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Integration of Refugees into the Local Community in Iowa

Authors: Elena Golosova*, University of Northern Iowa
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Migration, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: Refugees; displaced people; resettlement; persecution; community integration and adaptation; social services; qualitative analysis.
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual Track 2
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Native residents and host countries that resettle refugees often express concern about newcomers in their communities. Some native people believe that refugees do not want to assimilate to the hosting culture; that is why will destroy the way of local life and drain the community resources. Emphasizing their reliance on public assistance, some media sources do not recognize refugees as active and productive members of the hosting society. This study examines the challenges and barriers refugees encounter in adapting to life successfully in their host community in Iowa. Specifically, this analysis investigates the agency of refugees in their adaptation and community integration and their contribution to society. The study was drawn on four in-depth interviews with refugees who fled political, cultural, ethnic, and/or religious persecution in their home countries (Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Russia) and resettled in the United States.

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