How exactly do refugees fit into these landscapes? The question is about more than the capacity of towns and cities to absorb newcomers, it is equally about the types of social and spatial formations, and identities that refugees must learn about and adjust to. Of especial concern to this project, therefore, are the ways in which refugees adjust to life in a predominantly white and semi-rural Vermont––especially those who are marked as racially, religiously, or ethnically distinct. What are their expectations upon arrival, and how do these match up their experience of resettlement? Do refugees maintain distinct cultural practices and identities and connections to their former countries? What new norms and customs do they adopt? These are some of the key questions we seek to address through indicator surveys of refugees who have settled in the area in recent years.
The indicator surveys are broken into two phases:
- An expectations survey to asses the individual’s hopes for their new home
- An experiences survey one year later to assess the same individual’s actual experiences compared to their initial expectations
Also included in this section is an archive of various news articles about refugees and their impact on the local communities here in Vermont.