Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Babenko-Mould, Yolanda

2nd Supervisor

Oudshoorn, Abram

Joint Supervisor


BACKGROUND: As a result of the ongoing crisis in Syria, more than 11 million people have been displaced or killed over the past seven years (Mercy Corps, 2018). Despite efforts by the Canadian government to increase refugee uptake and promote social cohesion, refugees may still face negative resettlement experiences (Galabuzi, 2006; McCoy, Kirova, & Knight, 2016). Exploring how Syrian refugees have experienced social cohesion within their first year in Canada may help to address resettlement needs.

METHODS: This study was a secondary analysis on data collected from the Housing Education for Syrian Refugees and their Landlords study, which evaluated the impact of tenant and landlord education on health, housing stability, and social inclusion for Syrian refugees in an urban area in Canada (Oudshoorn, Meyer, & Benbow, unpublished). Qualitative data for the primary study was collected through interviews with Syrian refugees within their first year of resettlement. For this study, a directed content analysis was applied using Jenson’s (1998) social cohesion framework, whereby transcripts were examined for themes related to the five dimensions of social cohesion.

RESULTS: Study findings include multiple and interrelated factors that impacted the five dimensions of social cohesion, which include, belonging, inclusion, participation, recognition and legitimacy. Primary needs expressed by participants included the desire to learn the English language, befriend Canadians, and obtain housing and employment.

CONCLUSION: Findings illustrate the multidimensional nature of social cohesion, as well as highlighting key areas for future policy and program development, and implications for nurses.

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