Reflections of Turkish Immigrants on Their Adaptation to the United States: A Qualitative Study
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this research is to explore the effects of education, health, and family interaction on the professional and social integration of Turkish immigrants who are living in the United States, specifically in the Greater Boston area. There are a number of general studies on the adaptation of different immigrant groups in the United States; however, the specific adaptation process of Turkish immigrants in the United States has not been examined. This research aims to provide some insight into the effects of a new cultural context on the professional and social life of Turkish immigrants who have different types of visa status. The overarching research question of this study is, “What are the adaptation experiences of Turkish immigrants who have migrated to the greater Boston area, either for employment or academic purposes?” This alternative (3-paper) dissertation explores the adaptation experiences of Turkish immigrants in the Greater Boston, Massachusetts area. Forty-two semi-structured interviews were conducted and form the basis of three separate manuscripts. The first paper is about the occupational adaptation of professional and unauthorized working class immigrants who are residing in the Greater Boston area. In order to examine the differences and similarities between professional immigrants and unauthorized working class immigrants in the process of adaptation to their new environment, the perspective of Occupational Adaptation Theory was used. Twenty-nine interviews were used for the first paper: fourteen were from unauthorized working class immigrants and fifteen were from professional (white collar) immigrants. The major findings include the critical role of age, education, employment, interpersonal relationships, and networking on adaptation. The second paper explores the relationship between the family members` and spouses` roles and expectations and their post immigration adaptation. The overarching research question is: “what is the role of family and/or spouses in the process of adaptation to the host culture?” Double ABCX Theory was used in order to define the major hallmarks of family functioning and dynamics in the adaptation process. Twenty-nine semi-structured interviews were analyzed. Major themes regarding to the role of family members` on the adaptation process include changes in family structure and dynamics following settlement in the new host culture and how these changes impact adaptation; the role of children; and the effect of marital status. The third paper covers general perspectives on immigration and the adaptation process in the host country. New Migration theory was used to better understand the daily life experiences of three different groups of Turkish immigrants during the adaptation process to new social and professional environments. All forty-two semi-structured interviews were used for the third paper: fourteen were from unauthorized working class immigrants, fifteen from professional immigrants, and thirteen were from student immigrants who were pursing masters or doctoral degrees. The findings of this third paper cluster around three major topics; maintaining inter-generational relationships, changing of expectations from the host country after immigration, and the role of Internet and technology on adaptation. This research fills a gap in our understanding of the adaptation processes of a new, rapidly growing, and under-studied group of immigrants. Direction for future research and implications for social work policy, specifically about the immigration and adaptation of Turkish immigrants in the U.S., are discussed.