A Longitudinal Examination of the Intersections of Ethnicity and Sex and Their Influence on Perceived Racism Among Newcomer Youth in Canada

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:06 PM
Room: 501
Oral Presentation
Lori WILKINSON , Sociology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Perceptions of racism and discrimination are powerful forces influencing social cohesion of members of any society. Real or not, those holding a perception that they are victimized by discrimination feel marginalized and ostracized socially and may experience instrumental forms of discrimination in various aspects of their careers, access to education and health care and others. The consequences of the belief that racism affects life chances mean that many people are unable to achieve their potential in employment, school, and health. This has a significant impact on their feeling of belonging. This paper uses data from a longitudinal national study of newcomer youth in Canada to examine the extent and factors influencing perceptions of discrimination. We follow nearly 4200 11 to 17 year old newcomer youth over 8 years on a variety of different topics. The data analysis technique involves a multivariate analysis of the changes in perceptions of discrimination and the factors involved in perceived discrimination and changes in this perception over the eight year study period. The main control variables are sex and place of birth. Findings indicate that female newcomer youth are significantly more likely to feel marginalized than their male counterparts regardless of their place of birth. Other factors influencing perceived discrimination include entry class, parents’ income, degree of match between parents’ pre-arrival education and post-arrival employment. These findings have significant influence over the sense of belonging in Canadian society among immigrant and refugee born youth and are interpreted through a lens of intersectional and identity theories. The presentation concludes with a discussion of policy and practical implications.