Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Katherine B. Hankins

Second Advisor

Dr. Kate Derickson

Third Advisor

Dr. William Fleming


Although there are numerous studies of how resettlement affects refugees, there are fewer examining the dynamic of how refugees and long term residents join together in formal, and to even greater extent, informal relationships of care to reconstitute and reconfigure place. Theorists often focus on the economic, political and historical elements of place identity, ignoring the emotional, phenomenological, and grounded aspects of the everyday construction and experience of place. The production, distribution, and consumption of systems of care in Clarkston has immense impact on the habitual, mundane routines that significantly affect ideas of identity and spill over into social, cultural, economic, and political change. Using a qualitative analysis of interviews and participant observation, the focus of this thesis is on the material, performative, and representational ways in which the dialectical relationships of teacher and student, educator and educated, care-giver and recipient, are transforming the rapidly evolving City of Clarkston.