Sense of Place and Belonging Among Jamaican Immigrants in Canada: Findings From The Ethnic Diversity Survey
belonging, a feeling or sense of attachment that individuals have with people, places, groups and cultures, is an important aspect of settlement for visible minority groups that often struggle with experiences of exclusion. Several scholars have shown that belonging also operates at various scales such as the house, neighborhood and the home country and can be measured through a variety of activities including participation in immigrant organizations. Still, differences in sense of belonging among various immigrant groups have received limited attention. The empirical analysis in this study contributes to the research about sense of belonging within the visible minority population by examining how racial and ethnic identities contribute to differences in sense of belonging among visible minorities. Attention is focused on the sense of belonging of Jamaican immigrants in Canada. To appreciate Jamaican immigrants’ sense of belonging, this paper explores how the identities of Jamaican immigrants influence their sense of belonging as measured by various forms of civic activity as well as statements of trust and their attachments to their ethnic group and Canada, respectively. The research findings show that sense of belonging to one’s ethnic group is stronger among Jamaican immigrants than all foreign-born visible minority groups. The strong sense of belonging is expected because Jamaican immigrants report higher levels of disadvantage and more exclusion than the other visible minority groups.