Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project



Research Sponsor

Isa Rodriguez-Soto

First Reader

Oghentoja Okoh

Second Reader

Carolyn Behrman


This paper examines the life histories of members of the Karen refugee community in Akron, Ohio. This research was done to better understand the difficulties the community faces as the Karen adjust to life in the United States. The larger historical context of ethnic conflict in Burma, the country they fled, is explored before a discussion of the anthropological work that was undertaken by the author. Life histories, collected through interviews, were analyzed thematically. Finally, suggestions are made for ways to aid in the transition of the Karen with a focus on the process to gain U.S. citizenship.