Refuge and Life Overseas: Influences of Gender, Culture, and Migration on Parenting Practices of African Refugees in Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Okungbowa, Eki
  • Parenting is a socially and culturally constructed role and experience. Parenting practices vary across and within communities yet most of what we know about parenting in the literature stems from Western worldviews on what ideal parenting and child-rearing looks like in practice. Taking a postcolonial feminist approach, this study helps to diversify the literature by presenting the perspectives of 11 parents with traditional and postcolonial African worldviews who have migrated to Canada. With the purpose of examining gender-based parenting practices of African refugees in Alberta, Canada, this study drew upon existing interviews from a larger study focused on gender relations in African immigrant families. The study used interpretative phenomenological analysis informed by three theoretical frameworks (transnationalism, postcolonial feminism, and intersectionality) to generate three themes and nine subthemes. These findings reveal old, new, and bifocal ways African refugees practice parenting in a post-migration context as well as the impacts of structural forces on their practices. Key among the complicating factors described involve a lack of community-focused and culturally-informed social supports for adjusting to new gender roles and relations in cultural traditions, family life, and parenting challenges typical in their post-migration experiences. Implications for childcare, community, and workplace supports to help African refugees successfully manage the higher risk of facing a host of interpersonal, systemic, and structural barriers when they arrive in Western host countries like Canada are discussed. Studies on gender roles and relations in parenting practices for African refugee parents are rare and this study provides much-needed insights that can be further explored.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • 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.