Among racialized immigrants in Canada, women continue to hold a significant margin of this population. However, current immigration discourse and multicultural policies promote a homogenous ethnic identity of immigrants and ignore differences based on social class, gender, age or country of origin. In addition to the challenges faced by racialized immigrants in attempting to integrate into mainstream, gender, when combined with immigrant status has been shown to intensify challenges to integration. Immigration exacerbates women’s vulnerability, heightening women’s dependency on husbands, intimate partners, sponsors or employers, nuclear or extended families, and their own ethnic/racial communities (Erez, 2000).
Integration, sense of belonging and identity can be conceptualized as different elements of one core construct, each impacting the other in reciprocating negative and positive ways. Integration, however, remains a fleeting notion for many immigrants. The current reality that immigrants, particularly those from racial minority backgrounds, are faced with is one of social exclusion with significant structural and social barriers that impede successful integration into Canadian society (Hogarth, Janzen & Hatzipantelis, 2005).
|Keywords:||Immigration, Race, Gender, Belonging, Ethnicity, Integration|
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, kitchener, Ontario, Canada
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