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Identity retention and sense of belonging : an examination of second generation Eritrean youth in Toronto

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posted on 2021-06-08, 11:46 authored by Semhar Zerat
This research examines identity perceptions of twelve Eritrean youth (aged 20 to 27) residing in Toronto, Canada. With the help of qualitative techniques, this research seeks to investigate what it means to be Eritrean and Canadian as well multiculturalism policy and how it all impacts the identity of Eritrean youth. The findings suggest an emphasis on primordial and national Eritrean identity, while their Canadian identity is interpreted as a mindset and is embraced situationally. While youth accept a black identity, the results indicate the development of a hyphenated Eritrean-Canadian identity with greater emphasis on the Eritrean identity. Moreover, participants are critical of and view multiculturalism policy as ineffective in promoting tangible results. Through an analysis of the debates in the existing literature on ethnic, national and racialized identities, this research concludes that Eritrean youth develop a symbolic identity towards being Eritrean and Canadian.





Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

Thesis Advisor

Sutama Ghosh