Title

Occupational Chage in Immigrant Women

Start Time

16-10-2002 12:00 AM

End Time

18-10-2002 12:00 AM

Abstract

The aims of this presentation are to share a) the overall objectives of a program of research on immigrant women, b) the methods and results of a qualitative research study, and c)other ongoing and future studies.

Our program of research seeks to identify similarities and differences in occupations, habits and routines and their links to roles, identity and adjustment across cultures. What defines "basic needs" regarding resources supporting occupations in different cultures? Are the nature, meaning and function(s) of occupations altered or replaced with displacement?

In our first research study we sought to gain insight into the changes in occupations of immigrant women and the challenges facing them as they tried to adjust to their new environment. We conducted semi- structured interviews with five mothers - mostly refugees - who recently immigrated to this country. We asked about the changes in occupations, roles and life circumstances that they experienced when immigrating. The transcripts were analyzed using standard methodology to insure the trustworthiness of the findings. Results indicated that the ease of transition was linked to the similarity of occupations and that various strategies were implemented to adjust to their new environment, including a change in the orchestration of occupations. We also found that a given occupation could have multiple functions, both in the country of origin and here, and not necessarily fit into welldefined categories of self-care, productivity and leisure. The functions of occupations also changed depending on the place. Paid employment served many functions including social support and opportunities for learning cultural norms. At the same time participants sought out individuals of the same heritage so they could engage in activities and celebrations with a common meaning. One major challenge was loss of extended family support, which contributed to a sense of alienation with their children.

Ongoing and planned studies include a replication and extension of the above study, investigations of possible occupational deprivation in elderly immigrant women, as well as with women whose visas don't allow gainful employment and an exploration of the use of literature as data source to substantiate immigrant issues.

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Oct 16th, 12:00 AM Oct 18th, 12:00 AM

Occupational Chage in Immigrant Women

The aims of this presentation are to share a) the overall objectives of a program of research on immigrant women, b) the methods and results of a qualitative research study, and c)other ongoing and future studies.

Our program of research seeks to identify similarities and differences in occupations, habits and routines and their links to roles, identity and adjustment across cultures. What defines "basic needs" regarding resources supporting occupations in different cultures? Are the nature, meaning and function(s) of occupations altered or replaced with displacement?

In our first research study we sought to gain insight into the changes in occupations of immigrant women and the challenges facing them as they tried to adjust to their new environment. We conducted semi- structured interviews with five mothers - mostly refugees - who recently immigrated to this country. We asked about the changes in occupations, roles and life circumstances that they experienced when immigrating. The transcripts were analyzed using standard methodology to insure the trustworthiness of the findings. Results indicated that the ease of transition was linked to the similarity of occupations and that various strategies were implemented to adjust to their new environment, including a change in the orchestration of occupations. We also found that a given occupation could have multiple functions, both in the country of origin and here, and not necessarily fit into welldefined categories of self-care, productivity and leisure. The functions of occupations also changed depending on the place. Paid employment served many functions including social support and opportunities for learning cultural norms. At the same time participants sought out individuals of the same heritage so they could engage in activities and celebrations with a common meaning. One major challenge was loss of extended family support, which contributed to a sense of alienation with their children.

Ongoing and planned studies include a replication and extension of the above study, investigations of possible occupational deprivation in elderly immigrant women, as well as with women whose visas don't allow gainful employment and an exploration of the use of literature as data source to substantiate immigrant issues.