“Strangers in the new homeland”: the personal stories of Jamaican Canadian adults who migrated to Canada as children

Ferguson, Marva J. (2023) “Strangers in the new homeland”: the personal stories of Jamaican Canadian adults who migrated to Canada as children. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfounland.

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Globalization has and continues to impact developing countries such as Jamaica, a nation that depends on countries such as Canada for economic support. Within this structure and dependence is migration, which is a common practice in Caribbean countries. Given the power structures involved in the global economies, where developing countries such as Jamaica experience economic hardships, parents of the participants in the study made the tough decisions to migrate to Canada to make a living and support their families. In the process of migration, children (participants) are often left behind with the plan to be reunited with their parents in Canada. It is argued that the process of reunification between children and their parents is oftentimes characterized by many problems, misunderstandings, unaligned expectations, resulting in unanticipated tension and conflictual relations between children and parents. This study presents qualitative research findings that highlight the social and economic barriers that Jamaican Canadian adults experienced when they reunited with their parents in Canada. Results from the study revealed that the participants experienced isolation, devaluation of their education, and anti-Black racism, yet they were able to persevere as successful individuals who continue to contribute to the development of Canada. Using a Critical Race Theory (CRT) framework to understand the stories of the participants, findings revealed that anti-black racism and discrimination targeting Black people in their migration, during integration, and settlement stories in Canada are not aberrant but consistent with the anti-black racist migration history of Canada. If anything, participants’ stories reveal how little has changed in the struggles of Black people to migrate, integrate, and settle in Canadian society. The outcome of this research adds to the ongoing dialogue with service providers, learning institutions, policy makers and the general Canadian population about the importance of addressing racism and discrimination targeting immigrants of colour in Canada, as well as to improve on how social services are provided for immigrants of colour in Canada.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/16100
Item ID: 16100
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 208-250)
Keywords: critical race theory, culture, migration, Jamaica, reunification
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: August 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/B5FT-YH46
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Critical race theory--Jamaica; Critical race theory--Canada; Emigration and immigration--Jamaica; Emigration and immigration--Canada

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