Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 394–405 | Cite as

Discourses of Migration and Belonging: How Language Shapes the Return-Thinking Processes of Ethiopians in Canada

  • Mary GoitomEmail author
Original Paper


This study examined how 15 Ethiopian-Canadian immigrants define and express their post-migration intentions. Specifically, this paper explores how the linguistic and cultural features embedded in language inform their return-thinking process. This paper contributes to emerging scholarship that expands the dominant conceptualization of language and migration to include a focus on how language becomes integral to the experience of migration through beliefs and value systems. Particularly, this paper argues that it is essential to recognize the multifaceted nature of migration, language, identity, and transnationalism and to recognize how migrants’ agency in straddling two distinct societies shapes their return-thinking process.


Language Identity Transnationalism Migration Ethiopians Return-Thinking 



This study was supported by Minor Research Grant (LA&PS Council).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Work, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional StudiesYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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