Coming to a new country can be a confusing and scary process, especially for a refugee. The typical refugee has been forced out of their native land and had to relocate to a foreign country. In doing so they may have to find a new job, learn a new language, and face many cultural struggles as she adapts to the new society. This study, examines how female refugees from Iraq deal with relocating to Portland Maine and the struggles they go through in doing so. Seven Iraqi women between the ages of about 19 and 65 were interviewed. All the women had lived in Iraq for sometime prior to coming to Maine and were also all Muslim. The women were asked about topics such as employment status, retention of Iraqi culture, social networks, and whether they had dealt with any types of discrimination in the US. The questions came from looking at previous studies and theories. The theories were standpoint theory, assimilation theory, stigma theory, conflict theory, and group threat theory. After interviewing the women, I also interviewed one employee of the refugee assistance center as they have dealt with many refugee cases. The research had common themes such as reliance on family, adherence to the gender norms of Iraq, and the importance of governmental help. The study therefore furthers our understanding of the different facets of acculturating to the United States as a female refugee.


Nurse, Anne


Sociology and Anthropology


Refugee, Acculturation, Iraq

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2017 Caroline F. Andrews