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Lecture 18

Lecture 18 Ethnicity, Immigration, and Family Life con’t.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

1 Sociology 2U06: Family Sociology Nov. 14 2011 Lecture 18: Ethnicity, Immigration, and Family Life con’t Topics: - Ch 28, Fox, Man: “From Hong Kong to Canada: Immigration and the Changing Family Lives of Middle-class Women from Hong Kong” - Ch 29, Fox, Creese et al: “Gender, Generation, and the ‘Immigrant Family’: Negotiating Migration Processes” - Agnes Calliste: Black families in Canada - Nara Sudarkasa: African American families - Carol Stack: African American families Man’s chapter - In-depth interviews with 30 middle-class Chinese immigrant women from Hong Kong o Most immigrated as dependents of their husbands o Most with university degrees and professional careers in Hong Kong o Most sought employment in Canada after some time  Most either unemployed or underemployed - Why is it the case that many immigrants experience un/underemployment? o Education credentials not recognized as valid in country they emigrated to o Most Canadian employers want Canadian work experience – foreign work experience doesn’t count Creese et al - Focus groups with recently arrived immigrants in greater Vancouver area Man and Creese overlap - Immigrants experiencing downward social mobility o Take jobs which they are overqualified for – less prestigious careers than in country of origin - Loss of support from extended family - Intensification of domestic labour o As a result of the loss of support from extended family, women carry a greater burden of responsibility in the domestic realm o In contrast, in Hong Kong women could more easily combine caregiving work with careers with the help of their extended family o Creese: motherhood more difficult for immigrants in Canada - Financial dependence o Man: women unable to find employment find themselves financially dependent on husband for first time 2  Puts strain on marriage, along with these other factors - Gender inequalities intensified Nara Sudarkasa: - Examined how the structure of African-american families was altered as Africans were enslaved and brought to us o Prior to enslavement:  Extended families living together in large multi-grouping of relatives  Lineage, blood relatives a defining feature  Nuclear family did not make up the core of the family o Post-slavery:  Constraints of slavery meant Africans couldn’t have the same kind of living arrangements they had in Africa  Tried to recreate the kin networks of their ancestors  Kin relatives living close together if possible  Extended families could still turn to eachother for assistance even if not closely linked by geography - Prevalence of female-headed households for African-americans o Single moms o In the past, constituted a minority  Were accepted, but nowhere near as prevalent as they are today  What happened to change all this? o Argues that over time there was an increase because of government social policy – specifically welfare policy  Eligibility criteria that precluded a male living in the home  If a male lived in the home there was an expectation that he would provide financial support - Increasing disaggregation of African-american households o Essentially means more separate households  In the past might see a single mom living with her own mother and her kids  But now, increasingly we see independent households with mother living with just her kids  Also increase in homes where elderly people live alone or in couples o Consequence of this  Declining level of family support  i.e. Food, clothing, caregiving, emotional, material support Carol Stack: “All our Kin” – book - Participant observation of a very poor neighbourhood in the 1960s where africcan-american females were living - Carol Stack: pregnant white grad student at the time of the participant observation 3 o Being white worked against her, but being pregnant gained her sympathy and people willing to talk - Tried to understand how they got along in such poverty: survival strategies for single-parent female headed households o Women were living in separate households (welfare policy) but exchanged goods and services and all kidns of assistance with others in her community  “Swapping”  Swapped clothing, food, furniture, small sums of money etc.  Anything you might need on a daily basis  Informal rules:  Obligation to reciprocate, but not expected immediately  You both know that the receiver of the swap owes the giver 
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