This study sets out to examine the ways in which the Sri Lankan Tamil population has mobilized since living in Canada, and the ways in which the civil war has impacted the Tamil diaspora specifically in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The Canadian Tamil diaspora may be one of the largest Tamil populations outside of Sri Lanka but there is not enough information written about the structural dynamics of this ethnic community. This research will endeavor to bring a new understanding of the Tamil diaspora through a review of academic literature and related theories/ arguments that explain the creation of a diaspora and the mobilization of this community throughout the past 30 years. My research examines the pre- and post-war traumas of members of this community, and how that has formed their economic and social development in Canada. I will be conducting interviews of five interviewees with relatively privileged backgrounds and I discuss their views on the LTTE, and cultural networks that enabled them to leave Sri Lanka and immigrate to Canada. Through these interviews I review common themes and differences between each of my five interviewees, and the way that class and caste have influenced their refugee experience. I begin by providing a brief introduction, and then explain the history of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, and what lead to the spread of this diasporic community, as well as defining “diaspora”, and using it to explain the migration of Tamils into Canada. My findings showed that members of the Tamil diaspora in the GTA who came from privileged backgrounds, migrated to Canada for educational and economic opportunities that were available in the GTA area, which allowed for the diaspora to grow.


McConnell, David


Sociology and Anthropology


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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