Title

Lessons learned: The occupational contributions of older Asian immigrants to New Zealand community

Location

Room B

Start Time

18-10-2013 12:10 PM

End Time

18-10-2013 12:40 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Background & Rationale: As younger immigrants stay and age in New Zealand, the absolute number of senior Chinese, Indian and Korean peoples will grow exponentially (Statistics New Zealand, 2006). This changing ethnic profile is occurring in the context of public discourses related to the aging population as posing a significant societal burden, particularly the projected economic burden of New Zealand’s universal public pension scheme, the projected increase in health services utilization, and how deserving older immigrants are of access to superannuation and health and social services (Brown, McNeill, Leung, Radwan, & Willingale, 2011). Few voices are raised in relation to valuing or measuring the economic and social contribution that seniors make. Indeed, within New Zealand, there is little recognition of how Chinese, Indian and Korean seniors may contribute to community, resulting in a potential gap between settlement needs and social opportunities.

Purpose: This project explored how senior Chinese, Indian and Korean immigrants participate in, and contribute to, civic society.

Methods: This qualitative grounded theory study (Schatzman, 1991; Strauss, 1987) involved male and female participants, aged 60 years and over, identifying as Chinese, Indian or Korean. All participants immigrated to New Zealand aged 55 years or older; the youngest participant at the time of study was aged 60 years and the oldest 83 years. Through purposive sampling 74 participants for 9 focus groups across the three communities were recruited. A further 15 individual interviewees (5 within each community) were recruited using theoretical sampling. Semi-structured interviews conducted in English, Hindi, Mandarin and Korean were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and translated where relevant to English for analysis. In line with grounded theory methodology, data were analysed using grounded theory methods of constant comparative analysis, theoretical sensitivity and Schatzman’s dimensional matrix in a two stage process; firstly, analysing data and developing a provisional theory within each community, secondly furthering theory development through bringing together the three communities to build one theory. Ethics approval was obtained from Auckland University of Technology Ethics Committee.

Results: Chinese, Indian and Korean older immigrants contribute to New Zealand society through a process of Building Healthy Communities; healthy communities comprising the individual, the family unit and the wider ethnic and New Zealand communities. The participants worked towards Building Healthy Communities through engaging in occupations that sought to advance cultural connectedness, for example celebrating ethnic festivals; were a way of giving service, such as volunteering at libraries or knitting clothes for babies, and showcased caring for family through the food they cooked and providing transport for grandchildren. The participants did not seek reward or recognition for their occupational contributions; rather their payment was the joy they felt at seeing the happiness that others experienced as a result of their contributions.

Contribution to occupational science: This study reveals the richness of data that can emerge through comparing the occupational experiences of three unique Asian communities. Occupationally focused cross cultural research is a must for occupational scientists seeking to understand the place of occupation in a multicultural society.

Key words: community, participation, older immigrants

References

Brown, P., McNeill, R., Leung, W., Radwan, E., & Willingale, J. (2011). Current and future economic burden of osteoporosis in New Zealand. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, 9(2), 111-123. doi:1175-5652/11/0002-0111/$49.95/0

Schatzman, L. (1991). Dimensional analysis: Notes on an alternative approach to the grounding of theory in qualitative research. In D. R. Maines (Ed). Social organizations and social process: Essays in honour of Anselm Strauss (pp. 303-314). New York: Aldine Guyter.

Statistics New Zealand. (2006). Demographic aspects of New Zealand's ageing population. Wellington: Statistics New Zealand.

Strauss, A. (1987). Qualitative analysis for the social scientists. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press.

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Oct 18th, 12:10 PM Oct 18th, 12:40 PM

Lessons learned: The occupational contributions of older Asian immigrants to New Zealand community

Room B

Background & Rationale: As younger immigrants stay and age in New Zealand, the absolute number of senior Chinese, Indian and Korean peoples will grow exponentially (Statistics New Zealand, 2006). This changing ethnic profile is occurring in the context of public discourses related to the aging population as posing a significant societal burden, particularly the projected economic burden of New Zealand’s universal public pension scheme, the projected increase in health services utilization, and how deserving older immigrants are of access to superannuation and health and social services (Brown, McNeill, Leung, Radwan, & Willingale, 2011). Few voices are raised in relation to valuing or measuring the economic and social contribution that seniors make. Indeed, within New Zealand, there is little recognition of how Chinese, Indian and Korean seniors may contribute to community, resulting in a potential gap between settlement needs and social opportunities.

Purpose: This project explored how senior Chinese, Indian and Korean immigrants participate in, and contribute to, civic society.

Methods: This qualitative grounded theory study (Schatzman, 1991; Strauss, 1987) involved male and female participants, aged 60 years and over, identifying as Chinese, Indian or Korean. All participants immigrated to New Zealand aged 55 years or older; the youngest participant at the time of study was aged 60 years and the oldest 83 years. Through purposive sampling 74 participants for 9 focus groups across the three communities were recruited. A further 15 individual interviewees (5 within each community) were recruited using theoretical sampling. Semi-structured interviews conducted in English, Hindi, Mandarin and Korean were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and translated where relevant to English for analysis. In line with grounded theory methodology, data were analysed using grounded theory methods of constant comparative analysis, theoretical sensitivity and Schatzman’s dimensional matrix in a two stage process; firstly, analysing data and developing a provisional theory within each community, secondly furthering theory development through bringing together the three communities to build one theory. Ethics approval was obtained from Auckland University of Technology Ethics Committee.

Results: Chinese, Indian and Korean older immigrants contribute to New Zealand society through a process of Building Healthy Communities; healthy communities comprising the individual, the family unit and the wider ethnic and New Zealand communities. The participants worked towards Building Healthy Communities through engaging in occupations that sought to advance cultural connectedness, for example celebrating ethnic festivals; were a way of giving service, such as volunteering at libraries or knitting clothes for babies, and showcased caring for family through the food they cooked and providing transport for grandchildren. The participants did not seek reward or recognition for their occupational contributions; rather their payment was the joy they felt at seeing the happiness that others experienced as a result of their contributions.

Contribution to occupational science: This study reveals the richness of data that can emerge through comparing the occupational experiences of three unique Asian communities. Occupationally focused cross cultural research is a must for occupational scientists seeking to understand the place of occupation in a multicultural society.

Key words: community, participation, older immigrants