Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Stephanie Bohon

Committee Members

Suzanne Kurth, Lois Presser


Beginning in the early 1990s and continuing through today, emerging Latino destinations such as Knoxville, Tennessee experienced tremendous growth in their population of Latina/o immigrants. Given that our traditional theories of immigrant adjustment address the formation of social networks exclusively in established immigrant gateways, and primarily based on observations of men, there is no reason to assume that Latina/o immigrants in emerging destinations build networks in similar ways as those in established destinations. This thesis first explores why some immigrants choose to migrate to Knoxville, Tennessee. Second, this thesis explores the extent to which the dominant theoretical frameworks of immigrant adjustment – specifically bounded solidarity and enforceable trust – speak to the behaviors of immigrants in one emerging Latino destination as they develop new networks of support. Third, by incorporating the voices of female immigrants alongside those of male immigrants, this thesis presents a gendered perspective on the creation of social networks. This thesis builds on previous research of immigrant support networks by examining how two largely understudied groups of immigrants – women and those in non-traditional gateways – adjust to life in the United States.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Sociology Commons