Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Pennesi, Karen


This thesis examines how the treatment of newcomer youths’ names within social interactions between immigrants and the Canadian host society reveals immigration ideologies indicating either an integrationalist or assimilationist attitude. The data was collected from semi-structured interviews with newcomer youths and staff members at the Cross Cultural Learner Centre in London, Ontario, from April to August 2017. One the one hand, I examine how the newcomer youths’ names are treated by members of the dominant society, often including forms of name-based microaggressions that reflect an immigration ideology that includes a preference towards cultural assimilation. On the other hand, I demonstrate how some of the newcomer youths are using their names in order to facilitate integration and to advocate for cultural diversity by taking advantage of obligatory conversations or using the context-dependent best pronunciation of their names.