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Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Refugees-Vermont-Chittenden County, Belonging (Social psychology), Refugees-Vermont-Chittenden County-Psychology, Refugees-Services for-Vermont-Chittenden County, Belonging, Refugees, Resettlement


This qualitative study explores the sense of belonging among refugee adults in Chittenden County, Vermont, and the aspects of their resettlement that have helped or hindered this sense of belonging. The experiences of thirteen refugees between the ages of 23 and 68 were elicited through semi-structured interviews composed of questions that asked individuals to reflect on their processes of resettlement and the factors that have shaped their experiences of feeling accepted, safe, respected, and welcome in their new home. Major findings indicated that language and communication, connecting and developing relationships with other community members (both refugees and Americans), and receiving support from refugee and community services, are perceived to be the most influential factors in developing a sense of belonging. Suggestions for further research are discussed, as well as ways for community members, organizations, and service providers to structure policies and practices that may help cultivate an environment of belonging for refugees.




v, 81 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 70-72)