A Narrative Inquiry into the Experiences of Two Syrian Refugee Families: Searching for Social Inclusion within Schools

  • Author / Creator
    Vigneau, Gillian Ashley
  • This narrative inquiry explores the experiences of two Syrian refugee families with preschool aged children who arrived in Canada. Narrative inquiry in this study is understood as both methodology and phenomenon under study (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). The study focus is on their experiences over time as they navigated the complexities of making a home for themselves in Canada. The intent is to understand unique individual stories rather than to focus only on the larger narratives that generalize across families and that may silence individual’s experiences. The study is nested within a larger study (Caine et al., 2017) that explored the experiences of Syrian refugee families as they left Syria and journeyed to Edmonton, Canada. Questions of belonging and social inclusion were central in the overall study and in this study. Within narrative inquiry, a relational methodology, researchers must attend to their own life experiences throughout the study (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). In order to walk alongside participants, I began the inquiry by telling and inquiring into my stories of experience. I came alongside two families for 18 months and composed field texts including field notes of the places where we met and conversation transcripts of our meetings. I was accompanied in the field by a Syrian interpreter and cultural guide. In a first level of analysis, I composed two narrative accounts (Clandinin, 2013) with attention to the three dimensions of narrative inquiry: temporality, place and sociality (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). In the second level of analysis, as part of the research team, we looked across all participants’ narrative accounts to discern narrative threads. In this thesis I attend most closely to the bumping places of the families’ experiences with dominant school practices and policies.

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  • Graduation date
    Spring 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.