Title

‘Placing’ integration: A critical exploration of immigrants’ occupations in London, Ontario, Canada and Auckland, New Zealand

Start Time

6-10-2012 9:05 AM

End Time

6-10-2012 9:35 AM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

We are currently undertaking a comparative international study exploring the integration experiences of a group of multi-national migrants in London, Ontario, Canada and Auckland, New Zealand. International migration is a multi-layered process involving a range of transitions in relation to physical, economic, political, social and cultural aspects of place and occupation (Huot & Laliberte Rudman, 2010; Nayar & Hocking, 2006). Immigrants’ abilities to engage in occupations are central to the process of settling and integrating into a new society (Nayar, Hocking & Wilson, 2007), yet many migration theories fail to explicitly acknowledge the centrality of occupations in the immigration, settlement and integration process. This research will address migrants’ changes in everyday occupations, such as child care or work, and the impacts of these transitions upon their potential for successful integration. Our study will further contribute to the literature by testing the usefulness and applicability of an innovative occupation-based theory of migration, ‘Navigating Cultural Spaces’ developed by Nayar (2009), as well as Huot’s (2011) method of ‘occupational mapping’.

A critical ethnography consisting of 2 primary stages is being undertaken. Stage 1 entails a review of immigration and policy documents, as well as epidemiological data pertaining to migration in New Zealand and Canada. Its purpose is to identify similarities and differences in patterns of migration as well as in the social structures addressing migrant settlement and integration in the two contexts. Stage 2 involves data collection with 20 immigrants (10 in Auckland and 10 in London). Methods consist of a narrative interview and occupational mapping, whereby participants create a mental map outlining how their daily occupations are embedded in particular places. The narrative interview will elicit a story of the settlement and integration process from each participant. The maps will help to ‘place’ this story by detailing their local spatial use. This serves as a way of identifying routine occupations that participants’ may not think important enough to highlight explicitly within their narratives given their tacit nature. Analysis will be informed by Bourdieu’s theory of practice to enable the interpretation of maps and narratives related to how occupation, and processes integration are inherently place-based. Preliminary findings presented will illustrate how occupational mapping can serve occupational scientists who seek to better understand connections between place and occupation.

Potential questions for the discussion period:

  1. How does place shape the occupational possibilities available to immigrants?
  2. How are places shaped by the occupations that are engaged in within them?
  3. How does the arrival of immigrants alter the nature of places within which they settle?
  4. How does moving from one country (place) to another alter the occupations engaged in by immigrants?

References

Huot, S. (2011). Critically exploring the challenges of successful integration for French-speaking newcomers from visible minority groups within London, Ontario’s Francophone minority community. Unpublished PhD thesis, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Western Ontario, Canada, 363pp.

Huot, S., & Laliberte Rudman, D. (2010). The performances and places of identity: conceptualizing intersections of occupation, identity and place in the process of migration. The Journal of Occupational Science, 17(2), 69-77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2010.9686677

Nayar, S. (2009). The theory of ‘navigating cultural spaces’. Unpublished doctoral thesis. AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.

Nayar, S., & Hocking, C. (2006). Undertaking everyday activities: Immigrant Indian women settling in New Zealand. Diversity in Health and Social Care Journal, 3(4), 253-260.

Nayar, S., Hocking, C., & Wilson, J. (2007). An occupational perspective of migrant mental health: Indian women’s adjustment to living in New Zealand. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60(1), 16-23.

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Oct 6th, 9:05 AM Oct 6th, 9:35 AM

‘Placing’ integration: A critical exploration of immigrants’ occupations in London, Ontario, Canada and Auckland, New Zealand

We are currently undertaking a comparative international study exploring the integration experiences of a group of multi-national migrants in London, Ontario, Canada and Auckland, New Zealand. International migration is a multi-layered process involving a range of transitions in relation to physical, economic, political, social and cultural aspects of place and occupation (Huot & Laliberte Rudman, 2010; Nayar & Hocking, 2006). Immigrants’ abilities to engage in occupations are central to the process of settling and integrating into a new society (Nayar, Hocking & Wilson, 2007), yet many migration theories fail to explicitly acknowledge the centrality of occupations in the immigration, settlement and integration process. This research will address migrants’ changes in everyday occupations, such as child care or work, and the impacts of these transitions upon their potential for successful integration. Our study will further contribute to the literature by testing the usefulness and applicability of an innovative occupation-based theory of migration, ‘Navigating Cultural Spaces’ developed by Nayar (2009), as well as Huot’s (2011) method of ‘occupational mapping’.

A critical ethnography consisting of 2 primary stages is being undertaken. Stage 1 entails a review of immigration and policy documents, as well as epidemiological data pertaining to migration in New Zealand and Canada. Its purpose is to identify similarities and differences in patterns of migration as well as in the social structures addressing migrant settlement and integration in the two contexts. Stage 2 involves data collection with 20 immigrants (10 in Auckland and 10 in London). Methods consist of a narrative interview and occupational mapping, whereby participants create a mental map outlining how their daily occupations are embedded in particular places. The narrative interview will elicit a story of the settlement and integration process from each participant. The maps will help to ‘place’ this story by detailing their local spatial use. This serves as a way of identifying routine occupations that participants’ may not think important enough to highlight explicitly within their narratives given their tacit nature. Analysis will be informed by Bourdieu’s theory of practice to enable the interpretation of maps and narratives related to how occupation, and processes integration are inherently place-based. Preliminary findings presented will illustrate how occupational mapping can serve occupational scientists who seek to better understand connections between place and occupation.

Potential questions for the discussion period:

  1. How does place shape the occupational possibilities available to immigrants?
  2. How are places shaped by the occupations that are engaged in within them?
  3. How does the arrival of immigrants alter the nature of places within which they settle?
  4. How does moving from one country (place) to another alter the occupations engaged in by immigrants?