Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Wayne Martino

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Goli Rezai-Rashti

Joint Supervisor


This dissertation investigates the impact of transnational family separation and reunification through Canada’s Live-in/Caregiver Program (L/CP) on the educational experiences of Filipina/o/x newcomer youth in Toronto urban high schools. I draw on theories of identity and belonging, intersectionality, and postcolonial and transnational feminism to understand the experiences of Filipina/o/x youth. This is in relation to the migration trajectories of their mothers and the impact that these have had on their identity and belonging, as well as their experiences of schooling in Canada. Utilizing a critical and performance ethnographic approach, the youth engaged in oral history and memory through the use of visual methods that required them to engage in artwork projects. I also employed focus groups and individual interviews and used my own field notes as vital data sources. By employing these methods, knowledge about how the youth negotiate meaning(s) of “home” within transnational space(s) with its implications for their schooling was generated. The data were triangulated with the perspectives of parents, particularly the mothers who were the former caregivers of the L/CP, and community leaders to provide a crystalized representation of how Filipina/o/x students engage in agency.

This study highlights how Filipina/o/x youths’ agency is relationally constituted and contingent upon transnational feminist praxis and decolonization. Additionally, it shows how their agency is contingent upon the legacy of colonialism, their memories of global migration, and through active school-community partnerships. This study’s focus on intersectional, postcolonial, and transnational feminist analyses provides deeper understandings of the youths’ place-belonging, thus having implications for policy making in social services and education, particularly in identifying the social and educational needs of transnational youth—specifically Filipina/o/x students—in Toronto urban schools.

Keywords: Filipina, Filipino, Filipinx youth, education, postcolonial and transnational feminism, gender, race, class, sexuality, spirituality, religion, agency, decolonization, critical and performance ethnography, oral history and memory, visual arts methods, emotion, embodiment, diaspora, Live-in/Caregiver Program.

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