International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Refugee Resettlement in St. Louis, Missouri: Race, Religion, and Identity
Hisako Matsuo, Kathryn Kuhn, Emmanuel Uwalaka, Cynthia Wessel, Thu Do, Wala Almostadi, Candace M. Ruocco

St. Louis’ refugee population has increased steadily since the early 1990s, when the city was designated as a preferred relocation community. Approximately 70,000 Bosnians and 5,000 Somalis presently live in the St. Louis area. While these two groups are primarily Muslim, they are distinctly different with respect to population size, community solidarity, racial background, religious practices, and available resources. This study addressed similarities and differences in the resettlement processes that these two groups had encountered. Convenience sampling and criterion sampling were used to recruit potential study participants. Data collected through 23 face-to-face interviews with Bosnian and Somali refugees show that despite similar United States entry and length of stay, these two groups have had different experiences adapting to American society. The Bosnian population has European roots; the Somali population has African roots. Bosnians tend to have higher levels of educational attainment and report less discrimination than Somalis.

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