Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Samers

Abstract

Over the past two decades, an increasing number of IT professionals from India have been migrating to the United States on temporary H-1B or F-1 visas. This thesis offers a case study to address how migrants on such temporary visas decide whether to seek further residency in the United States or return to India. Based on interviews conducted in 2013 and 2014 in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, I examine the factors migrants consider, as well as how the struggles presented through the visa programs may effect these considerations. I also analyze how mass migration from India has changed the demographics of the suburbs between Raleigh and Durham. Considering the rise of Indian-related commercial and cultural centers, I offer the concept of Li’s (1998) ‘ethnoburbs’ as a way of thinking about how changes in suburban cultural landscape may make Indian migrants feel more comfortable in the area. I also assert some access problems inherent in the ‘ethnoburb’ model.

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