The Social Networks, Social Support and Social Capital of Syrian Refugees Privately Sponsored to Settle in Montreal: Indications for Employment and Housing During Their Early Experiences of Integration
Beginning in 2015, Canada undertook an exceptional undertaking of sponsoring of more than 40,000 Syrian refugees to resettle in Canada. As the excitement of their initial arrivals dissipates, it is important to consider their longer-term settlement and integration in their new communities. This article offers a portrait and analysis of how Syrian refugees sponsored to Montreal are able to create social networks and access social support in order to build social capital for employment and housing purposes. Part of a larger, three-province, 4-year longitudinal study, here we report on the first wave of survey data collected from 626 Privately-Sponsored Refugees living in Quebec. We report on their family support and friendships, as well as the ways that these social connections helped them in terms of employment and housing. Differences in terms of age, gender and time in Canada are analyzed. We find strong evidence of bonding social capital among recently resettled Syrians in Montreal, and growing bridging capital.