The Lived Experiences and Sense of Belonging among Somali Adults and Youth in Edmonton

  • Author / Creator
    Abdela, Yesuf H
  • Edmonton has the largest Somali-Canadian population outside Southern Ontario, and Somalis are the largest African community in Edmonton. Although, many immigrants in Canada face challenges in settlement and integration, Somalis face additional challenges (Mensah, 2010). This study emerged from a desire to explore the lived experiences and feelings of belonging
    among Somalis in Edmonton, given the challenges faced in settlement and integration. Through a grounded qualitative approach, I employed one-on-one interviews with adult and youth participants to explore their experiences, perceptions and views of Edmonton and Canada. The findings show that 1) family disintegration – as family members are settled in various parts of the
    world, 2) cultural and psychological displacement, and 3) the problems related to home ownership due to the issue of “riba” (the paying of interest) on mortgages affects Somali immigrants’ sense of belonging to Canada. Furthermore, while legal citizenship status is important to many Somalis, this is attributed to the practical need for a passport that can serve as a legal identity document and travel permit, as opposed to being a symbol of belonging. The research participants’ self-reported feelings of belonging are low as is their corresponding
    intention and hope for owning a home. However, despite all these challenges, Somali immigrants are also striving to create their own place within the larger Canadian society and Canadian life.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • 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.