Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Kevin Yelvington, Ph.D.


Immigration, Applied anthropology, Community development, Public health, Social service


In the United States, rights of asylum and refuge are extended to people who can prove that they have been politically persecuted. Resettlement services for refugees and asylees often focus on the short-term acquisition of employment and English language skills. These policies ignore the long-term complexities involved in reestablishing individual and group identities after war trauma and resettlement. This research is an investigation into the perspectives of service providers who work with refugees, asylees, and asylum-seekers on the need for more comprehensive, long-term services to assist in the months and years following resettlement, and on potential programs to address those needs. The research was facilitated by a three-month internship in 2005 with a treatment center for survivors of torture. The center works with other social service programs to assist refugees, asylees, and asylum-seekers with resettlement and integration. The findings, obtained through ethnographic research,

show that service providers are concerned with direct service needs affecting individuals and groups of refugees, asylees, and asylum-seekers, as well as programmatic needs to improve the provision of services. These perspectives are supported by research in anthropology and other disciplines, which show that recovery from war trauma is a gradual process that extends beyond the time limits on services typically available to refugees, asylees, and asylum-seekers. Data gathered from service providers adds to an anthropological understanding of violence and mass displacement, by identifying the long-term needs of refugees, asylees, and asylum-seekers, and by demonstrating the ways in which non-governmental organizations function to assist these people. The perspectives of service providers, literature on related topics, and documentation of other programs are used to make recommendations for services to address the needs of refugees, asylees, and asylum-seekers in

the months and years following initial resettlement, when there is little assistance available.