A stranger at ‘home’: interactions between transnational return visits and integration for Afghan-American professionals



In this article, I explore the interactions between transnational activities (in the form of return visits) and integration, for Afghan refugees living in the USA. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in California and Kabul, I look at why return visits take place and the difficult experiences Afghan-Americans had of being a stranger in what might they might otherwise consider their ‘home’. I argue that return visits can serve as a transnational strategy to help integration in California through, for example, the investment of ‘reverse’ remittances. In doing so, I highlight the importance of multi-directional transnational flows, particularly those from Afghanistan to the USA.