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Just what is the critical book report? A: As its name suggests, this assignment is meant to be your chance to offer a critical take on the various topics discussed in Refugees of the Revolution by Diana Allan. The report should not be a book summary. The report should incorporate concepts and ideas discussed in class and offered in lecture presentations and videos. A report is one that is able to utilize essential concepts (e.g.: liminality, agency, rite of passage, power/authority, types of capital, fusions, legitimacy, authenticity…etc.) reviewed in class to critically react to the book. In the report, don’t summarize; instead, analyze. Good reports will show: 1) Clear evidence you have done the assigned reading thoroughly 2) Critical analysis 3) Evidence of your own thinking on the subjects at hand, which may include reflection on personal or intellectual experiences which you relate to the topic to offer supportive detail. The main focus of the report should be on evaluating the book’s arguments. Namely: • What is the bottom line in the book? • What is the author really trying to say, in a nutshell? • What kinds of evidence does the author bring to the case? Is it convincing? Why or why not? Q: How do I write the report? A: There’s more than one way to write it. The suggestions below are not exhaustive, they are illustrative: 1) You can identify a common thread running through the reading, illustrate that thread with examples from the text and apply basic concepts to analyze it, and offer your own understanding of that thread. What’s a common thread? Common threads are macro themes that run through some or all chapters of the book. Examples of such themes include: transnationalism, integration/adaptation, subsistence (i.e. making a living), material and/or affective dimensions of lives in exile, guest-host relations, diasporic identities, xenophobia/ethnocentrism, refugee camps, liminal (“in-between”) experiences, collective memory, refugee trauma…and other themes under which a constellation of human experiences can be discussed. 2) You can argue against a particular point / a few related points made by the author in a few chapters. A sound counter-argument, too, utilizes class concepts (“With this idea, the author is implicitly supporting a very ethnocentric understanding of adaptation, and as such she fails to recognize the degree to which refugees’ pasts and their lack of cultural capital impact adaptation to the new environment. The author’s approach is seen in her treatment of [specific example]…”). Always give examples in support of the arguments you are advancing. That is, put your arguments in a specific human context. That is key in anthropological writing. 3) You can develop further a particular point / a few related points made by the author in a few chapters. In building upon the author’s point(s), you can offer a properly illustrated, more comprehensive interpretation of a phenomenon or a process discussed by the author; you can ‘show the other side of the coin’ which the author might have implied but eventually left undiscussed or underdiscussed. Your job would be to fill in the blanks so that one has a better, more representative picture ofthe issue un(der)discussed by the author. You must explain what intellectual/analytical good will come from seeing the other side ofthe coin, filling in the blank, completing the picture. ***I will reimburse you if you pay for the book**** MUSY USE FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT

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