top of page
YRV Home
Journal Home
Button 1
Button 2


Decades of longing and effort towards a sense of community: A multiple case study on immigrants in the United States

Melanie Mosqueda


To cite: Mosqueda, M. (2022). Decades of longing and effort towards a sense of  community: A multiple case study on immigrants in the united states. International Journal of Youth-Led Research, 2(1).

Received September 15, 2022
Accepted November 1, 2022


This is a youth-led research study. Youth researchers took all initiatives and made all decisions throughout the entire research process.


The multiple case study design enables cross-case synthesis and analytical generalization while grounding the investigation of the research topic in real-life context.

This study promotes the notion that while immigration has become a divisive issue, immigrants are here to unite and to develop communities.


Objectives  This exploratory study aims at investigating the effort, struggle, and inner drive of immigrants towards US citizenship and higher socio-economic status (SES).

Methods  This is a multiple case study with a qualitative approach. With non-probability convenience sampling, we selected five cases from the Los Angeles area for in-depth interviews. A thematic method along with the four-element framework on sense of community by McMillan & Chavis (1986) were employed for data analysis.

Results  Although each participant’s journey towards citizenship and higher SES is unique, the cross-case data synthesis presented a clear uniformity of deep desire and willing sacrifices for a sense of community among the participants.

Conclusion  While citizenship and SES can be seen as enticing rewards or even "purse strings" for which immigrants are willing to work hard, what immigrants truly long for is a sense of community. It is this longing that drives immigrants to overcome adversities and rise up to build strong communities anywhere they settle.

Keywords  multiple case study, sense of community, immigrants, U.S. citizenship, socio-economic status


© Author(s) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC By-NC. 

No commercial re-use. 

See rights and permissions. Published by IJYLR.

Youth Research Vox, 

Los Angeles, CA, U.S.

Correspondence to
Melanie Mosqueda


“Immigrant” and “foreign-born” are sometimes used synonymously to define individuals living in the United States who were not U.S. citizens at birth (Camarota, 2007).

Immigration as a controversial topic has been argued at length with vast amounts of data and evidence presented by both “for” and “against” scholars. Among the published work, much of the research was contributed to the economic and political effects in relation to immigrants’ attainment of citizenship or socio-economic mobility. However, immigration at its core is a social-emotional issue (Deaux, 2006; Kaivo-oja, 2014; Turner, 2016). To recognize it as so, in this study we will deemphasize the uses of political and economic means and measurements. Instead, we will explore this topic from a community perspective. Through the multiple case study, we aim to answer the following research questions:

To what extent are citizenship and SES significant to immigrants? Are they the real drive of the ever increasing immigrant population?

Mosqueda, M.  JYLR Open 2022.

bottom of page