Monday, August 21, 2017
St. Louis Bosnians

Bosnian Refugee Resettlement in St. Louis

This chapter explores Bosnian refugee resettlement in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, using qualitative data collected through face-to-face interviews with 38 Bosnian refugees, eight service providers at local resettlement agencies, several representatives of federal and state offices, and participant observations of six Bosnian families and attendance at meetings of volunteer organizations. There are about 35,000 Bosnians refugees in St. Louis (about 12 percent of the population of the city), creating a critical mass for this group. Bosnians are described as resilient and hard working people by many service providers, making them a model group among refugees. Although many Bosnians experienced occupational downward mobility, an economic boom in St. Louis coupled with Bosnians’ strong family ties have created an opportunity to capitalize on family human resources. A large ethnic enclave also provides an information network, through which Bosnians seek educational and financial upward mobility for their children. Although many Bosnian refugees in St. Louis are Muslims, they have never experienced prejudice and discrimination, unlike Middle Eastern Muslims. Being Europeans and also secular Muslims have reinforced each other, rendering Bosnians racially ‘invisible’ in American society, which continues to appreciate whiteness.

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About The Author

stlbosnians

The St. Louis Bosnian is an online database of Bosnian community in St. Louis. The purpose is to document and preserve existence of the Bosnian immigrant community in metropolitan St. Louis area. Through published books, articles, interviews, researches, videos, photos as well as speaker series, seminars, workshops and educational classes. We hope to leave the legacy of our community to the future generations.

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