Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 12-31-2020

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education



Committee Member


Committee Member



An Examination of the Sociocultural, Religious, and Racial Adjustment Experiences of Jamaican Professionals in South Florida. Sharon Ritchie-Brown, 2020: Applied Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice. Keywords: immigrants, professional occupations, ethnic groups, culture, social adjustment

This transcendental phenomenological research was designed to advance an understanding of the adjustment experiences of Jamaican immigrant professionals in South Florida, United States. While the majority of present literature examines acculturation and adjustment experiences of other immigrant groups, there is not enough literature regarding the adjustment experiences of Jamaican immigrant professionals who have made significant contributions to the U.S. society and economy. The extent of this immigration leaves their home country without enough highly trained individuals, yet Jamaicans continue to migrate for varying reasons, including for education and training for professional opportunities.

Six themes emerged from this research via interviews conducted with 10 participants The themes identified were (a) immigrating for education and training for professional opportunities, (b) occupational downgrading as a result of immigration, (c) the preconceived notions of the United States lead to culture shock, (d) experiences with racism in personal and professional environments, (e) mechanisms used to grapple with racism, and (f) strong cultural identity drives the adjustment. The themes captured the experiences of Jamaican immigrant professionals to the United States, specifically South Florida. The knowledge gained from this study will contribute to existing immigrant adjustment literature but specifically Jamaican adjustment.

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