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Book Chapter

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Refugee migration is often discussed in isolation from other types of mobility. Refugee movement is distinguished by the perception that such migrations are forced and occur among disempowered individuals and populations lacking autonomy. This essay dispels the notion that refugees are not involved in making decisions about their mobility. We situate refugee migration as one category of movement, and then discuss migration trajectories and how individuals determine where they will go and how they will get there. Finally, we discuss refugee resettlement and onward migration, exploring why resettlement does not necessarily stop movement. Many refugees continue to migrate 2 even after resettlement as they search for jobs, co-ethnic communities, a sense of belonging, and so on, which contradicts the policy goals of creating a permanent home in a new country.


Office of Research, Scholarship and Writing

Publication or Event Title

Handbook of Culture and Migration




This is a draft chapter. The final version - Chapter 28: “Refugees on the move: resettlement and onward migration in final destination countries” by Marnie Shaffer and Emma Stewart - is available in Handbook of Culture and Migration, edited by Jeffrey H. Cohen and Ibrahim Sirkeci, published in 2021, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd:

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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