Author:Georgina Ramsay (University of Delaware)
Paper short abstract:
Has the label of "crisis" focused attention toward exceptionalising the experiences of refugees, whilst overlooking the common forces of precarity that shape not only their lives but the lives of many?
Paper long abstract:
"So the government can provide for the refugees, but not the homeless we already have?" One viewer tweeted in response to a current affairs program on an American cable network in October 2016. That tweet managed, at once, to succinctly capture a common public sentiment used in the US to delegitimise support for refugees, whilst catalysing even more pervasive tropes of the binaries between citizen and refugee, local and global, us and them. But what if those categorical binaries were stripped away. Would the displacement experienced by one group differ significantly from the other? In many ways, yet not in others. Based on research conducted with refugees in situations of temporary asylum in Uganda, to refugees resettled permanently in Australia, to people, both migrants and non-migrants, who are homeless in the US, I argue here that the erosion of state support has become a condition of our time that characterises the lives of many, and not just those who have been persecuted and are unable to live in their home country. I consider here how the label of "crisis" has focused attention toward exceptionalising the experiences of refugees whilst overlooking the common forces of precarity that shape not only their lives but the lives of many.
De-exceptionalising displacement in times of crisis