The failure of Canadian labour markets and institutions to recognize the training, education and professional experience of immigrants is a widely acknowledged problem. Of growing concern, however, are the educational and employment outcomes of the second and ‘1.5’ generations (those born in Canada to immigrant parents, and those who immigrated during childhood). For many immigrant groups, evidence suggests that the second generation enjoys upward mobility, achieving high levels of education and finding well-paid jobs.
Filipino immigrants arrive in Canada with one of the highest percentages of university-level education among all recent immigrant groups, and yet the children of Filipino immigrants have one of the lowest rates of university graduation. It would seem that a pattern is emerging of Filipino-Canadian youth reproducing the subordinate labour market positions into which their parents were incorporated upon arrival. The objective of this project is to examine the roots of these inter-generational outcomes.
In additional to quantitative analysis of Statistics Canada data, the research is based on qualitative interviews with key informants from the Filipino community and respondents who are 1.5 or 2nd generation Filipino-Canadians aged 18-30. We explored the spaces and social relationships in which a Filipino-Canadian identity is forged and lived; how ‘Filipino-ness’ gets constructed, performed, accepted and rejected both by Filipinos themselves and by others; and, what Filipino youth see as the relationship between these processes of self-identification and racialization on the one hand, and employment and class trajectories on the other.
The project researchers conducted case studies in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Hamilton. This allowed us to examine outcomes in cities with diverse histories of Filipino settlement, and in quite different neighbourhoods across these cities. In each city, the project had a collaborative relationship with a local community organization. The project was created in Toronto in collaboration with the Community Alliance for Social Justice.
This research should help us understand how ethnic identity is implicated in economic opportunities, how parental employment is reproduced in the life chances of their children, and how different immigrant settlement sites shape the next generation in important ways.
The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Ontario. The FYTIC project was initiated by York University and the Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ), and is located at the York Centre for Asian Research.