Toronto Metropolitan University
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Refugee Youth And Migration: Using Arts-Informed Research To Understand Changes In Their Roles And Responsibilities

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-05-21, 17:23 authored by Stella Abiyo
This article presents the findings from a community-based qualitative study that utilized an arts-informed method to understand the changes in refugee youth's roles and responsibilities in the family within the (re)settlement context in Canada. The study involved 57 newcomer youths from Afghan, Karen, or Sudanese communities in Toronto, who had come to Canada as refugees. The data collection method embedded a drawing activity within focus group discussions. We present these drawings, as well as explanations and discussions to capture the complexities of their experiences. The data analysis involved 1. reflective dialogue between each participant and her/his own drawing; 2. group dialogue, reflection, and elaboration on meanings in the drawings; and 3. the research team's reflective dialogue. The findings revealed that the youths' roles and responsibilities have both changed and increased following migration, often involving interpretation and translation, and providing financial and emotional support to their family members, in addition to engaging in household chores and educational pursuits. Use of drawings as a data generation method enriched the findings of focus group discussions, and vice versa in a number of ways. We also present implications for future research involving arts-informed methods.