Professor Neda Maghbouleh's study highlighted by U of T News for International Women's Day

March 15, 2019 by Sherri Klassen

International Women's Day was March 8th and U of T News celebrated this day by highlighting some of the excellent woman-centred research at the University of Toronto. Among these is the research conducted by Professor Neda Maghbouleh with her co-investigators Professors Melissa Milkie and Ito Peng. The project, begun several years ago, interviews both Syrian refugee mothers of teens and the teens themselves about their lives in Canada. The project seeks to understand how Syrian refugee mothers and teens experience family and integration-related stressors in the three to five years following settlement. We have pasted an excerpt of the U of T News story below; the full story is available on the U of T New site here.

Maghbouleh was also recently interviewed about this project for the UTM View to the U podcast, available here.

Women at the centre of U of T research on Syrian refugee experience in the Toronto region

Just over three years ago, the first wave of Syrians began arriving in Canada, fleeing the civil war that uprooted their lives and drove them to refugee camps across the Middle East and Europe.

Today, those families are continuing to adjust to life in Canada – navigating their way through learning a new language, the education system and our frigid winters.

Throughout the resettlement process, a group of University of Toronto researchers have been capturing an intimate portrait of what life has been like for Syrian newcomer families.

The research group – led by Neda Maghbouleh, an assistant professor of sociology at U of T Mississauga, along with Professors Melissa Milkie and Ito Peng – is exploring how the nature of Syrian newcomers’ successes and challenges change the longer they are in Canada.

The all-women investigator team was intentional, says Maghbouleh.

“I think that's super cool,” she says. “We're not re-inventing the wheel, but in many ways we're putting feminist principles around leadership and organizing into practice.”

Women, too, are the focus of their research.

“We said, ‘What would it look like if we centred the stories of women – and not just women but mothers – as a lens into the fortunes of the family more broadly.’”

And that’s exactly what they did, interviewing 41 Syrian mothers twice within their first year in Canada.