The failure of Canadian labour markets and institutions to recognize the training, education and professional experience of immigrants is a widely acknowledged problem. Of growing concern, however, are the educational and employment outcomes of the second and ‘1.5’ generations (those born in Canada to immigrant parents, and those who immigrated during childhood). For many immigrant groups, evidence suggests that the second generation enjoys upward mobility, achieving high levels of education and finding well-paid jobs.
Filipino immigrants arrive in Canada with one of the highest percentages of university-level education among all recent immigrant groups, and yet the children of Filipino immigrants have one of the lowest rates of university graduation. It would seem that a pattern is emerging of Filipino-Canadian youth reproducing the subordinate labour market positions into which their parents were incorporated upon arrival. The objective of this project is to examine the roots of these inter-generational outcomes.
In additional to quantitative analysis of Statistics Canada data, the research will be based on qualitative interviews with key informants from the Filipino community and respondents who are 1.5 or 2nd generation Filipino-Canadians aged 18-30. We will explore the spaces and social relationships in which a Filipino-Canadian identity is forged and lived; how ‘Filipino-ness’ gets constructed, performed, accepted and rejected both by Filipinos themselves and by others; and, what Filipino youth see as the relationship between these processes of self-identification and racialization on the one hand, and employment and class trajectories on the other.
The project will conduct case studies in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Hamilton, and where appropriate at the neighbourhood scale as well. This will allow us to examine outcomes in cities with diverse histories of Filipino settlement, and in quite different neighbourhoods across these cities. In each city, the project will have a collaborative relationship with a local community organization. The project was created in Toronto in collaboration with the Community Alliance for Social Justice.
This research should help us understand how ethnic identity is implicated in economic opportunities, how parental employment is reproduced in the life chances of their children, and how different immigrant settlement sites shape the next generation in important ways.
Project Timeline: 2010-2014
Supported by: Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Ontario Ministry of Training, College and Universities
For more information, contact Philip F. Kelly at email@example.com.
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All photographs Alex Felipe. Please contact the photographer for use inquiries.