n Journal of Somali Studies : Research on Somalia and the Greater Horn of African Countries - Linking Blackness to Criminality : A Critical Appraisal of Literature on "Crimmigration" Tropes of Canadian Youth of Somali Descent

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2056-5674
  • E-ISSN: 2056-5682



Theories that critique linking African youth to crime are predicated around a larger discussion on social exclusion, strain, and politics of racialization. While the nexus between blackness and criminality have long been cemented in mainstream discourses in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, the intersection of blackness and other markers of difference such as migration status, class, race, and religious identity and crime has not been critically examined in the literature. In Canada, African migrant youth from diverse refugee, class, ethno-cultural, and religious backgrounds undergo tremendous stereotyping as they navigate integration pathways into Canadian society. Although youth integration prevention strategies have been developed, implemented, and systematically evaluated for other underserved youth in Canada (i.e. indigenous and/or First Nations youth), culturally informed interventions aimed at African migrant youth from Somali backgrounds have not been judiciously explored. In this systematic review of the literature, I argue that understanding the extant research on Somali-Canadian youth is crucial for advancing knowledge on crime prevention interventions and filling gaps in the evidence base. By identifying the gaps, trends, and synergies in the scholarly discourse, this review provides a framework that highlights the necessity of rigor in studies that contribute to solutions rather than linking Canadian youth of Somali background to criminality.

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