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Start Date

April 2021

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Department

Sociology

Faculty Mentor

Michelle Vazquez-Jacobus, PhD

Keywords

immigrants, African immigrants, survey, community, Portland, Maine

Abstract

In recent years, Maine has welcomed thousands of immigrants. While people have come to Maine from all over the world, the majority of recent immigrants are from African countries. This project employs qualitative research to explore how the conditions in the home countries of recent African immigrants in Portland, Maine impact these immigrants’ adjustments to living in the State. The methodology of this project entails research design, application to and approval from the Institutional Review Board, and conducting interviews with recent African immigrants living in the Greater Portland Area. The interview questions intentionally build on one another with the aim of creating a generalized yet holistic insight into the experience of recent immigrants in Portland, ME, today. The findings of this study can be used to build on the Portland community’s understanding of the complexities and historical significance of the experiences of a significant portion of new Portland residents. This research has the potential to provide an opportunity for valuable suggestions to relevant, local nonprofit and government organizations on how to best assist the increasing African migrant population in Maine through collaborating with members of the immigrant population. In addition to the potential benefits of the study findings, this project provides valuable insight into research methods. This presentation focuses on the qualitative research process and its limitations in the context of this project. The researcher speaks on her experiences designing the project during the Coronavirus pandemic, balancing the preferences of multiple different involved parties (i.e. participants, Institutional Review Board representatives, academic advisors), and about her takeaways from doing work with a vulnerable population.

TM2021_Hattan_J_transcript.txt (8 kB)
Journey to Portland: A Qualitative Study on the Experience of new Mainers from Africa - transcript

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Apr 30th, 12:00 AM

Journey to Portland: A Qualitative Study on the Experience of new Mainers from Africa

In recent years, Maine has welcomed thousands of immigrants. While people have come to Maine from all over the world, the majority of recent immigrants are from African countries. This project employs qualitative research to explore how the conditions in the home countries of recent African immigrants in Portland, Maine impact these immigrants’ adjustments to living in the State. The methodology of this project entails research design, application to and approval from the Institutional Review Board, and conducting interviews with recent African immigrants living in the Greater Portland Area. The interview questions intentionally build on one another with the aim of creating a generalized yet holistic insight into the experience of recent immigrants in Portland, ME, today. The findings of this study can be used to build on the Portland community’s understanding of the complexities and historical significance of the experiences of a significant portion of new Portland residents. This research has the potential to provide an opportunity for valuable suggestions to relevant, local nonprofit and government organizations on how to best assist the increasing African migrant population in Maine through collaborating with members of the immigrant population. In addition to the potential benefits of the study findings, this project provides valuable insight into research methods. This presentation focuses on the qualitative research process and its limitations in the context of this project. The researcher speaks on her experiences designing the project during the Coronavirus pandemic, balancing the preferences of multiple different involved parties (i.e. participants, Institutional Review Board representatives, academic advisors), and about her takeaways from doing work with a vulnerable population.

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