Navigating the pitfalls of the refugee dream: Understanding the integration issues faced by Somali Canadian male youth

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Author: Arte, Basra
This capstone explores the integration challenges faced by Somali Canadian male youth in Canada as they have been experiencing issues leading to deviant and/or criminal behavior. Using literature, quantitative data analysis and qualitative semi-structured interviews analyzed via thematic analysis, this study examines how Somali Canadian male youth experience integration into Canadian society and become shaped by political, social and environmental conditions that differ from Somalia. Results from this study reveal that Somali Canadian male youth deviance and criminality is affected by 1) identity issues stemming from culture shock and intersectional discrimination (cultural, religious and racial), 2) lack of parental integration into Canadian society, and 3) post-migration socioeconomic challenges. These findings highlight the need for policy options that support the building of a healthy self-image of Somali Canadian male youth and empower Somali refugee parents to advocate for themselves and their children. This study proposes six policy options (categorized as education, healthcare, and social policy) centered on educational attainment, community and leisure engagement, and support for Somali refugee parents that may reduce deviant and/or criminal behavior in Somali Canadian male youth.
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