PoliSci1020E March 6, 2012
Immigration in Canada
Push/Pull Factors and Criticism
The immigration experience
Canada and immigration
Immigration: The entry and permanent settlement of non-native people of another state.
Migration: Temporary movement of people in and out of a state.
Hot State: Where the immigrant goes to.
Push – war, environmental problems, poverty and unemployment, overpopulation, and
Pull – peaceful society, available land, good economy and consequently demand for
labour, political and fundamental freedoms. (Refugees are not immigrants.)
o Gives a misleading picture, making it seem like the only reason people immigrate
is to escape violence and hardship. When in fact, most immigrants are middle-
class families during times of economic development and social change.
o Overpopulation is made out to be a push factor, but it actually isn’t. (E.g.
Germany and the Netherlands.)
o Doesn’t make clear why some states are chosen over others.
o Economic ties are ignored by the model. E.g. Germany relies on immigration for
its economy (especially post-WWII). The Marshal Plan (a U.S. initiative) was the
plan to rebuild the European economy. Its post-war economy continues to boom,
and in the 1960’s, allowed “guest-workers” (mostly Turks). For the most part,
them and their families are still there.
o Not complex enough. Often times it is the family making the decision as a whole
– not the individual. The individual often goes abroad to send back
remittances. Women are often sent by the family because the males are
required to work on the farm.
o Talks about a lack of land as a push factor, but in reality, the problem is usually
that there aren’t enough resources.
Because everything is new, even the simplest of tasks prove difficult and unsettling.
They worry about being judged and monitored, and want to belong.
Every society has written rules.
o E.g. In Japan, being a good communicator is to be silent and self-controlled
(listening and absorbing, not interjecting).
o Other examples: gestures, telephone and conversation etiquette, etc.
They will always have an emotional attachment to home.
For those who stay, what keep them here? o Support Network: Family who’s already here and friends from the state of origin
(advising them on unwritten rules, government paperwork, social functions, etc.)
Once large numbers of immigrants come, there is more of an established support
o Cultural centres
o Sports teams
These are created to maintain the identity of the group.
Immigrants fear that they will unlearn themselves (forget the language, religion,
traditions, etc.). You’re left with no operating system to translate and interpret the world
if you do forget.
One key function of cultural clubs is to host dances, which are the physical expression of
emotion. Without these reminders, loss of culture proves analogous to death.
Cultural centres also help immigrants compose resumes and find jobs. In addition, they
help to re-create the society of origin in the new society. They experience of immigrants
is fragmented, making them feel lost (half here, half there), and there centres are a
source of refuge.
However, in current generations, the young aren’t inclined to continue thes