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Syrian refugees' resettlement in Toronto and São Paulo: a comparative approach

Grant number: 18/20996-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 16, 2019
Effective date (End): March 15, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology
Principal researcher:Oswaldo Mario Serra Truzzi
Grantee:Fabio Martinez Serrano Pucci
Supervisor abroad: M Jennifer Hyndman
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: York University, Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:16/19485-2 - The integration of Syrian refugees in São Paulo, BP.DR


This project addresses the resettlement of Syrian refugees in São Paulo and Toronto from a comparative perspective. We base our comparison on three dimensions: government policies, host society and co-ethnic community. To achieve this objective, we will study the Private Sponsorship Program in Canada. The main hypothesis is that sponsors help Private Sponsored Refugees (PSRs) to find jobs, housing and gain access to public services. As a consequence, we contend that they incorporate faster in Toronto than in São Paulo. Moreover, we address the role that the co-ethnic community and faith-based organizations have in their incorporation process. In addition, we compare how refugees are received by the host society and whether they are prejudiced against or not. We hypothesize that Christian Syrians resettle faster than Muslim Syrians, because they face less prejudice and have the support of a historical Syrian community. Finally, one of the aims of this project is to study the differences between self-employment of Syrians in both cities. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are combined for this research. Statistics are relevant for providing a profile of these refugees. However, we focus on qualitative methods, which consist of carrying out interviews with refugees, professionals who work for the Syrians, sponsors of the PSRs, the Syrian-Lebanese community members and academic experts in this subject. We compare Syrian refugees with different social backgrounds (religion, sex, marital status, education, length of stay and occupation) to find out to what extent these variables influence their pathways of incorporation.

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