African refugee women (ARW) flee from their home countries due to civil unrest, war, and persecution and migrate to Western countries such as the United States in search of a safe haven. Moving from collectivist societies into individualistic societies poses a set of challenges for the migrating women. A qualitative research study was conducted in an Upper Midwest Community in the United States. Refugee women of African descent who were 40 years and above were targeted. The study unveils integrations experiences from the standpoint of ARW while transitioning into new societies. Through the women’s narratives collected during in-depth interviews, findings elaborating on Emile Durkheim's seminal concept of anomie, social exclusion/isolation and Robert Merton’s concept of retreatism as a mode of adaptation are presented. Although the study does not claim universal representation of ARW, it presents avenues for realizing successful integration as articulated by the women.
Anomie, African Refugees, Refugee Women, Narratives, Qualitative Research
2019 Special Focus—Border Crossing Narratives: Learning from the Refugee Experience
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Graduate Research Assistant, Human Development and Family Science, North Dakota State University, United States
Jonix Owino is a PhD Student in the department of Human Development and Family Science at North Dakota State University. Her areas of research include refugee migration and immigration policies, social integration and isolation, socio-cultural factors, institutional ethnography, women and aging studies.Jonix enjoys applied studies and aims to conduct research that informs policy and realize effective integration for immigrant populations.