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Emmanuel Asonye, PhD presents a paper at the 2019 LSA Linguistic Institute Symposium of the University of California, Davis

June 29, 2019 - Africana Studies

On June 29, Emmanuel Asonye, PhD, Research Scholar at Africana Studies presented a research paper at the 2019 LSA Linguistic Institute Symposium of the University of California, Davis, titled, “Hybridization and Identity Crisis of African Languages and Culture in Diaspora: The Case of Refugees in New Mexico”.

In his paper, Dr. Asonye explores the potential linguistic and cultural barriers these refugees face in their new homes. Dr. Asonye reveals that African refugees constitute 31 % of refugees admitted into the state of New Mexico from 2013 to 2016 and are among the most marginalized with regards to linguistic and cultural barriers. To support these findings, the paper discusses evidence of linguistic and cultural barriers faced by the African Refugee Community (ACR), evidence of possible linguistic-racial profiling of the refugees, and evidence of existing government policies that hinder their naturalization process.

Dr. Asonye postulates that these factors create an identity crisis for these African refugees which in turn poses a fundamental challenge in becoming self-dependent as well as in contributing to the growth and development of the new communities to which they now belong. The paper, therefore, seeks to answer the following research questions:

  • How could the ARC retain their linguistic and cultural identities and still imbibe the culture and language of their new home for economic development?
  • What should those that work with the Refugees do to reduce their perceived frustration through this process?
  • How could policy change be an enabling factor through their naturalization process?

The paper also recommends further studies to address these grey areas affecting African Refugees in New Mexico.

Presentation slides here.