Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Transcultural Identity and Bhutanese Youth in Refugee Community Organizations

Dawkins, Susan (2020) Transcultural Identity and Bhutanese Youth in Refugee Community Organizations. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (3MB) | Preview


This study sheds light on the development of transcultural identity for Generation 1.5 Bhutanese refugees, the role organizations play in the process, and the agency adolescents and young adults bring to countering dominant narratives about immigrants in general and refugees in particular. Most of the participants in this qualitative case study research were born in refugee camps in Nepal and moved to the U.S. during childhood or adolescence. All of the participants have been involved in at least one of two refugee community organizations (RCOs) in Pittsburgh, the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP) or Children of Shangri-Lost (COSL).
In this study, I used interviews, participant observation, and textual analysis to address the following research questions:
• What challenges and opportunities do participants face in the development of transcultural identity?
• What role do organizations, including refugee community organizations (RCOs), play in the process?
Using Seidman’s (2006) three-part interview structure, I conducted multiple interviews with each of the five participants regarding a) past experience, b) present involvements, and c) future plans. I also participated in or observed events at BCAP and COSL in addition to analyzing website, social media, and other text and images.
For my first question on transcultural identity, acculturation models developed by Berry (1997) and colleagues (2006, 2011) as well as Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-Orozco (2001) provided a useful framework for understanding/articulating the different responses to engaging with a new and unfamiliar culture. Adolescent and young adult identity is not worked through in a vacuum; social organizations and institutions play a significant role. In addressing this topic for the second research question, I relied on Coleman’s (1988) conception of social capital as well as Yosso’s (2005) community cultural wealth.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Dawkins, SusanSAD96@PITT.EDUsad96
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPorter, Maureen K.mporter@pitt.edumporter
Committee MemberMcClure, Maureenmmcclure@pitt.edummcclure
Committee MemberNorman, Marie K.mkn17@pitt.edumkn17
Committee MemberRussell, Jennifer L.jrussel@pitt.edujrussel
Date: 2 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 May 2020
Approval Date: 2 September 2020
Submission Date: 9 August 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 220
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: acculturation; Bhutanese refugees; community cultural wealth; Generation 1.5; refugee youth; social capital
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 14:58
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 14:58


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item