At Home in Canada? Second Generation Negotiations in Racism and Citizenship

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Brooks, Meghan
second generation , racism , citizenship
This thesis research examines second generation Canadians’ negotiations of racism and citizenship with the aim of understanding how the former influences the latter. Through questionnaires and focus group discussion, I examine how they understand their racialized experiences and how they believe those experiences are different from, or related to, those of their parents. In addition, I conducted focus groups with an equivalent number of white Canadians in order to observe how the experiences of second generation Canadians of colour differ from those of their white counterparts. The findings of this thesis show that the negotiations of citizenship and racism of second generation Canadians of colour are not only varied, but multidimensional. Focus group discussions reveal that although they experience a variety of forms of racism, participants maintain a relatively positive outlook on Canadian society. This is likely the outcome of processes of identification and rationalization that distinguish them from both their parents and their white counterparts. That their experiences and perceptions of racism are prone to paradox only adds to the necessity for in-depth study and analysis. Although the influences of racism on feelings of belonging in Canada differ, the majority of second generation Canadians of colour report strong attachments to the country.
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