The Voice of Young Somali Canadians – Identity, Threat, and the Appeal of ANSAs


  1. Taylor, D.M.
  2. Wohl, M.J.A.
  3. King, M.
  4. Kawatra, L.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);McGill Univ, Montreal QUE (CAN) Dept of Psychology
This Contract Report presents the findings of a comprehensive field survey designed to shed light on the attraction of young people to Armed Non-state Actors (ANSAs). The Contractors surveyed 80 young Somali Canadians who come from a failed state (Somalia) and where terrorist organizations (specifically, the militant jihadist group al-Shabaab) play an important role in the current and future outcomes for that state. The survey focused on variables of importance to young Somali Canadians: perceived group threat, strength of group identity, and Social Dominance Orientation (an individual’s tendency to value group status and hierarchy while devaluing egalitarianism). The research explored these three variables in terms of their relationship with support for engaging in terrorism. Our formal analyses of the survey instrument completed by young Somalis living in Canada pointed to important links between group identity and group threat on the one hand and support for ANSA behaviour and acculturation to Canada on the other. Moreover, these important links have implications for the quality of life experienced by young Somalis who are wrestling with a number of adjustment issues that are not of their own making.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

Armed Non-state Actors (ANSAs);terrorism;al-Shabaab;Somali Canadians;group threat;group identity;Social Dominance Orientation (SDO)
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2012-053 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 2012
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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