Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

Sociology (Applied), PhD

Committee Chair

Gagné, Patricia

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Negrey, Cynthia

Committee Member

Negrey, Cynthia

Committee Member

Marshall, Gül Aldikaçti

Committee Member

Peteet, Julie

Committee Member

Burnet, Jennie

Author's Keywords

transnational migration; gender boundaries; U.S. resettlement; immigrants and refugees; multicultural adjustment


For the past several decades, social research about U.S. immigrant and refugee resettlement has focused on some of the ways federal and non-governmental organizations help immigrants and refugees integrate into mainstream society. Little research, if any, has explored how giving voice to immigrants and refugees is done in bridging transnational gaps and strengths in the process of their adjustment to the host country. This dissertation is grounded within transnational theory (Avenarius 2012, Levitt 2011, Peteet 1997) that argues that immigrants and refugees bring their experiences and cultures from their home countries, time in refugee camps, and other often traumatic experiences with them to the host country and a new culture. The study focuses on an organization solely funded by private donations and located in a Midwestern medium size city of the United States. The model is to encourage immigrant and refugee parents, predominantly women enrolling in Welcome Home[1] programs, to set up and work toward their own goals. The Welcome Home Program offers parents from diverse cultural backgrounds a new social space characterized by on-demand family coaching. At the same time, the program offers opportunities to parents to learn financial literacy. The program also replicates the national literacy model that puts emphasis on parent-child interactions in promoting children’s academic development. The social context thus created functions primarily as an opportunity for family units to think about themselves as active players in the process of their adjustment to the United States. This research explores constant gender negotiations immigrant and refugee women and men engage in and how they accommodate new expectations and opportunities with their experiences in refugee camps and their socialization in their home countries. [1] This is a pseudonym for the agency to protect their confidentiality.