Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 170–173 | Cite as

Sandra Grady: Improvised Adolescence: Somali Bantu Teenage Refugees in America. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015, 174pp, ISBN 978-0-299-30324-2

  • Allison HilmerEmail author
Book Review

Improvised Adolescence: Somali Bantu Teenage Refugees in America, by Sandra Grady, details the study of one population of Somali Bantu refugees who have relocated to the American Midwest. For 16 months, Grady studied the teenagers of this group, “who had all moved to the United States just before puberty” (Grady 2015). Specifically, Grady studied how this migration disrupted the group’s traditional practice of initiation ritual, and how the group’s integration into the American public-school system has, in a way, transposed tradition. Grady explores how this transition into public school affected both the group’s identity formation and each individual teenager’s identity formation (Grady 2015).

Although Grady had previously conducted extensive research on the Somali Bantu population, she began her fieldwork for this book in 2007. At the beginning of the 2007-08 schoolyear, Grady installed herself at the McGuffey Welcome Center, which was one of only two public schools in the area at...


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Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Grady, S. (2015). Improvised Adolescence: Somali Bantu Teenage Refugees in America. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

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