Identity, Identification and Racialisation: Immigrant Youth in the Canadian Context
As the number of immigrant youth in Toronto increases in a time of federal budget cuts in social services, policy makers and service providers must focus on how identity and identification are integral to youths' integration process as newcomers to Canada (Desai and Subramanian, 2000; Kilbride, Anisef, Baichman-Anisef, and Khattar 2000). Racialised immigrant youth face unique barriers and struggles as the intersecting effects of ‘race', class, age, and gender mediate their experiences (Desai and Subramanian 2000; Kilbride, Anisef, Baichman-Anisef, and Khattar 2000; Rummens 2003). Through a combination of focus groups and individual interviews with foreign-born, non-white youth, this study explores how youth are able to articulate, negotiate, and problematize their identity. Employing an anti-racist theoretical framework and a critical social research approach, the study asked, in particular: how do racialised immigrant youth self-identify and perceive their ‘racial,' ethnic, and/or cultural identity? The findings of this study illustrate that identity is constructed in a relational and contextual manner that is dependent on experiences of being othered and racialised.