Date of Award
Master of Social Work (MSW)
This thesis explores the re-settlement process of Latin American immigrants and refugees in the Waterloo region. This qualitative research project was designed to gain an in-depth understanding of the lived realities of participants. General questions about their re-settlement process, and more specifically about the barriers faced by members of the Latin American community were asked. Participants identified and constructed meaningful resolutions to meeting their “needs” and overcoming barriers.
The findings are based on eleven individual, three conjoint interviews and two focus groups, with men and women of Latin American origin. Open and axial coding was utilized to explore emergent themes. These themes were introduced in subsequent interviews to thicken the data and acquire cross-gendered perspectives. By using a symbolic interactionist and sociological phenomenological framework, I attempt to understand the interplay between the individual consciousnesses of Latin Americans living in the Waterloo Region and the meanings created of their lived realities and social worlds. To obtain this understanding, I have chosen to use elements of grounded theory to discover the interrelatedness of the concepts, categories, and properties that emerged in the data (Borgatti, 2005).
What was evident though out the data was a strong sense of ethnic identity, pride and strength within the Latin American community. Participants consistently identified a sense of agency and a desire to promote and nurture the Latin American community based upon shared elements of culture, including but not limited to, the Spanish language.
Other predominant themes that emerged in the data were: experiences of systemic racism, cultural shifts and barriers to accessing re-settlement services. The findings of this research serve to disrupt notions of the current political discourse surrounding the neutrality of multiculturalism, provide new perspectives on the re-negotiation of culture that occurs during re-settlement and finally, to provide insights into service use by Latin Americans
Grigg, Elizabeth J. Ms, "A Needs Assessment of the Latin American Community in the Waterloo Region" (2011). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6169.
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