Making meaning of refugee resettlement experiences: the acculturation attitudes of Liberian women

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Leah K. Clarke (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
L. DiAnne Borders

Abstract: The adjustment and acculturation process of single Liberian mothers resettled as refugees in the United States was examined in this qualitative study. Liberian experiences largely have been left out of refugee studies, a field that recently has taken a turn away from a problem-focused, policy-oriented approach to a more culturally aware constructivist approach. The refugees’ post-immigration experiences, attitudes, and behaviors were the focus of the research. Ten Liberian single mothers who resettled in the US between the years of 2004 and 2006 were interviewed using a semi-structured protocol. Transcripts were created from these interviews that were analyzed by a four person reflecting team. A phenomenological approach was used to structure the transcripts, breaking them down into experiences, behaviors, and attitudes. The structured data was used to create a rich description of Liberian women’s acculturation in the US. The reflecting team used the description and the original transcripts to identify five dominant themes (opportunity/progress, responsibility, family reunification, relationships as resources, spirituality) and two variant themes (conflict and cultural maintenance). Understanding the acculturation process of Liberian women will help counselors create culturally appropriate services for a group “triply-marginalized” (Goodkind & Deacon, 2004) by their ethnic, economic, and gender statuses.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Acculturation, Coping, Counseling, Liberia, Refugee
Women refugees $z Liberia.
Cross-cultural counseling.
Intercultural communication.
Social work with immigrants $z United States.
Social work with women $v Cross-cultural studies.
Liberian Americans.

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