Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Frederick Pearson


This study is intended to extend our understanding of immigrant political integration by analyzing Yemeni immigrants' attitudes toward integration into North American society, exploring the case of Yemeni-Americans, a group reputedly resistant to integration, in both Dearborn and Hamtramck, Michigan, and comparatively assessing those data with already published data on Lebanese-Americans, retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Detroit Arab American Study (DAAS). Relying on an existing theoretical framework on immigrant integration based on sociological and cognitive approaches and my own theoretical model on transnational dimensions related to political, economic, and cultural integration, I will examine a series of hypotheses against the quantitative data from DAAS with the extracted subpopulations of Yemeni and Lebanese populations in Dearborn and Hamtramck. Specifically, I hypothesize that Yemeni-Americans overall will be less integrated than their Lebanese-American counterparts. The reasons for these differences are likely to be explained by cultural and economic differences ranging from ethnic orientations to the country of origin, social demographics, language orientation, to political stances.

For the data collection, I will use the following approach: I will utilize the data from the DAAS to explore the general attitudes on key dimensions of integration, focusing especially on political participation, as well as factors associated with reluctance toward integration. Yemeni data will be compared to Lebanese counterpart data to highlight reasons for varied patterns and degrees of integration among segments of the Arab-American "community."

I expect to find that Yemeni-Americans overall are less integrated than their Lebanese-American counterparts. The reasons for these differences are likely to relate to a series of variables which include income and educational levels, length of stay in the Detroit area, and extent of US language and degree of continued attachment to the country of origin. The implications from the proposed research will address how and at what rates Yemeni immigrants in comparison to Lebanese immigrants, at various economic levels, adjust and participate politically and culturally most readily in their new host societies. This analysis will afford insight into expected variations in immigrant integration among specific cultures such as Arabs.