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ERIC Number: ED557510
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 290
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3039-9803-4
Exploring the Decision-Making Process of Hispanic Adults to Pursue Citizenship in Siler City, North Carolina: A Narrative Analysis Using Photovoice
Caye, Joanne Snyder
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
The aim of this qualitative research study is to understand the decision-making process of Hispanic adults who have lived in the United States at least 15 years, have English as a second language, have less education than other recent immigrant waves, and have become citizens within the past four years. Narrative inquiry and photovoice were the research methods used in this study. Data were obtained from 13 in-depth interviews, 2 focus groups in which the respondents shared pictures they had taken to depict what the journey to citizenship meant to them, researcher notes and observations. The interviews were conducted in English and Spanish, then transcribed and translated by five research collaborators. Three research questions guided this study: What personal, social, and environmental factors (internal and external) shaped the decision of a Hispanic adult to persist in the naturalization process successfully? How do Hispanic adults perceive the role of a non-formal citizenship class in their journey to successfully complete the naturalization process? What is the outcome of achieving citizenship in the everyday lives of Hispanic adults who have lived in the United States for at least 15 years prior to naturalization? Data were analyzed using theoretical and open coding, and yielded several findings. External factors that affected the respondents in this study aligned with previous research. Finding sufficient finances to apply for citizenship and learning English were most commonly mentioned. Support from family and friends, especially young daughters, was important when preparing to take the test. Gaining confidence and the ability to set goals and reach them were critical personal factors. The non-formal citizenship class provided necessary support for Hispanic adults. Content was important, but support was essential. Study participants experienced both straightforward and profound transformations as a result of becoming naturalized. They were able to avoid some governmental red tape, sponsor family member's admission to the country, and move around more easily as citizens. More importantly for them, they felt more secure and free. Participants described themselves as proud, and ready to participate in democratic actions such as voting. There were four conclusions to this study: Personal factors outweighed external factors in the decision-making processes of Hispanic adults seeking citizenship. Their ability to set goals and to utilize support from family was a counterweight to their experience of pre- and post migration trauma. Second, Hispanic adults found their voices in citizenship class as they gained confidence through sharing their cultural wealth. Third, new citizens pay attention to what democracy means and plan on voting and making their opinions known. Fourth, US immigration policies exacerbate the trauma experienced by study participants. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina