Date of Award:

2016

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Advisor/Chair:

Leon Anderson

Abstract

Refugees are once again a major topic of international politics, but one that also reaches down to the local level of even some small, rural American towns. This study pulled data from a qualitative, statewide refugee needs assessment in Utah, funded by the Department of Workforce Services, in order to explore the perceptions of both refugees and refugee employers concerning the variables affecting refugee employability. The data was framed using the concepts of social, cultural, human, and financial capital. In many cases, the refugees and employers perceived the same deficits and stores of capital as important, but there was some disconnect over institutionalized cultural capital, financial capital in the form of government assistance, and external embodied cultural capital. These findings will help increase the sociological knowledge base regarding refugee issues and will lead to future research that can dive deeper into some of the issues that were uncovered.

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