(Mis)trusted Contact: Resettlement Knowledge Assets and the Third Space of Refugee Reception

  • Christopher Kyriakides York University, Canada
  • Arthur McLuhan York University, Canada
  • Karen Anderson York University, Canada
  • Lubna Bajjali York University, Canada
  • Noheir Elgendy York University, Canada

Abstract

Abstract
Drawing on interviews with 204 participants in two studies of privately sponsored refugee resettlement in Ontario, Canada, we explore the resettlement effects of pre-arrival contact on the interactional dynamics between private sponsors and privately sponsored Syrian refugees. Those who had regular pre-arrival contact via digital applications such as Facebook, Skype, and Whatsapp reported more positive, “successful” resettlement experiences than those who had not. This pre-arrival interactive dynamic has theoretical/conceptual implications beyond an understanding of the benefits of “information exchange.” Pre-arrival sponsor-sponsored interaction is not bound by the contexts of displacement or resettlement, but constitutes a “third space” of reception, co-created through trusted contact. We develop the concept of “resettlement knowledge assets” and report on how these assets emerge through pre-arrival trust building, modify the resettlement expectations of both sponsors and sponsored, and reduce resettlement uncertainty.

Author Biographies

Christopher Kyriakides, York University, Canada

Christopher Kyriakides holds the position of Canada Research Chair in Citizenship, Social Justice, and Ethno-Racialization at York University, Canada. He may be contacted at ckyriak@yorku.ca.

Arthur McLuhan, York University, Canada

Arthur McLuhan is a research fellow at York University and theory division chair of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. He may be contacted at mcluhan@yorku.ca.

Karen Anderson, York University, Canada

Karen Anderson is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, York University. She can be reached at karenand@yorku.ca.

Lubna Bajjali, York University, Canada

Lubna Bajjali is a research associate with the Department of Sociology, York University, Canada. She may be reached at l.bajjali@yorku.ca.

Noheir Elgendy, York University, Canada

Noheir Elgendy is the executive director of Al-Qazzaz Foundation for Education and Development and adjunct professor at Ryerson University. She may be contacted at noheir@gmail.com.

Published
2019-09-22
How to Cite
Kyriakides, C., McLuhan, A., Anderson, K., Bajjali, L., & Elgendy, N. (2019). (Mis)trusted Contact: Resettlement Knowledge Assets and the Third Space of Refugee Reception. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 35(2), 24-35. https://doi.org/10.7202/1064817ar