JAMES W. TOLLEFSON is an Associate Professor and Director of the M.A. Program in Teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Washington. He has published one other book and more than twenty-five articles on second language acquisition, language policy, and language education.
Alien Windsby James Tollefson
Alien Winds presents the first critical analysis of U.S. refugee processing centers in Southeast Asia. Based on twenty months of work in refugee camps from 1983-1986 and an analysis of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, this book challenges the widely held view that the refugee education program results in successful resettlement. The/i>
Alien Winds presents the first critical analysis of U.S. refugee processing centers in Southeast Asia. Based on twenty months of work in refugee camps from 1983-1986 and an analysis of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, this book challenges the widely held view that the refugee education program results in successful resettlement. The author contends that in its zeal to Americanize Southeast Asians, this program seeks to replace ties to their traditional community with a commitment to the myths of American success ideology and the moral principle of self-sufficiency. He concludes that the program actually disempowers the refugees by robbing them of their sense of community, and often their dignity. Without regard to skills or education, it prepares refugees for long term employment in dead end minimum wage jobs. Of particular interest to teachers of English as a second language and scholars in the fields of education, sociology, anthropology, and Southeast Asian studies, Alien Winds concludes with recommendations for overseas centers and domestic resettlement programs.
From its inception the U.S. refugee resettlement program faced difficult questions: What are the main difficulties facing Southeast Asians in the United States? What do refugees need to know in order to resettle successfully? How should successful resettlement be defined? Should there be different notions of success for different groups of people? What values do Americans share? Must newcomers adopt these values? Alien Winds examines the American answers to these questions as they are formulated and conveyed to the refugees. It also explores the sources of these answers. To this end it examines important assumptions about immigrants that originated in educational programs during the early part of this century. It further explores the aims and structures of the organizations which created and operate the processing centers. Finally, Alien Winds analyzes the role of the refugee program in America's shared memory of Vietnam.
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