Continued wars and conflicts around the world have forced many people to migrate in search of safety and protection through resettlement programs. These people are considered refugees. Unfortunately, these refugees initially resettle in countries that are not able to provide them with necessary human services. Therefore, the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees works with other countries who are willing to take and provide permanent resettlement opportunities to these refugees.
The purpose of this research was to gather and analyze refugees’ stories of their resettlement experiences in Illinois. I used qualitative methods, with a focus on narrative inquiry. I conducted in-depth interviews with four male refugee participants who had at least seven years of resettlement experiences in the U.S. Two participants were from DRC Congo, Africa, one from Iraq, and one from Vietnam. Based on these interviews, the study’s findings were: (a) government and non-governmental agencies provided participants with civic education, language acquisition, and technical training that enabled them to gain access to education and employment opportunities; (b) the lack of English language oral communication and writing skills slowed down agency services acquisition; and (c) negative political rhetoric, migration policies, religious and ethnic discrimination, and prejudice created fear among participants that threatened to overshadow their aspirations to integrate and acculturate. To conclude, I recommend involving former refugees in resettlement programs, especially in acquiring government services, because deeper knowledge based on their experiences would improve resettlement policy and practice.
|Advisor:||Bloom, Leslie R.|
|Commitee:||Gahungu, Athanase, Lavigne, Alyson L.|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Educational leadership|
|Keywords:||Acculturation, Culture, Integration, Refugees, Refugees' experiences, Resettlement|
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