Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Thomas Kim

Reader 2

Mark Golub

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© 2023 Tsion D Mamo


This thesis examines the factors that influence Ethiopian Americans’ idea of community. I hypothesize that family will be the most prevalent factor in how Ethiopians form a community. This hypothesis was drawn based on the current literature, as kinship is one of the most critical factors in socialization. The methodology of interviewing was used with seven college students of Ethiopian descent, as they were interviewed with the same questions via zoom. Pulling from the experiences of seven college students, I analyze common threads around family, religion, and community found through interviews. It was found that family was the most influential factor in creating a community through the bonds formed over the culture and shared incidents. Most interviewees were closer to their mothers than their fathers as they felt they could share more emotionally. They expressed a want to participate in religious holidays but a disconnect from the church due to the judgmental atmosphere or lack of time. This distrust in the church has led to many detaching from the religion, leading to a disconnect from Ethiopians. When it comes to college spaces, most have tried actively seeking out Ethiopians to feel connected with the culture. Consistent travels to Ethiopia have grounded people when they felt lost. The hypothesis was accepted as family was the most significant factor in creating an Ethiopian community examined through the responses. Family was also related to every other element, showing how it influenced religion and community factors. Family affects one’s relationship with faith and has control over choosing a location to reside in.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.