International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Anita Fabos

Second Reader

Jude Fernando


ethnic identity, kinship, belonging, return, experiences, resettlement


Women in Liberia have played an important role in ending the civil war in Liberia. This paper addresses the question of return for young Liberian women living in the diaspora particularly in Rhode Island, and the motivation and dilemma they may face in the process of deciding to go ‘back home’. The division of Liberian citizens; Americo-Liberians and the indigenous Liberians created a series of civil wars, which later created a large number of Liberians to be resettled in the U.S. Rhode Island, is among one of the three states to have the largest population of Liberians in the U.S. This paper addresses the influence of history on a person’s identity, and also addresses the way in which a person leaving a country influences their return. It identifies the factors that served as a basis for Liberian women’s idea of return to their homeland namely, kinship and communality; status and experience.



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