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ANTH 328 Anthropology of Immigrants and Refugees

The dramatic population movements globally and into the U.S. over recent decades of people fleeing violence or seeking viable livelihoods leads to many complex questions concerning migration. This course explores contemporary migration through an anthropological perspective into the lived experiences of refugees and immigrants who come to the U.S., and gives particular attention to immigrant groups residing locally. Students will gain empirical and theoretical bases of social science research to place migration experiences in sociocultural, economic and political context and to critically assess assumptions about refugees and migrants found in discourses on immigration.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective May 9, 2017 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Demonstrate understanding of the complexity of contemporary migration processes affecting refugees and immigrants who come to the U.S., drawing on insights from ethnographic cases and other qualitative source materials.
  • Critically analyze news media representations of refugees and immigrants in the U.S., particularly those cultural groups residing locally.
  • Apply social science concepts to think critically and creatively about debates and policies in the U.S. concerning refugees and immigrants.
  • Integrate and synthesize theoretical and empirical studies of refugee and immigrants through oral presentations, essays, and research projects that are informed, well-reasoned and literate.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 7: Human Diversity

  • Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  • Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  • Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.