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“And Slowly, the Integration and the Growing and the Learning”: Nuanced Notions of Integration of Bhutanese Refugees in US Cities

School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(6), 181;
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integration and Resettlement of Refugees and Forced Migrants)
PDF [240 KB, uploaded 11 June 2019]


Policy related to refugee integration focuses on economic factors, while integration is not clearly operationalized nor is it being systematically measured and tracked in policy implementation. This study poses the question, how can local-level integration be conceptualized based on the perspectives of resettled refugees, to add nuance to policy. Using a case study approach with a nation-wide scale, data include 40 interviews and five focus groups with leaders of Bhutanese refugee-run organizations in 35 cities across the United States. Findings illustrate the importance of bonds, bridges and links in non-linear, relational integration. Findings also suggest that better access to services and resources is the responsibility of policy-makers and would lead to stronger bridges over time. This complicates existing policy and implies that resettlement programming should remain individualized and contextual from the ground level to the national level. View Full-Text
Keywords: two-way integration; resettled refugees; Bhutanese; resettlement policy two-way integration; resettled refugees; Bhutanese; resettlement policy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Taccolini Pannagio, A.; Gonzalez Benson, O. “And Slowly, the Integration and the Growing and the Learning”: Nuanced Notions of Integration of Bhutanese Refugees in US Cities. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 181.

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