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SOCA01H3 Study Guide - Labour Power, Lz7, Distant Relatives


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Sheldon Ungar

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Ungar Chapter 5 t Chinese Immigrants on the Canadian Prairie (1910-47)
- Based on the history of the Chinese in Saskatchewan (1979-1980)
- Collecting life histories of elderly Chinese in the province, particularly their work experiences in
Canada
Chinese Immigrants on the Canadian Prairie, 1910-47
- Chinese immigrants came around 1858 after gold was discovered in British Columbia
- First wave of Chinese immigrants were miners from the US and immigrants from Kwantung
China
- Large numbers of Chinese labourers recrui}(]oov[o}µZ}PU]ooÇÁZv
the CPR (Canada Pacific Railway) was being constructed
- Wave of Chinese immigration coming to Canada continued after CPR was completed, but at a
slower rate
- 1875, provincial government of British Columbia passed anti-chinese bills. Canada was scared to
pass federal bill at the moment fearing it would create shortage of labourers and disrupt
construction of CPR
- First federal anti-Chinese bill passed in 1885 in the form of head tax of $50 imposed upon every
Chinese person entering Canada. (later raised to $100, and then to $500) It ended in 1947
- Before 1900, most Chinese in British Columbia
- As white workers increased in British Columbia, the Chinese were seen as competitors
- As organized labour grew, Chinese became target of labour exclusion
- Anti-Chinese movement gained political support to gain popular support
- Many Chinese forced to work in the marginal sector and were restricted in the core labour
market.
- Hostile labour market accelerated growth of ethnic business among Chinese (laundry,
restaurants)
Background of Chinese Respondents
- Most Chinese immigrants that first come to Canada come in their late teens or early twenties
with no job experience asides from agricultural work.
- they left home to escape economic hardship and to look for better employment opportunities
- In many cases, they borrow money from relatives in Canada to finance the trip. They later pay
them back after working and saving up in Canada
- Some respondents worked for their relatives after arrival and others learned employment
opportunities through their relatives
Opportunities and Constraints in the Labour Market
- All Chinese immigrants shared common job characteristics. (poorly paid, often worked as
servants, laundry workers, restaurant workers)
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