Raising Citizens: Parenting Education Classes and Somali Mothers’ Experiences of Childrearing in Canada


  • Melissa Fellin Wilfrid Laurier University




Mothers are viewed as the people who are raising future citizens of Canada; therefore, their parenting practices are being targeted for intervention by civic organizations funded by the state. In this article, I argue that modernity narratives and neoliberalism approaches to mothering inform parenting education classes for Somali refugee women to Canada. Thus, Somali women are often seen as victims. Stereotyped identities conceal their social and historical agency. This research draws on 15 individual interviews with Somali mothers and participant- observation in two parenting education classes in Canada.


Author Biography

Melissa Fellin, Wilfrid Laurier University

Melissa Fellin, PhD is Part-time Assistant Professor in the Youth and Children's Studies Program and Faculty Associate at the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research at Wilfrid Laurier University.