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Exploring Social Bridging, Sense of Belonging, and Integration Amongst the Syrian Refugee Community

  • Author / Creator
    Taylor, Mischa D
  • The civil war in Syria caused an upheaval to all aspects of life for its citizens, resulting in an unprecedented number of Syrians arriving in Canada as refugees. While government and settlement agencies responded by addressing their immediate needs, other aspects of their integration, specifically their social integration, were much less prioritized and minimally resourced. This study drew on Ager & Strang’s (2008) Domains of Integration framework and their description of social bridging to explore this aspect of social integration of refugees in greater detail. A qualitative descriptive methodology was applied to explore how Syrian refugees describe their experiences of building social bridges in Canada, and how these bridges impact their sense of belonging and overall integration. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve adult members of the Syrian refugee community, and thematic analysis was used to interpret the data. This study found that: social bridging is influenced by the conditions that shape if social bridges are formed; friendliness, intentional connections, and neighbourly relations are valued social bridges; and social bridging promotes adaptation and sense of belonging outcomes for refugees. The insights that emerged from this study contribute to a better understanding of the interrelationship of these concepts for Syrian refugees, and establishes an foundation to explore social bridging in greater depth for enhancing theory, as well as to improve social bridging support for refugees in practice.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2021
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-vdet-pe42
  • 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.