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Abstracts of dissertations

Migration and Economic Integration: The Impact of the Implementation of the Federal Skilled Workers Program of Canada on Highly Skilled Visible Minorities. Rhetoric and Realities.
 
Author
Anderson, Helen O
h.o.anderson@warwick.ac.uk
Nigeria

Supervisor
Prof Peter Ratcliffe
Sociology
University of Warwick
United Kingdom

Year of completion in progress

language of dissertation English

Keywords
  • Race & Racism
  • Non recognition
  • Integration & Language
  • Migration & Belonging
Areas of Research
  • Migration
  • Economy and Society
  • Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations
Abstract
In this study, I utilise a race based methodology through the lens of critical race theory, to interrogate the lived experiences of highly skilled visible minorities who are recent "landed" immigrants to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I also employ critical discourse analysis to scrutinise the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act 2001 in its many guises to expose and challenge the hidden ideology behind its language and text.

Through this qualitative race based methodology, I undertook several in-depth semi structured interviews of highly skilled immigrants. A combined narrative/life history inquiry approach shaped the resultant data gathering and enables the voice of the participants to be heard. The life history approach allowed the study participants to discuss not only themselves, and their lives, but also the social, economic, and political spaces that they inhabit, thus communicating how structure and agency intersect to produce the circumstances of their lives. This study uses life history narratives to map their migratory and immigration process before, during and after their arrival in Canada.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program of Canada is based on the embodied human capital of migrants. Canada actively recruits immigrants with the rhetoric that Canada needs their skills. Over half of Canada’s annual immigrants enter as Highly Skilled. Many immigrants, particularly visible minorities, find their skills, education, and prior professional experiences undervalued. Upon arrival, these immigrants encounter a variety of credential assessments and qualifying examinations; these are varied depending on the province they have chosen to call their new home. Frequently, these skilled immigrants find that access to professions and trades are barred through unregulated licensing and registration requirement, institutional biases, perceived fluency of language as well as the subjective and oft requested but elusive, ‘Canadian experience’.

The work will document and examine the institutional, political, ideological, social, and economic obstacles encountered by the research participants and how they have had to adapt to the circumstance they find themselves in. The study agrees with Gillborn, (2005), that " the most dangerous form of 'white supremacy' is not the obvious and extreme fascistic posturing of small neo-nazi groups, but rather the implicit routine privileging of white interests that goes unremarked in the political mainstream" (p.485). This research also makes use of critical discourse analysis to dissect policy rhetoric and jargon. Its aim is to discover the truth behind Canada’s expansive, supposedly colour-blind, meritocratic skilled immigration policy, bolstered by participants' own words.