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Family dynamics and the integration of professional immigrants in Canada

TitleFamily dynamics and the integration of professional immigrants in Canada
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPhan, M., Banerjee R., Deacon L., and Taraky H.
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Pages2061 - 2080
Keywordsfamily investment hypothesis, gender, integration, professionals, skilled immigrants, social support

This study examines the settlement experiences of recent immigrant, professional, dual-career couples through an integrated approach that considers gender-role theory, family investment hypothesis and social capital theory. Previous studies tend to draw on two main theoretical frameworks: gender-role theory, and family investment hypothesis to explain immigrant women's labour market outcomes. Independently they fail to provide a full understanding of the complex negotiations within the migrating family unit. Newly arrived skilled immigrants must often negotiate between roles and responsibilities within the family unit and struggle to obtain employment and integrate into the host country. Using data from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada and in-depth interviews, the findings indicate that traditional gender expectations and the absence of social networks are particularly detrimental to the integration experiences of professional female spouses. Gender role expectations become more salient after migration as couples negotiate new household responsibilities that are impacted by labour market challenges and lack of domestic support systems.

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