Colin Cuthbert

June 06, 2017

A Place to Be, A Place to Become: An Insiders Report on Youth Integrations Prgorams in the Lower Mainland

Vancouver Harbour Centre
10am - 12:00pm
Tree Island Industries Conference Room (Room 1510)



Immigrant youth face a myriad of complex and interrelated challenges during their settlement and integration into Canadian society. In Canada, there are a number settlement services available to support this process. In the past, these services have focused on adults; however, they are increasingly responding to the needs of youth. Youth integration programs, in particular, represent one of the most common settlement services available to immigrant youth, yet little research has been conducted on such programs and even less from the perspective of the participants. This qualitative study explores the role of youth integration programs in the lives of twelve young newcomers through in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus groups. My findings reveal that such programs represent a powerful resource for newcomers, with participants describing these programs as spaces where they can develop meaningful relationships, strengthening their communication skills, and improve their overall sense of self. This research confirms, challenges, and extends earlier research on this topic, while also demonstrating the importance of engaging with the subjective experiences of newcomers.

Keywords: Immigrant Youth; Identity Formation; Cultural Negotiation; Cultural Hybridity; Immigrant Youth Settlement Services; Youth Integration Programs

Examining Committee:

Dr. Dara Culhane, Chair
Dr. Wendy Chan, Senior Supervisor
Dr. Roumiana Ilieva, Supervisor
Dr. Wanda Cassidy, External Examiner (Education)


Colin Cuthbert entered the MA program in Sociology in fall 2014 after completing his B.A. in Sociology from Mount Royal University. His main research interests involve international migration and settlement. Broadly, this includes understanding how policy shapes the lived experiences of those involved in this process. More specifically, Colin is interested in examining the obstacles confronted by youth newcomers upon arriving in Canada and how these obstacles are mitigated.
Senior Supervisor: Wendy Chan; Committee Member: Roumiana Ilieva.

Awards & Scholarships

SGES Fall 2014
EGMGS Spring 2015
GF & SSHRC Summer 2015
SSHRC Fall 2015
SSHRC Spring 2016