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T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Bridging and/or Bonding: Studies of New Generation Immigrant Youth, Social Capital and Job.

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Presentation on theme: "T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Bridging and/or Bonding: Studies of New Generation Immigrant Youth, Social Capital and Job."— Presentation transcript:

1 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Bridging and/or Bonding: Studies of New Generation Immigrant Youth, Social Capital and Job Search Miu Chung Yan, Ph.D. Associate Professor School of Social Work 1 Sean Lauer, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Sociology

2 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Youth Unemployment: The Facts Global and local issues: 3 times higher than general unemployment rate UN: 2005, 60 million young people unemployed worldwide Canada: Hidden Deficit December 2005, general unemployment rate 5.5% and youth unemployment 11.8% Defining youth: 15 to 24 or 29 or more? New generation = second generation generation who came at young age (12 or below).

3 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Immigrant Family, Youth & Employment Family is the major source of job referrals for young people. This finding is corroborated by a few Canadian studies (e.g., Canadian Youth Foundation, 1995b; Granovetter, 1974; Yan, 2000). Payne (1987) finds that unemployment may run in families. Questions: –If immigrant parents generally face unfavourable employment conditions, then how much resource they will have in helping their children to access the job market? –What other resource will immigrant youth have to access job market? Portes observes that there is only little study on the new generation immigrant youth.

4 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A International Literature Manni (1994): In Australia, while both first and second generation immigrants are at a disadvantage in the labour market, compared to the first generation, the second generation and those with more years in Australia are in a significantly more favourable condition. Nesdale & Pinter (2000): In Australia, while the ethnic background of immigrant youth may impact their unemployment, the perceived standing in the host culture influences their job seeking. Portes (1995): In Florida, Cuban youth experience otherwise. Waldinger and Feliciano (2004) rejects Portes observations.

5 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Canadian Literature Statistics Canada (2005): Intergenerational Earning Mobility Among the Children of Canadian Immigrants –2 nd generation children more educated, earn more on average –Had higher weekly earning except those whose fathers are from Caribbean, Central and South America, and Oceania –Focused on year-old second generation who were borne from 1963 to 1975, a period mainly with European immigrants. Palameta, B. (2007). Economic integration of immigrant's children. Perspectives, October 2008, –Second generation youth from immigrant families tend to do better in education than their third- and higher generation counterparts –Earnings disadvantage of visible minority men, though not women, with two immigrant parents Canadian Labour Congress (2005): Racial Status and Employment Outcomes –Visible minority youth born in Canada (most likely second generation youth) has lesser work hours, lower pay, higher unemployment, compared not only to general youth population but also to foreign born visible minority youth 5

6 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Canadian Literature (cont.) HRDC (2003): Being Young and Visible: Labour Market Access Among Immigrant and Visible Minority Youth –Visible minority youth is harder to find employment –Local born visible minorities were doing better than foreign born counterpart –Age of migration and language ability may be contributing factors to employment Brief summary: –New generation youth are in better position in terms of language and level of integration –Visible minority new generation youth may face more barriers –Lack of research on new generation youth from immigrant families –Inconclusive in general 6

7 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Solutions to Youth Unemployment Human Capital: (Becker, 1964) –A form of assets generated by investments in education, training and medical care –Examples: governments have introduced programs, such as job search training, skills upgrading, re- training, paid job placement and self-employment, to assist young people in entering the job market. –Necessary but not sufficient Granovetter (1974): not who you are but who you know that matters in youth employment

8 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Social Capital (I) Bourdieu: social inequality is caused by the unequal access to and interaction of various kinds of capitals – symbolic, cultural, and social -- social structural conceptualization. Coleman: functional social relationship of authority and of trust and norms embedded in a young person s family and community organization and the connections among them affect his/her development of human capital – socio-educational conceptualization. Putnam: trust and reciprocity among people by encouraging social participation in community organizations – political scientific conceptualization

9 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Social Capital (II) Portes and Lin: –social capital, in its most basic form, is the resource embedded in people s social networks which can provide purposive functions to their success –social capital has a structural property which implies that one s social capital depends on his/her social position connecting to different network Putnam and Granovetter: –Two forms: Bonding (strong ties) – solidarity and in-group –Bridging (weak ties) – between group Burt: –Structural holes: gaps between different networks in our society which are caused by people s social position, their strong tie to their own network, and their limited access to other network outside their own community

10 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Application of Social Capital: Immigrant Studies Better education performance (e.g., Zhou and Bankston, 1994) Friends and relatives are the most frequently used search methods (Holzer, 1988) Ethnic enclave (Portes, 1995) –In general, immigrants are rich in bonding capital but lack bridging capital. –Portes: strong tie offers short term benefit (low-paid job within the community) but leads to long term deprivation (such as downward mobility) –Bourdieu: social capital is not distributed evenly

11 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Conceptual Framework Types of Social Capital -Individual - Strength of ties - Extent of ties - Community - Bonding ties - Bridging ties Background Characteristics - Ethnicity - Immigrant History - Gender - Parents SES - Field of Study Job Search Strategies & Process - Social Capital - Employment Services - Market Employment Outcomes - Success of search - Quality of job

12 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Two Parallel Studies New generation youth with university degree –SSHRC Standard Grant –Data Collection: –Pre and post graduation survey design –Semi-structure interview New generation youth with no degree –Metropolis British Columbia –Data Collection: –Focus group interview

13 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A The Context of Job Search Long run decline in the joblessness –Jobless rate in BC has been in decline since 2002 Long run growth of the service sector –Roughly 4 in 5 jobs are service industry jobs

14 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Preliminary Survey Results Two unique aspects of this research –Measuring social capital as ties –Measuring social capital before job search A look at heterogeneous ties in particular

15 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Measuring Stores of Social Capital Social capital is often measured when used. A person may hold valuable social resources and not use them. We use two approaches to measuring social ties to capture stored social capital a person holds and might use.

16 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Close and Extensive Ties We use a name generator to collect up to five close personal ties a young person holds. PersonInitial of First NameGenderRelative or FriendsSame ethnicEmployed? Person 1Male/FemaleRelative/FriendYes/no

17 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Close and Extensive Ties Not all valuable ties are close. We use a position generator to learn about ties that reach beyond close personal ties. FamilyRelativeFriends Same ethnicityFriends different Ethnicity School teacherYes / No ElectricianYes / No

18 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Heterogeneous Close and Extensive Ties

19 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Why Look at Heterogeneous Ties? They can be valuable as an end in themselves. Heterogeneous ties provide access to diverse social resources that can be valuable in pursuing goals.

20 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Heterogeneous Close and Extensive Ties New immigrants are less likely to hold heterogeneous close ties. Visible minority new immigrants are less likely to hold heterogeneous close and extensive ties

21 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Heterogeneous Ties, Job Search and Outcomes - Employment during school Search: finding work through personal ties Outcome: finding a job relevant to education Heterogeneous close ties –Do not have a direct effect on search or the outcome Heterogeneous extensive ties –Increase use of non-family contacts to find work, but not for visible minority students –Increase the likelihood of holding a relevant job for visible minorities

22 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Future Impact of Stores of Social Capital Job Search –Neither heterogeneous close nor extensive ties are associated with finding work through personal contacts Job Outcomes –Heterogeneous extensive ties increase the likelihood of holding a relevant job, but not for visible minorities –Among visible minorities, there is an indirect effect between heterogeneous close ties and holding a relevant job through the diversity of the workplace. Those with heterogeneous close ties are more likely to work in a diverse workplace, which in turn makes holding a relevant job more likely.

23 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Findings of Qualitative Studies Interviews with University graduates (SSHRC) –Semi-structured interviews with 20 youth one year after graduation –Include youth from variety of backgrounds and immigrant generations Focus group interviews with non-University graduates (MBC) –5 focus groups with youth from Chinese (2), South Asian (2) and Filipino/a backgrounds

24 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Non-University Youth Entry Level Service Sector Jobs –Work is available (Service industry) –Commitment is low –Lateral movement is common Avoidance of Co-Ethnic Employers –Shared ethnicity leads to other expectations

25 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Non-University Youth Using Personal Ties –Often use impersonal strategies (Walk-in and cold call) –Personal ties facilitate job movement –Prefer friendship ties to family ties in job search Education a Persistent Concern –Interest in degrees rather than training for specific job –Part of values and aspirations nurtured by parents

26 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A University Graduates Starting Professional Careers –Job search is like pulling hair –Spend more effort on search but not much more time –Ethnic employer non-issue The Value of a University Degree –Credentials open doors –University education is not directly beneficial to job opportunity –Desire on the job training

27 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A University Graduates Using Non-personal Ties –Internet Using Personal Ties –Parents provide valuable emotional support, but not connections –Friends in the field – job information –More attention to establish network in the field

28 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Coming from Immigrant Families Feel better than their parents in labour market standing –Less report in racist experience (economic condition) Parents are not useful resource –No guidance of navigating the job market –Limited bridging social capital from first generation immigrant parents Non-professional jobs, Lack cross-ethnic ties, Limited knowledge of the local system Differences in the use of friends –Mostly co-ethnic friends –Limited scope of bridging to larger job opportunity

29 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Tentative Policy Suggestions Lack of bridging social capital: A possible explanation of low economic integration of immigrant family –More studies needed to examine the relationship between availability of bridging social capital and economic outcome Re-examination of the concept of settlement and integration in immigration policy –An intergenerational process Program suggestions –Specific programs for new generation immigrant youth – such as mentorship –Expand and better promotion of youth employment programs – not only to youth but also their significant others


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