Bosnian Refugee Life In America literature Review

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Bosnian Refugee Life in America

Literature Review

Bosnian Refugee Life in America

Literature Review

Literature Review

The current situation in Kosovo epitomizes the effects of unbridled nationalism on a people. The nature of the current political and economic systems in this small province of Serbia is a product of repressed feelings of both Serbs and ethnic Albanians and the emaciated socioeconomic position of the area itself.

Kosovo's history and geographic location make it a prime area to foster such heated conflict. The Balkans was home to a great Serbian empire prior to the late 14th century, when it experienced significant decline due to invasions from the Ottoman Turks. The culmination of Serbian defeat occurred in 1389, at the Battle of Kosovo. The Turks gained Kosovo and ruled the Balkans relatively uninterrupted until 1918. Kosovo has always been Serbia's ultimate goal; current ruler Slobodan Milosevic refers to the province as "the heart of Serbia." Ethnic Albanians living in the province have an ultimate goal also: to achieve Kosovo's independence and a union with Albanians everywhere (Michultka, Blanchard, & Kalous, 1998, 571-577)


1. How have American people received These Bosnian Refugees as immigrants?

Bosnian refugees face many challenges to receive the American culture in the society of United States of America. They must start over, learning a new language, new customs, and new skills. One Bosnian American refugee described this adjustment to the St. Petersburg Times as "in some ways like being a blind man who wants to take care of himself but is powerless to do so." Since their immigration was not necessarily by choice, they often find the experience more overwhelming in comparison to immigrants who were eager to come here. Learning English is the first step that Bosnians take once they reach the United States, though many Bosnians speak several European languages (Kinzie, 1986, 370-376)

. Established Bosnian communities offer services such as English-language classes, computer training classes, no-cost legal services, and instruction on understanding health insurance, buying a home, and managing other complicated aspects of American life. Established communities also usually provide a place for worship.

By 1999, more than one million Bosnia refugees remained in the United States even though the war ended in 1995. Many cannot return to Bosnia because of the boundaries of territories changed and their homes are in a divided country. Many are like Nijaz (pronounced nee-AHS) Hadzidedic (hah-jee-DED-ich), a Muslim Bosnian living in Memphis, Tennessee. Hadzidedic, a Bosnian journalist who was shot by Serbian soldiers during the war, came in 1994 as a refugee sponsored by a local Catholic charity. His brother and niece joined him in 1997. Hadzidedic found work in lower-status jobs such as security guard, factory worker, and bellhop. After he becomes a U.S. citizen, he plans to return to the Balkans and work as a translator.

Bosnian Americans often seek higher education and better employment opportunities (Beiser, Johnson, & Turner, 1993, 731-743).

Significant Immigration Waves

There were six waves of Serbian/Croatian immigration. The earliest occurred from 1820 to 1880. The largest wave of Yugoslav immigrants took place ...
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