Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Martha Kuwee Kumsa

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Despite the fact that Muslims have been part of Canada’s population for decades, there is a current lack of literature pertaining specifically to them. This qualitative study explores how Muslim Canadians living in Kitchener-Waterloo make sense of their Canadianess. I have selected two dimensions of citizenship#8212;rights-based and sense-of-belonging#8212;in which the former is categorized as the objective dimension and the latter as the subjective dimension. In this respect, subjectivity pertains to how people make sense of and understand their citizenship. This study used the interpretive critical approach; interpretive strategies were employed to unravel the deeper meanings the participants made of their reality and the critical theory was employed to examine micro and macro structures that impact and contribute to the participants#8217;sense making and understanding of their Canadianess.

The findings that emerged from this process suggest that: the participants#8217; sense of their citizenship reveals that Canadianess is blended with how they see Canadian values, ideals and principles and how these are applied in real life. Furthermore, the participants#8217; perceptions of Islamophobia appear to have a great influence on their sense of Canadianess. The findings also show how participants draw clear boundaries between belonging to Canada and their Canadian identity. The implications of these findings are discussed, along with recommendations for practice and policy.

Convocation Year


Included in

Social Work Commons