Recommended Books and DVDs on Refugee Families & Healthy Marriages
A Place in Mind (2003). [DVD]
An animated film that follows the lives of refugees arriving in a strange new country that will become their new home.
Aronson Fontes, Lisa (2005). Child Abuse and Culture, Working with Diverse Families. New York: Gilford Press.
This book provides guidelines in how to address child abuse across cultures in a culturally competent way. Additionally, it gives readers the ability to reflect critically of their own viewpoints so that they can better assess situations of physical and sexual abuse.
Asquith, Christina (2009). Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family and Survival in the New Iraq.
The novel recounts the lives of four women living in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The book offers “a seldom heard female perspective into the everyday lives, struggles, disappointments and triumphs of women during this chaotic and dangerous time” (Amazon).
Bagarozzi Dennis A. and Stephen A. Anderson (1989). Personal, Marital, and Family
Myths, Theoretical Formulations and Clinical Strategies. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Ltd.
Aware of it, or not, symbols, values, and beliefs help us navigate and make sense of our world each day and influence our relationships with others. Focusing on this idea, the authors give readers a psychotherapeutic approach useful to both therapists and individuals.
Beah, Ishmael (2007). A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. New York: Sarah Crichton Books.
Beah recounts his extraordinary and powerfully painful experiences of warfare and violence throughout his childhood and his journey towards rehabilitation and healing.
Bennett, M.J. (1993). “Towards Ethnorelativism: A developmental model of intercultural Sensitivity” In R.M. Paige (Ed). Education for the Intercultural Experience (pp. 21-72) Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.
M.J. Bennet proposes that most people see their culture as a reality, which may make them insensitive of others cultures. However, he argues that individuals are exposed to cultural differences they become more sensitive. Bennet then proposes a model of six steps in which this occurs: 1. Denial 2. Defense 3. Minimization 4. Acceptance 5. Adaptation and 6. Integration.
Between Two Worlds: The Hmong Shaman in America (2008). [DVD]
“The Hmong Shaman in America powerfully exposes the struggle of Hmong refugees in America. This classic documentary traces the lives of three Hmong families displaced thousands of miles from their villages in Northern Laos and alienated in American cities” (Amazon).
Beyond Rangoon (1995). [DVD]
“A young San Francisco widow is swept into a political uprising in Burma as her sister reluctantly drags her on a Southeast Asia tour” (Amazon). With Patricia Arquette and John Boorman.
Bochner, Stephen (1994). “Culture Shock” In Walter J. Lonner and Roy S. Malpass
(Eds.) Psychology and Culture (pp. 245-251). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Stephen Bochner describes why and how culture shock occurs. Bochner also explains the effects it has on individuals and even the host society.
Burma: A Forgotten War (2009). [DVD]
Filmmaker Lea Rekow documents the resilience of the Burmese people who live under the rule of the corrupt military junta in illuminating the stories of every day people inside Burma (Amazon).
Connelly, Karen (2010). Burmese Lessons: A True love story
Connelly portrays a love story set in Myanmar in 1996 in which she falls for a Burmese revolutionary leader.
Constable, Robert and Daniel Lee (2004). "Assessment and Intervention with Families in a Multicultural World”. Social Work with Families: Content & Process. Chicago: Lyceum Books, Inc.
Drawing on multiple methodologies, the authors formulate an approach based on process and content to help family members form better relationships with each other.
Derald Wing, Sue and David Sue (1999). Counseling the Culturally Different: Theory
and Practice (3rd Ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons.
This book provides information in how to better understand minority experience in the U.S.A. and how to provide culturally appropriate counseling across cultures.
Dresser, Norine (2005). Multicultural Manners-Essential Rules of Etiquette for the 21st
Century, (Revised Ed). New York: John Wiley and Sons.
This book sets out to provide better understanding of etiquette across cultures and gives tips in how to interact in different social settings in a respectful manner.
Dumas, Firoozeh (2004). Funny in Farsi.
Dumas recounts her move from Iran to America at age seven and the difficulties of adjusting to her new life in the United States, with her extended family and marriage to a Frenchman. “A witty look at cross-cultural misunderstanding and family life that immigrants from anywhere are likely to identify with” (Amazon).
Eggers, Dave (2007). What is the What. New York: Vintage Books.
Separated from his family when Arab militia destroy his village, Valentino joins thousands of other "Lost Boys," beset by starvation, thirst and man-eating lions on their march to squalid refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, where Valentino pieces together a new life.
Faber, Adele and Elaine Mazlish (1999). How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. New York: Avon Books.
“How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk is an excellent communication tool kit based on a series of workshops developed by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Faber and Mazlish (coauthors of Siblings Without Rivalry) provide a step-by-step approach to improving relationships in your house” (Amazon).
Faderman, Lillian (1999). I begin my life all over: the Hmong and the American Immigrant Experience.
Faderman illuminates stories of refugees into passage into American life. “The book, divided between tales of survival and escape from the old world, and disorientation in the new, is in turn harrowing and inspiring. Elder immigrants speak of the erosion of their traditions in the face of American culture, while the young talk of being pulled between love for their parents and a need to assimilate for their own survival” (Amazon).
Gardener, Nigel (2007). In Search of Gross Domestic Happiness: A Father and Son Go Trekking in Bhutan.
A father and son undertake an expedition through the mountains and villages of Bhutan with a purpose to “re-discover each other as individuals and to “see how other cultures balance the demands of work and family” (Amazon).
Ghias, Suzanne (2005). Extreme Facilitation, Guiding Groups Through Controversy and Complexity (1st Ed.).New York: John Wiley and Sons.
This book tackles group conflict and how to deal with it. It specifically looks at difficult situations and proposes step-by-step solutions leading to success.
Gilbert, Elizabeth (2010). Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage.
Gilbert’s follow-up to her bestselling novel Eat Pray Love (2006) in which Gilbert tackles her fears of marriage by immersing herself in the topic, “trying with all her might to discover through historical research, interviews and much personal reflection what this enduring institution actually is.” On the topic of marriage, the novel examines questions of “compatibility, infatuation, fidelity, family tradition, social expectations, divorce risks and humbling responsibilities” (bookbrowse).
Ginott, Haim (1965). Between Parent and Child. New York: Three Rivers Press.
“Written by renowned psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott, this revolutionary book offered a straightforward prescription for empathetic yet disciplined child rearing and introduced new communication techniques that would change the way parents spoke with, and listened to, their children” (Amazon).
God Grew Tired of Us. U.S.A: National Geographic Films. [DVD]
About 25,000 young men have fled the wars in Sudan since the 1980’s. This documentary is about three of these young men and their lives in America.
Gottman, John (1995). Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last. New York: Simon and Schuster.
“This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to help you determine what kind of marriage you have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to help your marriage” (Amazon).
Gray, J. (1992). Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, New York: Harper
In order to facilitate communication and interaction among the sexes, John Gray looks at the communication style of each sex and proposes an approach based on the acknolwedgement of differences.
Guibernau, Montserrat and John Rex (Eds.) (1997). The Ethnicity Reader,
Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
The reader touches on issues of ethnicity, nationalism, multiculturalism, and migration by exploring a series of case studies in the U.S.A, Canada, the U.K, and many more. In particular it focuses in giving readers the ability to understand conflicts arising out of such issues and the role that group rights.
Hall, Stuart (Ed.) (2001). Representation, Cultural Representations and Signifying
Practices. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
The book looks at the way culture is socially constructed through a variety of means. The book especially looks at the role of language, media portrayals, and institutions play to build culture. The pros and cons of such actions are also discussed.
Helton, Arthur (2002). The Price of Indifference: Refugees and Humanitarian Action in the New Century (A Council on Foreign Relations Book). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
“Refugee policy has not kept pace with new realities in international and humanitarian affairs. Recent policy failures have resulted in instability, terrible hardships, and massive loss of life. This book systematically analyzes refugee policy responses over the past decade and calls for specific reforms to make policy more proactive and comprehensive” (Amazon).
Hop (2005). [DVD]
“Justin and his father are Burundian refugees living 'sans papiers' in Brussels. When dad is caught and slated for deportation, his son forms an unlikely alliance with an old anarchist and his girlfriend to fight the system and get his father back. Both charming and insightful, HOP is a real treat. Suitable for all ages” (ActsofAchievement.org.uk).
Hosseini, Khaled (2004). The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead Books.
“The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted” (Amazon).
Hutt, Michael (2005). Unbecoming Citizens: Culture, Nationhood and the Flight of Refugees from Bhutan.
In this illuminating recount, Hutt explains who the Bhutanese refugees are and why they had to leave their native country.
In This World (2004). [DVD]
“A docudrama that reportedly re-creates the harrowing journey of two young Afghan males smuggled, one step at a time, from a long-established refugee camp in Pakistan across central Asia to their London destination” (Amazon).
Kirshner, Mia and J.B. Mackinnon, Paul Shoebridges, and Michael Simons (2008). I Live Here. New York: Pantheon.
“This paper documentary, as they bill it, tells hot-button stories from four world crisis areas: Chechnya (in the midst of war), Burma (ethnic cleansing), Mexico (globalization) and Malawi (AIDS). Those credited are identified as an actor, an author and two creative directors who have conceptualized international advocacy campaigns, as well as a number of other artists and writers” (Amazon).
Koutlaki, Sofia A. Among the Iranians, Inside Iran’s Culture and Customs. Boston: Intercultural Press.
Using personal observations and intercultural theory, Sofia Koutlaki, aims to demystify Iranian culture to Westerners. Questions about marriage, piety, dress code, the culture of politeness and more are covered.
Lerner, Harriet (2002). The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate. New York: Harper Collins.
“With her familiar mix of conversational language and profound empathy for people (primarily women) who are struggling with the most important relationships in their lives, she now tackles the verbal challenges of life's most painful conversations” (Amazon).
Live and Become (2005). [DVD]
“A beautiful film by Radu Mihaileanu that follows the life of a young refugee through Ethiopia, Sudan, France, Belgium, Israel and Italy. This beautiful tale of love, resilience, and family is told in Amharic, Hebrew, and French” (REI).
Lost Boys of Sudan (2003). [DVD]
The film “follows two teenage Sudanese refugees on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America, offering a gripping and sobering peek into the myth of the American Dream” (Amazon).
Maric, Vesna (2009). Bluebird: A Memoir. New York: Soft Skull Press.
“For Vesna Maric, the war begins when the machine gun fire in the distance sounds like a sewing machine. As it comes closer, her family’s anxiety grows, prompting them to send her and her sister to Britain via bus. Interweaved are stories of other refugees — stories of love, escape, and burdens of the ‘refugee’ label” (Amazon).
Markowitz, Fran and Anders H. Stefansson (2004). Homecomings: Unsettling Paths of Return (Program in Migration and Refugee Studies). Lanham: Lexington Books.
“Homecomings explores the forces and motives that drive immigrants, war refugees, political exiles, and their descendants back to places of origin. By including a range of homecoming experiences, Markowitz and Stefansson destabilize key oppositions and terminologies that have vexed migration studies for decades” (Amazon).
Mead, Alice (2007). Dawn and Dusk.
Mead recounts the fictional fist-person narrative of Azad, 13, a Kurdish boy who survives the bombing of the Kurds in 1987 and brings home the tragedy of war through the experiences of a young teen along with his relationship with his father (Hazel Rochman).
Mollica, Richard (2008). Healing Invisible Wounds: Paths to Hope and Recovery in a Violent World. Florida: Vanderbilt University Press.
“Mollica breaks with what he says is the conventional wisdom that torture victims are untreatable. In limpid prose, Mollica, director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, celebrates instead ‘the capacity of persons to recover from violent events and to engage in self-healing’” (Amazon).
Mortenson, Greg and David Oliver Relin (2006). Three Cups of Tea. New York: Viking Penguin.
A true story about a Greg Mortenson’s journey to promote peace through education in Pakistan and Afghanistan, after a life changing experience.
The Namesake (2006). USA: Fox Searchlight Pictures. [DVD]
A movie about the son of Indian Immigrants, who struggles to fit in American society, while facing the traditional ways of his family.
Nydell, Margaret. Understanding Arabs: A Guide for Modern Times (4th Ed.). Boston: Intercultural Press.
The book aims to give better understanding of modern Arab point of views in the Middle East and around the world. The book especially focuses on how American foreign policy in the Middle East, through out the last 50 years, directly influence Arab views on America. The book also makes clear that Muslim fundamentalism is not part of mainstream Islam and that although there is great anger in the region against American foreign policy, the majority of Arabs do not hate Americans, not do they wish harm on Americans. The book is aimed at a non-specialist audience and is fast paced reading.
Persepolis (2007). [DVD]
“A fascinating and wholly unexpected take on Iran’s Islamic revolution beginning in the 1970s, Persepolis is an enthralling, animated feature about a spirited young woman who spends her life trying to deal with the consequences of her nation’s history” (Amazon).
Phan, Zoya (2009). Little Daughter: A Memoir of Survival in Burma and the West. Viking Canada.
“By turns uplifting, tragic and entirely gripping, this is the extraordinary true story of the girl from the jungle who became an icon of a suffering land” (Amazon).
Phan, Zoya (2010). Undaunted: My Struggle for Freedom & Survival in Burma.
A memoir in which Phan, the international coordinator at the Burma Campaign UK tells her life story in illuminating the ongoing struggle for democracy against Burma’s military junta.
Raguenaud, Virginie (2009). Bilingual By Choice: Raising Kids in Two (or More)
Languages. Boston: Intercultural Press.
Virginie Raguenaud aims gives parents strategies in through the long process of teaching children a second language, or more. Strategies focus on activities and resources parents can draw on to help with retention.
Robert, Na’ima (2009). From Somalia With Love.
“Safia has grown up believing her father died in the fighting in Somalia. When she finds out that he is alive and on his way to London to join the family, she is apprehensive about the difference his presence will make in her life. Though she is comfortable with her identity as a Muslim, she struggles with how her values differ from those of her rebellious brother and cousin. Her father is not prepared for his family’s hybrid British-Somali culture, which causes a great deal of conflict. Safia must learn to cope with the new dynamics in her home and learn to love a father she has never known” (Amazon).
Samovar, L. A., Porter, R.E., and McDaniel, E. (2008). Intercultural Communication,
A Reader (12th Ed.). Belmont: Wordsworth Publishing Company.
Taking a comparative approach, the reader explores similar and different styles of communication across cultures. The purpose of the reader is to give people in a variety of professional settings better ways to communicate with people of different backgrounds.
Serov, Banafsheh (2008). Under a Starless Sky: A Family’s Escape from Iran.
A memoir about one family’s journey from Tehran to refuge in Turkey after the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Storti Craig (1994). Cross-Cultural Dialogues 74 Brief Encounters with Cultural
Difference. Boston: Intercultural Press.
The book gives examples of everyday conversations between people of different cultures speaking to one another and the way misunderstandings can occur. The examples are meant to give participants of training sections better awareness of the how and why it occurs.
Schwartz, S. (1990). “Individualism – collectivism: Critiques and Proposed
Refinements”. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 21 (2), 139-157.
The article makes the point that individualistic and collectivist societies cannot be seen as total opposites of one another and that neither of these dichotomies is better than the other. To do this, the author criticizes held assumptions about both dichotomies and tests both notions.
TBBC - Thailand Burma Border Consortium (2010). Nine Thousand Nights. Refugees From Burma: A People’s Scrapbook
More than Nine Thousand Nights have passed since the first refugee camps were set up on the Thailand-Burma border in 1984. This book brings together memories, art, and photographs contributed by hundreds of refugees and people now scattered around the world.
Teague, Don (2010). Saved by Her Enemy: An Iraqi Woman’s Journey From the Heart of War to the Heartland of America.
Teague, the correspondent for the Early Show and CBS Evening News documents the story of Rafraf Barrak, an Iraqi college girl who won the job as a translator for NBC during the early months of violence in the wake of the American invasion of Iraq. Rafraf finds herself transplanted from Iraq to America and finds everything that she knew, or thought she knew about herself, her values, her world and family turned upside down. As a book reviewer for Amazon holds, the story recounts “a young Iraqi woman, an American war correspondent and a tale of friendship, faith and family against the backdrop of war and the collision of cultures” (Amazon).
Waltz with Bashir (2009). [DVD]
“Hailed as one of the most extraordinary films of 2009, this animated documentary shares one man’s struggle to understand his role in the Israeli-Lebanon war and the Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palestinian refugees” (REI).
Wilkinson, Michael (2004). The Secrets of Facilitation, the S.M.A.R.T. Guide to Getting
Results with Groups. New York: Jossey- Bass
Michael Wilkinson provides Structured Meeting and Relating Techniques (SMART) to give anyone the ability to achieve facilitation in a range of group settings.
Wood, J.T. (2001). Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender and Culture (8th Ed.).
Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Gendered Lives, Eighth Edition, introduces you to theories, research, and pragmatic information demonstrating the multiple and often interactive ways that our views of masculinity and femininity are shaped within contemporary culture. It is an engaging text that encourages you to think critically about gender and our society
Wright, H. Norman (1995). Communication: Key to Your Marriage. Ventura: Regal Books.
“Your marriage is your most important human relationship. What does it take to make it intimate, loving and fun? It starts with knowing how to talk to your spouse” (Amazon).