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SOC218H1 Chapter Notes -Chinese Head Tax In Canada, Chinese Canadians, First Language

Course Code
Eric Fong

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SOC218- Asian Communities
1. Contemporary Chinese-Canadians (8)
- Chinese has been in Canada for >130 years, only 1947 and after, they received civil rights
- 1967&after mid 1980s, there are more Chinese-Canadian Communities (reflect old & new culture)
Geographic Distribution and Demographic Characteristics
- 1991: of 27M Canadians, 516,900 claimed Chinese as mother tongue, and 12.5% of 4.1M Canadian tongue in immigrants
- caused by number of immigrants rather than natural growth
- Chinese in Canada lived in Ontario & British Columbia, Ontario accounts for 46% while BC is 31%, other 12% in
Alberta, 7% in Quebec and 4% for other places (1991)
- Chinese tend to settle in Metropolitan centres, Toronto & Vancouver (66% of all Chinese in Can)
- Majority of Chinese in Canada remained foreign-born (75%).. because
o Unbalanced sex ratio among Chinese-Canadians in the pre-war years, delayed growth
o Main* decrease of C-C due to influx of Chinese immigrants to Can after 1967, diluting it
o 63% of CC are from 1971 and after, those who paid head tax to Canada was first 2 decades of 20th century,
before 1946
- 60 % were CC were 16-45 yo while 60% natives born are 16 and under
o youth population in native born Chinese suggest the emergence of 2nd and 3rd gen was slow but it has been
replenished by descendants of a continuous flow of 1st gen immig.
- Older people have larger populations in foreign born group than native born
o Pattern of immigration and log delay in growth of subsequent generations
- Challenges
o Mistreatment in past, unable to gain public support to change discriminating policies
o Challenges movement to social equality lately
o Hard to enter politics: small number of CBC, large immigrants, relative young age
o Main source is immigrantscontinuous manifestation in linguistic & social characteristic
Linguistic Characteristics
- Chinese mother tongue is 75% in 1981 & 77% in 1991, used by 63% of CC
- Language Loss
o 1991: 32% used English as Home Language larger than 18% in 1981
o mother tongue was Chinese, 83% still spoke Chinese while 17% used English, shift of
- English of Home language is greater than English of Mother tongue
- In total, 36% of all those of ChinesesOrigin experience loss of the Chinese language
o high level of ancestral language retention among the Chinese has to do with predominance of first gen
o comfort with the language suggest there will be larger trend of loss Chinese language
- Bilingual of Chinese Canadians is only 3% in 1971 ,4% in 1981 and 6% in 1991
- Speaking English and no French is 77% in 1971, 76% in 1981 and 77% in 1991
o Official language spoke by most CC was English consistent with Native & Foreign
- Neither English & French was 19% of all CC, and 16% in 1991 (1/6 Canadians)
o Would reach barriers, higher among foreign than those natives
o Among native-born CC in 1991, 9% cannot speak neither, but it included school aged student (unfair)
- Unable to speak both language, it is not a problem for urban cities but handicap for those in small towns
The Contemporary Chinese-Canadian Family
- women- came after WW2, after 1967, conjugal family life spreading
- 1971: 83% of Chinese belongs to census family (husbands & wife with or w/o unmarried children)
o 7% of Chinese belonged to economic family (parents living with their married child and his/her family)
o 10% did not live in family household
o CC in census family was slightly lower than 87%
- Changing definition of families means family data cannot be compared
o 1991: 55% as compared to 69% to Canadians, belong to husband-wife family with no additional person except
o more CC live in husband-wife family with additional persons, 17% to 7% for Canadians
o persistent differences between CC to Canadians suggest that more than 70% of CC and other Canadians belonged
to a husband-wife family, Chinese more likely to have additional person, other than children, living with them
o 2% of CC (2% of Can) belong to multiple family household (hh with more than one fam)
- fertility and family size were no substantial differences between CC and Canadians
- 67%>64% (Canadian wins), for family with 2-4 people while 23% of CC have fam w/ 5 and more
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