School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy Faculty Publications

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This study is based on focus groups conducted with Christian Iraqi refugee secondary school students in the metropolitan Detroit area, and interviews with staff from volunteer aide agencies, non-governmental organizations, churches, and independent researchers in both Amman, Jordan as well as the Detroit metropolitan area. The article examines varying influences of religious capital among Iraqi Christian students. Examination of the operation of this capital within the context of the two countries’ economic and foreign policy interests including their refugee policies exposes macro-level forces that render religious capital to function in countervailing manners. Iraqi Christian students in both Amman and Detroit experience the reverberating affects of an inverse relationship between their religious capital and their ability to live a stable and secure life in Iraq. Moreover, the ability of Iraqi refugees to wield their religious capital to their advantage in schooling is highly mediated by a dominant ideology within Jordan that positions them as ‘foreigners’, a restricted US refugee policy limiting the numbers allowed in, and a prevailing ideology within the USA that treats migrants from the Arab world as ‘suspect’ and potential threats to public safety and national security.

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Originally published in Power and Education:

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Power and Education

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