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ERIC Number: ED514677
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 78
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-5590-2
Regaining a Foothold: A Grounded Theory Study of Immigrant Experiences
Rosenberg, Kara Lee
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Fielding Graduate University
This study of immigrants reestablishing their lives in a new country used classic, Glaserian grounded theory. The purpose of the study was to discover the main concerns of the participants as they engaged in the basic social process of changing their country of residence. Using the grand tour question of "Tell me about coming to the United States," I interviewed 13 participants, using open-ended interviews, and coded the interviews for the concepts revealed. The concepts were compared using Glaserian constant comparative analysis until the core concept of "regaining a foothold" emerged. The theory of regaining a foothold accounts for how people begin a new life under substantially different conditions in a new setting. Having stepped away from a foothold in one country, they work to regain it in another. Stepping off, the decision to leave, triggers the process. Planting a foot, adjusting the footing, settling in, and expanding horizons are the four sequential stages. In planting a foot, an individual goes through the initial steps of touching down and finding an initial home base. Two dimensions pervade the process of regaining a foothold until they are resolved during settling in--orienting and getting assistance. Orienting involves the strategies of building independence, managing feelings, and learning. In getting assistance, individuals reach out to the community to help get established. "Learning and help" were the two most often mentioned concepts during the interviews. Adjusting the footing involves the individual in seeking the opportunities for which he or she came. Settling in consists of fitting in, fulfilling aspirations, and restoring identity. Expanding horizons, the fourth stage, is the proof that the foothold has been regained, when the individual plans for the future. This study focused on immigrants themselves rather than on how others view them. They revealed that what they were primarily concerned with was reestablishing regular work and home lives. It is possible that with a new perspective, much common ground exists for creating more effective conversations about immigrants in the United States. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A