Publication Date

5-2018

Advisor(s)

Robert Steele

Department

Psychology

Abstract

This thesis explores the experience of resettlement and seeks to understand integration from the perspective of refugees themselves. Refugees’ own narratives are prioritized in an investigation of the concept of integration. I follow an inductive approach to avoid imposing pre-existing definitions of understanding and instead utilize a model that allows the participants to determine the direction of our conversations. I then seek to identify patterns and emergent themes to bring to light possible facilitators or inhibitors of achieving a successful life in the US. I also seek to address one of the main limitations in refugee literature which is the lumping of all refugees into one category by providing a comparison between two nationalities of refugees. My results show that Iraqi and Syrian participants differ significantly in their engagement with their own ethnic communities. I propose that greater attention should be given to discrepancies in experiences for more targeted policy interventions at the local level.

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