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Filipino-Canadian Transnationalism in Second-Tier Cities and the Gateway: Similarities and Differences Tom Lusis Department of Geography University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Filipino-Canadian Transnationalism in Second-Tier Cities and the Gateway: Similarities and Differences Tom Lusis Department of Geography University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Filipino-Canadian Transnationalism in Second-Tier Cities and the Gateway: Similarities and Differences Tom Lusis Department of Geography University of Gueph Dec. 2, 2008

2 Presentation Outline Introduction Context of Research Similarities and Differences Conclusions Policy Recommendations

3 Background to the Presentation 2006 CERIS RFP Grant to study Filipino immigrant communities in three second-tier cities. CERIS working paper NO.62. PhD project on Filipino- Canadian transnationalism. Research methods.

4 Context of Research At time of initial project immigration to second-tier cities understudied area of research. Census data shows growing immigrant populations. Trends illustrate that smaller centres are increasingly popular settlement destinations.

5 Theoretical Context of Research Pierre Bourdieus theories of capital. (e.g. Bourdieu 1984, 1986; Bourdieu and Passeron 1977) Cultural capital - institutional cultural capital. - embodied cultural capital. - objectified cultural capital. Social capital. Bourdieu and immigration research. (e.g. Bauder 2006; Kelly and Lusis 2006; Nee and Sanders 2001; Walters 2003).

6 Theme 1: Perceptions of place Second-tier cities (STC) very positive reviews. Toronto received mixed reviews. Significance of family migrations. Research findings question attractiveness of gateway cities.

7 Theme 2: Perceptions of working in Canada General barriers in all study sites (eg. Canadian experience). Detailed transnational flows of labour market information. Attitudes towards work in STC influenced by perceptions of Gateway. Economic opportunities in Toronto: the IT sector. Theyre a professional body right, an association? Look on their webpage… they will tell you their accreditation process … Now, once youre informed… you have to assess it yourself. Is it worth doing it?… how much will it cost me? Will I be prepared to do this?…you just go to the website and look up and it will give you all (the) information... Respondent Guelph

8 Theme 3a: Perceptions of the Filipino community In all sites, the ethnic community plays a role in socioeconomic integration. In STC, relatively porous and open. Negative views of Filipino community in Toronto. Perceptions echo critiques of large ethnic communities (eg. Fong and Ooka 2002, 2006; Mesch 2002; Remennick 2007). The relationship there between Filipinos is not personal…they wont say anything to you on the street, but over here (the Niagara Region) if you see a Filipino Are you Filipino? Respondent Niagara Falls

9 Theme 3b: The Filipino community in Toronto Negative experiences in gateway. Findings question advantages of large ethnic communities. Theoretical difference in the value of cultural capital in the study sites. …my first impression was like, they are so snob! Every time I see a Filipino, I say, oh a Filipino, then I smile and they just (do nothing) …and that did not happen once, it happened a lot of times. Respondent Toronto

10 Theme 4: Institutions In STC institutions got good reviews but with qualifications. - focus on universities, colleges and support agencies. In Toronto positive reviews. - focus on employment services and programs …I absolutely love Guelph. Guelph has the University of Guelph… Weve got a college here (Conestoga college)… They have a social service network here … because of the small community, its a very tight-knit type of network. I found it easy to navigate and people were very, very helpful. Respondent: Guelph

11 Theme 5a: Technology and transnationalism In all study sites tech- savvyimmigrants. E-mail, messenger services, cell phones, calling cards, web-cams, blogs used for more frequent and deeper transnational connections. Novel technologies imported from the Philippines.

12 Theme 5b: Technology, social networks and economic integration Technology facilitates the creation of wider social networks. Quality of resource improving. Negatives of looking back and digital families.

13 Theme 6a: Migration, transnationalism and cultural imperialism The mythology of the destination country. Colonial linkages and the land of milk and honey (e.g. Cohen 2004; Espiritu 2003; Martin et al. 2006). Diaspora communities and the homeland (e.g. Aneteby-Yemini 2004; Pattie 2004). The media and a land of culture and consumer freedom (e.g. Fujita 2004; Mai 2003, 2004, 2005). Social expectations of transnational migrants in countries with a culture of migration.

14 Contemporary transnationalism: Contesting or reproducing cultural imperialism? Canada seen as a prestigious migration destination. Transnational flows of information counter/contest the cultural imperialism discourse. Embodied/material flows reproduce it. …I think its not good for them (immigrants) not to tell the truth…I cannot be responsible for somebody, for telling them everythings gonna be ok, and they end up coming here [and are] miserable. Respondent Toronto

15 Conclusions Social and economic experiences in STC and the gateway overlap but there are distinct differences. STC are seen as family friendly places, with a good infrastructure and a personal Filipino community. Toronto has positive attributes in terms of economic integration but lacks many of the positive social qualities of STC. Technology is reshaping immigrant networks, expanding the reach and improving the quality of these resources.

16 Recommendations: Using technology to make STCs more immigrant friendly Raise profile of immigration to STC. Use technology to create virtual ethnic communities (e.g.Benitez 2006; Kyriakapoulis 2002; Mahler 2001; Ong 2003; Panagakos 1998, 2003; Parham 2004; Parker and Song 2006; Smith 2002; Yang 2003).

17 References Cited

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