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SOSC 1800 (27)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Reading Notes
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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 1800
Professor
Shirley Ramsarran
Semester
Summer

Description
Reading Notes: Chapter 8 ‘Immigrant, Refugee, and Aboriginal Children’ Changing Immigration Policy – A Brief Historical Overview  When thinking of immigration, children aren’t typically what comes first to mind o Immigration has plenty to do with children because one of the initial goals of immigration in this nation was to help populate the nation, and late, to help offset declining fertility rates  Canada came to exist as a nation in 1867, first PM = Sir John A. Macdonald and consisted of only Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and small portions of what is now Quebec and Ontario th  In late 19 century, although birth rates were higher than death rates, many people were leaving Canada to go to the U.S. than were entering Canada o Thus, early goal of immigration policy = populate Canada o Was particularly concerned with populating the west before the US claimed it o Wanted to attract agricultural laborers, farmers and female domestics from Great Britain, the US and Northern Europe o Canada had list of preferred immigrants and a considerably longer list of those deemed ‘undesirable’ o Had ways to encourage desirables (travel assistance money, freedom from military service, freedom of religion, no requirement to pledge allegiance, etc.) o When cheap laborers were needed, typically this came from the undesirable countries or people in poor standing from desirable countries, and Canadian gov’t did its best to create bachelor communities  Women/wives and children were discouraged from migration in the hopes that permanent communities would not be established  Aka. Desirable = entire family migrations encouraged, undesirable = men encouraged to migrate alone temporarily  Chinese were exploited in particular (railway)  Ethnic  those who share ancestral origins, customs, beliefs  Racial/racialized  a classification of people into categories based on real or imagined physical characteristics  1960s, gov’t abolished most restrictions to immigration based on ethnicity or race  New emphasis: economic needs of country, which required increasing population  Immigration Regulations of 1967 introduced new immigration system o Merit points system = points for various qualifications (education, job, skills, knowledge of English or French_  Visible minority immigrants  peoples classified as non-Caucasian in race or non-white in color Recent Immigration Numbers and Trends  In 2001, almost 18% of Canada’s permanent residents were born outside Canada  Recent immigrants of all ages were likely to live with relatives than to live alone, especially elderly immigrants (over 65 years of age) o This means that newcomer children were more likely than other Canadian children to live with their grandparents, more likely to live in extended families  Most recent arrivals, like other Canadians, lived in nuclear families, but a higher proportion of them had children living at home  Family sizes depended to be larger for immigrant families = higher fertility rates for immigrant women (although this gap appears to have been closing)  Recent immigrants reported spending more time caring for children (unpaid)  Children in recent immigrant households more likely to have legally married parents as opposed to common-law  Immigrant children less likely to live in lone-parent families  Immigrant children more likely to live in overcrowded housing  Recently arriving immigrant parents are more likely to have both higher and lower levels of education than Canadian-born parents  Recent immigrants less active in labor market than Canadians, older immigrants more active than Canadians in labor market o Those who do not speak English are more likely to experience above-average unemployment rates o Especially true of immigrant women o Part-time employment higher among recent immigrant men compared to other groups of men in Canada  Immigrants tend to receive less than Canadian born people in employment insurance, social assistance, tax credits, child benefits, etc. = most of their money comes from wages and salaries  Immigrant parents less likely to work full-time full-year  Median family income income that falls in the ‘middle’ of the income range or spectrum in a society o Immigrant children more likely to live in families with income below median family income  Immigrants more likely to be poor o Contributing factors  low-paying jobs, labour market failure to recognize international work experience/credentials, and racial discrimination in employment  Children of immigrants surpassed their parents and Canadians on average in temrs of education Understanding Immigrant Children’s Experiences  Before 1990s, traditional approach to research on immigrant offspring stressed an optimistic scenario, embedded in linear or straight-line theory o Straight-line approach = with passage of time, and with each succeeding generaion, the descendants of immigrants would become like toher Canadians o Recent modesl challenge this view and some identify different possible outcomes for immigrant children, including:  Assimilations The blending in with economic success  Continued emphasis on ethnic identity resulting in integration into ethnic enclaves, often with involvement in ethnically owned or controlled businesses  The assumption of underclass identities and integration into marginal labor markets  According to Boyd, earning a living in adulthood varied by ethnic group experiences in the economy Adaptation and Other Challenges  When children enter a new country, they can expect to experience changes and disruptions in life as they knew it, which requires a great deal of adaptation or adjustment to fit into a new or different culture  The integration of immigrant children into the host society depends on a number of factors, including their parents’ social and economic status, the age at which they immigrated, their knowledge of the language of the host society, the type of support they receive in school, and a host of other cultural factors Parents and Parenting  Every culture has ideas about how children should be socialized and this is reflected in differences in child-rearing ideologies and practices  It is believed that sometimes when immigrants move to a new country, they are faced with different, sometimes conflicting ideas on the matter  Closer analysis reveals that similarities exist among cultures o Fathers of different ethnicities studied: all placed significance on honesty, integrity, and respect for others o Also wanted their children to grow up educated, financially secure, and with positive family relations  Differences exist in questions of preserving ethnic culture  For women: Chinese mothers stressed co-operation and a more collective orientation, whereas Canadian mothers encouraged independent play (autonomy) in their toddlers  Many children become interpreters of the English language for their parents o Can be problematic as this may undermine parents authority and children can be embarrassed of their parents’ lack of knowledge  Study done on Chinese children and non-immigrant children o
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