Nathan Devir, an assistant professor in the department of World Languages & Cultures, was awarded a grant from the University of Utah’s Funding Incentive Seed Grant Program, an initiative designed to support new research and incentivize further grant writing. His project, on which he will collaborate with Caren J. Frost and Aster Tecle, both from the College of Social Work, is titled “Identity and Isolation: Exploring Integration Needs for African and Middle Eastern Refugee Youth in Utah through an Ethnographic Approach.”
Approximately 45,000 refugees from twenty different countries currently reside in the State of Utah, the majority of the recent refugees hailing from Muslim-majority countries. Using an ethnographic approach to explore issues of integration and acculturation among refugee youth from Africa and the Middle East, Prof. Devir and his collaborators will examine the experiences of these populations.
Specifically, Dr. Devir and his team will interview and conduct focus groups with refugee youth about their needs for successful integration into life in the U.S. The goal of the study is to learn about and from refugee youth and to gather practical information of use to service providers in social service and policy-making areas. The work will contribute much toward expanding the knowledge base, as well as provide useful data for advocacy platforms.