Where do you come from? Navigating Identity Formation in Canadian Western African Youth in Alberta
Culturally relevant pedagogy
SubjectEducation--Curriculum and Instruction
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractWith the increase of immigrants from non-Western countries to Canada, it has been noted that the demographics of the nation will change over time. Research in Canada still tends to group people of African descent as Black without considering the difference in their countries of origins, socio-economic background, values and cultural context. Adopting a social constructivist lens, and using the Phinney’s three - stage model of ethnic identity development, this phenomenological study examines the experiences of eight second generation youth of Western African descent in two major cities in Alberta as they navigate the identity formation process. Factors that influence their adoption of an identity, and the characteristics and importance of their adopted identity were also investigated. Face to face interviews were conducted in Edmonton and Calgary, with the sessions audio-taped, transcribed and analysed. Results from analysis of the narratives collected from the youth involved in the study was skewed towards the adoption of their parent’s nationality. Experiences that contributed towards their adoption of the identity include parental influence, interaction with members of the Canadian society, and socializing with members of their parent’s cultural community. Merged in the lives of the youth, these diverse experiences led to the adoption of an identity. However, their adopted identities were not static, but fluid in nature leading to a hybridity in their identification. The study also includes implications of the results from the research study for immigrant parents, educators, policy makers, service providers, as well as recommendations for the future research.
Werklund School of Education