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Roots and Routes

Bosnian Adolescent Refugees in New York City

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Jacqeline Mosselson

Roots and Routes is a poignant study of the social integration and identity formation of female refugee youth. Grounded in the practical experiences of adolescent Bosnian refugees living in New York City, the book gives voice to these youths’ experiences as they develop a sense of self in their newly adopted homes. Jacqueline Mosselson explores the tensions of affiliation that this process of identity formation generates as the refugees seek to understand ties that bind them to their past, their homeland, and their cultural and geographical roots. Of central concern is the way the identities of refugee youth are affected by new understandings of cultural capital and social expectations. Mosselson’s work draws on the theoretical literature of cultural studies and critical psychology to call into question long-held beliefs about the ways refugees «adapt» to the United States. In this powerful and moving book, the female refugee informants speak back to, and reflect on, the constraints as well as the possibilities of their transition, migration, and exile from their homelands.