Second Generation Youth: Stuck Between Two Worlds

Essay by elusive_butterflyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2008

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Look around, how many individuals surrounding you can say that their families have lived in Canada for more than 2 or 3 generations? Many of the people we associate with are second generation Canadians whose parents immigrated to Canada in search of a better life. In fact, 1.2 Million Immigrants were added to Canada's population according to the last census conducted in 2005. (Cheadle, 2007).

First Generation immigrants soon learn that they must become acculturated with Canadian mores but struggle with their desires to succeed in the new country while also remaining faithful to the culture of their native land. Generally second generation children have an easier time acculturating than their first generation parents.

The difference in these rates of acculturation may be the cause of conflict within families over the 'devious' behaviour of the youth. (Bhattacharya, Gauri). Youth engaging in relationships with the opposite sex may be one reason for such conflicts and is the reason why many youth do not tell their parents when they are engaged in a relationship.

Youth may also change their clothing to blend in more effectively with their social atmosphere at school but hide the difference from their parents because they know that they will not be accepting of this change. Second generation youth may also have different, 'less important' ambitions in their careers which their parents may not approve of, causing more disagreement between the parents and the children. Second generation youth grow up with different views than their first generation parents because they are raised in a different culture and they choose to hide some important distinguishing factors from their parents for fear of causing conflict within their family.

Canadian society is generally more accepting of relationships with the opposite sex than most countries that people immigrate from. As second...