is quite readable.
The grammar of the book was fine and there were no significant grammatical errors. In fact, the writing was clear and comprehensible.
One of the highlights of this book is its cultural relevance. It does a great job of describing culturally relevant ways to approach and work with immigrants and refugees. For instance, it emphasizes the need for health care professionals and psychotherapists to understand the background and experiences of immigrants and refugees and develop culturally appropriate ways of working with them. It also describes the importance of understanding culture in the resettlement process.
As an immigrant, I was very impressed with this book. I like the research base as well as the practical applications. As a professor in clinical psychology, I plan to use this book in my Multicultural Psychotherapy class. It is very important that psychologists understand how to work effectively with immigrants and refugees in culturally relevant ways. I highly recommend this book for both undergraduate and graduate classes.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Immigration and Immigrant Policy: Barriers and Opportunities for Families
- Chapter 2: From There to Here: The Journey of Refugee Families to the United States
- Chapter 3: Human Rights
- Chapter 4: Economic Well-Being, Supports and Barriers
- Chapter 5: Mental Health
- Chapter 6: Intimate Partner Violence among Immigrants and Refugees
- Chapter 7: Substance Abuse
- Chapter 8: Resilience in Immigrant and Refugee Families
- Chapter 9: Embracing a New Home: Resettlement Research and the Family
- Chapter 10: Conclusion
About the Book
Immigrant and Refugee Families: Global Perspectives on Displacement and Resettlement Experiences uses a family systems lens to discuss challenges and strengths of immigrant and refugee families in the United States. Chapters address immigration policy, human rights issues, economic stress, mental health and traumatic stress, domestic violence, substance abuse, family resilience, and methods of integration.
About the Contributors
Jaime Ballard is a PhD student in the Department of Family Social science at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on supporting families and parents affected by traumatic stress. She is currently working with Karen refugees in St. Paul to develop interventions to support families that are culturally appropriate and responsive to shared experiences of trauma.
Elizabeth Wieling is an associate professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. She is a family therapist and a prevention and intervention scholar working to develop parenting and family level evidence-based interventions for populations affected by traumatic stress. Wieling collaborates with interdisciplinary colleagues in post-conflict settings outside of the United States and with immigrant and refugee communities locally. Her teaching includes courses on clinical treatments for families affected by post-traumatic stress and topics related to social justice and mental health.
Catherine Solheim is an associate professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on family finances, family theory, and global and diverse families. She has co-led six learning abroad courses to Thailand, focusing on how globalization impacts family, culture, and the natural environment. Solheim’s scholarship focuses on ways that culture, socio-economic status, and relationships impact the diverse ways families make decisions about their resources.