Start Date

8-5-2020 12:00 AM

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Social Work

Advisor

Dorothea Ivey, PhD

Abstract

This study is a qualitative, exploratory, interpretative phenomenology (IPA) thesis study with a purpose to better understand the post-migratory experiences of African asylum-seekers and their acculturation process in a predominately white state of the United States. The research question is how do African Asylum Seekers who have resettled in Maine experience acculturation? In collaboration with Hope Acts, the researcher conducted in-person 30-45 minute semi-structured interviews with five African asylum seeking participants. The data was analyzed using IPA by generating exploratory comments and configuring themes and subordinate themes to express the phenomenon of acculturation by understanding the lived experiences of the participants and the impact of how the researcher interprets the data. With a social constructivist framework and a lens of acculturation theory and resilience theory, the researcher found two overarching themes to resettlement: 1. barrier factors with sub-themes of daily stressors, U.S. immigration system, and discrimination and 2. protective factors with sub-themes of social support systems, identity formation, and finding purpose. Both superordinate themes included the sub-theme of migratory experiences. By advancing awareness around this research question through narratives and common themes, the hope is to provide a resource to advance and support opportunities in social work practice and policy for the asylum seeking population to successfully prosper in their new home.

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May 8th, 12:00 AM

We’re Looking for Peace and That’s What we Find Here”: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis on African Asylum Seekers’ Acculturation Process

This study is a qualitative, exploratory, interpretative phenomenology (IPA) thesis study with a purpose to better understand the post-migratory experiences of African asylum-seekers and their acculturation process in a predominately white state of the United States. The research question is how do African Asylum Seekers who have resettled in Maine experience acculturation? In collaboration with Hope Acts, the researcher conducted in-person 30-45 minute semi-structured interviews with five African asylum seeking participants. The data was analyzed using IPA by generating exploratory comments and configuring themes and subordinate themes to express the phenomenon of acculturation by understanding the lived experiences of the participants and the impact of how the researcher interprets the data. With a social constructivist framework and a lens of acculturation theory and resilience theory, the researcher found two overarching themes to resettlement: 1. barrier factors with sub-themes of daily stressors, U.S. immigration system, and discrimination and 2. protective factors with sub-themes of social support systems, identity formation, and finding purpose. Both superordinate themes included the sub-theme of migratory experiences. By advancing awareness around this research question through narratives and common themes, the hope is to provide a resource to advance and support opportunities in social work practice and policy for the asylum seeking population to successfully prosper in their new home.

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