Title

An occupational perspective on immigrant integration: critically exploring the renegotiation of daily life

Location

Room B

Start Time

18-10-2013 11:00 AM

End Time

18-10-2013 11:30 AM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Background

Immigration, settlement and integration are complex phenomena involving a range of transitions in relation to physical, economic, political, social and cultural aspects of occupation (Huot, Laliberte Rudman, Dodson, & Magalhães, 2013; Nayar & Sterling, 2013). These transitions are shaped by the socio-historic and political contexts within which immigrants’ journeys are embedded (Huot & Laliberte Rudman, 2010).

Purpose

To critically explore how social integration is mediated through occupation, a comparative international study of the experiences of a group of multi-national migrants in Auckland, New Zealand and London, Ontario, Canada was undertaken. This research considers migrants’ changes in everyday occupations and the influences of structural and systemic barriers and enablers upon their negotiation of transitions and integration.

Methods

A critical ethnography with two stages of data collection was utilised. First, policy documents from Canada and New Zealand were reviewed to understand the socio-political context governing immigration within each country. Second, authors engaged in qualitative interviews with immigrants in London and Auckland.

Participants

Nineteen participants (9 males and 10 females) were purposefully selected; 10 in London and 9 in Auckland. London participants immigrated from Benin, Brazil, Burundi, Columbia, France, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Auckland participants immigrated from Fiji, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, UK, US, and Zimbabwe.

Data collection

Interviews began by eliciting narratives pertaining to international migration, settlement and integration. A semi-structured interview guide was then used to obtain additional information such as engagement in occupations within the host community, and changes to occupations following migration. Next, participants created an ‘occupational map’ (Huot et al., 2013), describing the places they go and the things they do in their host communities. Follow-up interviews were undertaken as required to clarify information and seek additional experiences.

Data analysis

In total, 29 interviews were conducted and transcribed verbatim. Analysis is ongoing, using a two-stage coding approach. In the first open-coding stage, transcripts are read line-by-line and codes reflect participants’ words. The second stage will entail a theoretical coding approach guided by concepts from Bourdieu’s theory of practice and Nayar’s (2009) theory of Navigating Cultural Spaces.

Results

Presentation of findings will address how immigrants’ experiences are shaped within the host societies’ broader contexts. For instance, New Zealand’s Biculturalism and Canada’s Multiculturalism and Bilingualism provide particular approaches to dealing with immigrant integration. We will discuss how this is negotiated at the local scale by individual immigrants who mediate their integration through engagement in occupation. As such, we will focus upon how occupations are affected by the transitions resulting from international migration, and how possibilities to engage in occupations, or not, shape immigrants’ integration into receiving communities.

Contribution to occupational science

Immigrants’ abilities to engage in occupations are central to their integration into a new society (Nayar, Hocking & Wilson, 2007), yet many migration theories fail to explicitly acknowledge the centrality of occupation. Given that occupations are culturally mediated, this research will inform occupational science education by providing a deeper understanding of how people migrating between diverse cultural contexts experience transitions to occupations.

Learning objectives:

Following this presentation, audience members will better understand:

  • The structural and systemic factors shaping immigrant integration;
  • How international mobility can alter the occupations engaged in by migrants; and
  • How transitions resulting from migration are mediated through occupation.

References

Huot, S. Laliberte Rudman, D., Dodson, B., & Magalhães, L. (2013). Expanding policy-based conceptualizations of ‘successful integration’: Negotiating integration through occupation following international migration. Journal of Occupational Science, 20(1), 6-22.

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.

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

Nayar, S., & Sterling, K. (2013). Occupational strategies for settling in New Zealand: Learning from Indian immigrant men. Journal of Occupational Science, 20(1), 62-72.

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 18th, 11:00 AM Oct 18th, 11:30 AM

An occupational perspective on immigrant integration: critically exploring the renegotiation of daily life

Room B

Background

Immigration, settlement and integration are complex phenomena involving a range of transitions in relation to physical, economic, political, social and cultural aspects of occupation (Huot, Laliberte Rudman, Dodson, & Magalhães, 2013; Nayar & Sterling, 2013). These transitions are shaped by the socio-historic and political contexts within which immigrants’ journeys are embedded (Huot & Laliberte Rudman, 2010).

Purpose

To critically explore how social integration is mediated through occupation, a comparative international study of the experiences of a group of multi-national migrants in Auckland, New Zealand and London, Ontario, Canada was undertaken. This research considers migrants’ changes in everyday occupations and the influences of structural and systemic barriers and enablers upon their negotiation of transitions and integration.

Methods

A critical ethnography with two stages of data collection was utilised. First, policy documents from Canada and New Zealand were reviewed to understand the socio-political context governing immigration within each country. Second, authors engaged in qualitative interviews with immigrants in London and Auckland.

Participants

Nineteen participants (9 males and 10 females) were purposefully selected; 10 in London and 9 in Auckland. London participants immigrated from Benin, Brazil, Burundi, Columbia, France, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Auckland participants immigrated from Fiji, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, UK, US, and Zimbabwe.

Data collection

Interviews began by eliciting narratives pertaining to international migration, settlement and integration. A semi-structured interview guide was then used to obtain additional information such as engagement in occupations within the host community, and changes to occupations following migration. Next, participants created an ‘occupational map’ (Huot et al., 2013), describing the places they go and the things they do in their host communities. Follow-up interviews were undertaken as required to clarify information and seek additional experiences.

Data analysis

In total, 29 interviews were conducted and transcribed verbatim. Analysis is ongoing, using a two-stage coding approach. In the first open-coding stage, transcripts are read line-by-line and codes reflect participants’ words. The second stage will entail a theoretical coding approach guided by concepts from Bourdieu’s theory of practice and Nayar’s (2009) theory of Navigating Cultural Spaces.

Results

Presentation of findings will address how immigrants’ experiences are shaped within the host societies’ broader contexts. For instance, New Zealand’s Biculturalism and Canada’s Multiculturalism and Bilingualism provide particular approaches to dealing with immigrant integration. We will discuss how this is negotiated at the local scale by individual immigrants who mediate their integration through engagement in occupation. As such, we will focus upon how occupations are affected by the transitions resulting from international migration, and how possibilities to engage in occupations, or not, shape immigrants’ integration into receiving communities.

Contribution to occupational science

Immigrants’ abilities to engage in occupations are central to their integration into a new society (Nayar, Hocking & Wilson, 2007), yet many migration theories fail to explicitly acknowledge the centrality of occupation. Given that occupations are culturally mediated, this research will inform occupational science education by providing a deeper understanding of how people migrating between diverse cultural contexts experience transitions to occupations.

Learning objectives:

Following this presentation, audience members will better understand:

  • The structural and systemic factors shaping immigrant integration;
  • How international mobility can alter the occupations engaged in by migrants; and
  • How transitions resulting from migration are mediated through occupation.