Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Refugees from Militarism: Draft-Age Americans in Canada

by Renee G. Kasinsky

When asked whom they respected and identified with, most of the refugees I interviewed cited individuals who were also alienated from and repudiated by the mainstream of American society. Their heroes were the spokesmen and singers of the counterculture; singers like Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs and rock stars who described the distortion of the American dream. Young men like themselves, some of the New Left leaders and Yippies who fused New Left politics with the youth culture also rated very highly among those they closely identified with and toward whom they looked for leadership. Since they had turned their backs on almost all of the present adult leadership in the United States, these men were actively engaged in what Keniston, Erikson and others called a quest for identity. They sought role models of people they admired and identified with and past traditions and life-styles that stressed the kinds of goals they were seeking.

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