Defining identities: acculturation experiences of college-educated, North Sudanese immigrant women in Greensboro, North Carolina

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Maha A. Elobeid (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Glenn Hudak

Abstract: This qualitative case study examines acculturation experiences of seven college-educated North Sudanese women in Greensboro, North Carolina, in light of three acculturation theories and models: (a) John Berry’s acculturation theory, (b) John Ogbu’s cultural-ecological model, and (c) Alejandro Portes and Min Zhou’s segmented assimilation theory. I chose these theories because they are among the most prominent theories dominating the immigrant acculturation literature. It was important for me to examine the acculturation experiences of the women I interviewed against these theories to see how the theories apply to the population I studied. The study also aimed at understanding how college-educated Sudanese women from the northern region of the Republic of Sudan speak about their identity upon settlement in the US and how their attachment to the homeland affect their acculturation experiences in the US. In this exploratory case study, I used semi-structured interviews to gather data. I used thematic analysis where I organized the data according to emerging patterns then used linear analysis and logic modeling to help organize and interpret the data. Major findings include the limitations of Berry’s acculturation theory, Ogbu’s cultural-ecological model, and Portes and Zhou’s segmented assimilation theory. The identities of the women participants in this study are linked to their national, familial, social, and religious/spiritual affiliation. Drawing on Yosso’s (2005) community cultural wealth model that includes: aspirational, familial, social, resistant, navigational, and linguistic forms of capital, I incorporate educational and religious/spiritual forms of capital that have been nurtured by my participants and their community.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Acculturation, Assimilation, Cultural Wealth, Culture, Education, Immigration
Sudanese American women $z North Carolina $z Greensboro
Women immigrants $x Cultural assimilation $z North Carolina $z Greensboro

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