Date of Award

7-1-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Ph.D.

First Advisor

Dr. Abiodun Awomolo

Second Advisor

Dr. Kwaku Danso

Third Advisor

Dr. Josephine Bradley

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the demographic behaviors and demographic changes among Somali refugees resettled in metropolitan Atlanta. Specifically, the study investigated the fertility rates and marriage patterns of selected Somali refugees prior to resettlement in the United States, and fertility rates and marriage patterns after migration and resettlement. Also, the study examined the impact that war and trauma had on the participants’ fertility and marriage behaviors. The study is significant because it describes demographics from a feminist perspective, in which the participants had the opportunity to discuss their decisions about fertility and marriage in their own words. The primary methodology used in this study was based on a new paradigm in demographic studies known as critical demography (Horton, 1999) in which qualitative measures take precedent over traditional demographic methods, which are driven by quantitative measures. Twenty-one face-to-face interviews were administered to obtain the oral histories of the women’s decisions about fertility and marriage. Findings from the research suggested that the fertility rates of participants averaged around 4 children per woman and marriage patterns of participants were that all women were married at least once and that the institution of marriage is highly regarded in Somali culture.

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