This thesis focuses on integration outcomes among government-assisted refugees (GARs) who arrived in Canada between 2007-2016. I explore how this cohort is faring relative to basic indicators like employment, health, and social connections, and I examine how GARs themselves understand integration as a concept. I explain my mixed-methods approach to answering these questions, and I present the results of fieldwork undertaken in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia in early-mid 2019. I also provide a short review of the literature of integration, and I wrestle with ethical and methodological issues raised by the process of researching a vulnerable group. I conclude that legislation changes at the federal level have impacted the demographic characteristics of refugees selected for resettlement, with newcomers facing substantial barriers with respect to labour market integration, access to stable housing, and overcoming trauma. I also conclude that refugees’ own understandings of integration do not differ substantially from the framework proposed by Ager and Strang (2008). Finally, I offer recommendations for future research into migration and changes to family dynamics, the impact of degree recognition programs, and facilitating the social integration of LGBT+ refugees.
SOURCE: Grace Newton. “Building a life : integration outcomes among government-assisted refugee newcomers in Greater Vancouver.” The University of British Columbia, August 2019.
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