Refugee Resettlement in Boise, ID: Understanding Self-sufficiency Through a Foucauldian Lens

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences



Faculty Sponsor

Ginna Husting


The resettled refugee is managed from the moment they arrive on U.S. soil. They are subjected to a strict schedule of required activities, procedures, and benchmarks with the intent to create a manageable individual. In exchange for access to resources controlled by others, resettled refugees monitor themselves according to the U.S. ideal of the self-sufficient individual, denude of historical context and reduced to a set of statistics. This project asks how the intervention and services of refugee resettlement can become a “regime of care” (Ticktin 2011); a set of bureaucratic interventions, services, & rules that unintentionally transforms care into a tool of control and marginalization at the local level. I track when and how regimes of care produce economic dependence and social marginalization, and when they do not. How must refugees manage themselves according the ideal of the “good refugee?” To what extent is the “good refugee” defined in terms of the refugee’s ability to fit within these policies and to live well enough not to become a bother?

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