Few, if any, would deny that in light of the massive migrations of refugees, and the persistent questions regarding the factors that contribute to their integration, inclusion, exclusion, marginalization, and radicalization, more research is needed to develop a fuller and up to date understanding of these matters. Such research should focus on all categories of immigrants and refugees, or all backgrounds, ages, gender, places of origin and places of settlement. This research project is designed to contribute to that larger research agenda.
In preparing this proposal a preliminary scan of the extant literature was undertaken. That scan revealed that the extant studies tend to be primarily on identity formation of immigrant and refugee adults and youths, and little attention is devoted to the various issues that the proposed research will explore (e.g., the perceptions and effects of the sociopolitical climate, happiness, community involvement, sense of belonging). This study will build on the extant literature by devoting attention to identity formation with the current cohort of refugee youth as well as examining some additional phenomena and factors related to youth not explored systematically in many of the earlier studies.
It should be noted at the outset that the focus of this study is on the four Western provinces. The major reason for this geographic delimitation is the amount of funds available for individual projects through this call for proposals. Despite this geographic delimitation, the study will provide some important insights into the phenomena being researched. At the very least this initial study will make a significant contribution by laying the theoretical, conceptual and methodological foundations for a study on refugee youth in other provinces next year.