Publication Date

8-2012

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Jerry Daday (Director), Dr. Kumiko Nemoto, Dr. Courte Voorhees

Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts

Abstract

To understand the reasons for the increase in recent years of the Bosnian population in Bowling Green, Kentucky and their adaptation problems as refugees in their host country, this study focused upon the Bosnian community in Bowling Green and addressed what the role of their challenges is in the shaping of refugees’ new life in their host country. Extensive literature review helped to emerge that for an understanding of the situation of the refugees, their interaction in the host country is more meaningful topic for research.

This study employed qualitative research methods, drawing from existing empirical studies addressing resettlement in the context of the informants’ wartime experiences. Initially, the researcher approached patrons at Bosnian restaurants and worshipers at local mosques to find Bosnian people. Snowball sampling used to identify Bosnian refugees living in the Bowling Green community.

Twenty-five in-depth interviews were conducted for needs assessment and issue identification. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed in an attempt to understand the difficulties of adaptation among Bosnian refugees living in Bowling Green.

A qualitative case study approach was chosen because it was the most effective way to gain knowledge of refugees’ experiences and perceptions in the context of the societies in which they resettled.

Findings revealed that interviewed group struggled with mostly language and employment challenges to integration. Social support was provided through organizations that included Americans aided integration and the families resettled before as they provided significant support is directing resettlement.

Banki’s (2004) and Jacobsen’s (2001) indicators of refugee integration were used to in order to determine to the extent to which this sample of Bosnian refugees are integrated into their host county.

Disciplines

Demography, Population, and Ecology | Place and Environment | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology