Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Ismael Muvingi

Second Advisor

Robin Cooper

Third Advisor

Elena Bastidas

Fourth Advisor

Toran Hansen

Abstract

This research examined the lived experiences of an Afghan Muslim male participant group. This study explored their immigration from a Southwest-Asian, highly non-secular society to a Western-style, liberal, secular nation-state. Further, this research was an examination of Muslim male identity as an attribute that is closely related to lived experiences, environment and cultural assimilation. Also, this study looked closely at the meanings that this Afghan Muslim male immigrant group attached to identity, as well as exploring their unique narratives during pre-immigration and post-immigration periods. This qualitative research study used narrative methods to unearth the lived experiences of five Afghan Muslim male citizens. These participants immigrated to the U.S. while serving as interpreters and translators for the coalition forces during the Afghanistan War between 2003 and 2012. Several researchers have examined Muslim immigration from Eastern to Western nations, focusing on their adaptation, assimilation, and developmental patterns. The research objective of this study was slightly different and important to social science in that it focused on how a select group of Afghan Muslim males conceptualized their own sense of identity and how their notion of identity was shaped and influenced by their own pre- and post-migration experiences. To this end, the discoveries in this study revealed that the nature of the identities for many in this study may be deemed more blended and in some instances renegotiated, holding onto parts of their core native identities while embracing aspects of the cultural, ethnic, and social elements of their new host land that fit within their own individual frame of reference.

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