Katherine Robinson ’14: Refugee Assimilation

By Beth Walk

student-research-katherine

The Research

Refugee populations in the United States are the focus of Katherine Robinson’s research. She has been observing and interviewing members of Baltimore’s Nepali-Bhutanese refugee community to help promote smoother integration for future populations. Robinson has been noting challenges that are unique to refugee integration, identifying Nepali-Bhutanese cultural and social norms that conflict with American customs, and drawing conclusions about the differences in community development between refugees and traditional labor immigrants from South and Southeast Asia.

In Her Own Words

“Conducting research in the Nepali-speaking Bhutanese population in Baltimore has helped me get to know community members on a deep level. Many of the difficulties that the community faces are beyond the scope of most nonprofit agencies, yet they must be addressed to ensure mental wellness. Bhutanese culture is rich and beautiful. I did not expect community members to be so welcoming and kind—inviting me into their homes and sharing personal stories, but this is a key part of their culture.”

Adviser: Lingxin Hao, Professor, Sociology