Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Examining Bonding and Bridging Activities in the Context of a Common Spaces Approach to Integration

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Examining Bonding and Bridging Activities in the Context of a Common Spaces Approach to Integration

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper utilized the analytical file of the Ethnic Diversity Survey (EDS 2002) to examine the relationship between bridging and bonding activities for identified immigrant and non-immigrant groups and variables selected to measure integration through the creation of common spaces. Based on Ager and Strang's (2004; 2008) model, we hypothesized that both bonding and bridging activities increased the likelihood of outcomes that reflect and create the common spaces increasingly associated with integration. Bridging activities were associated with the creation of common spaces, used here as a marker of integration, in almost every instance, while bonding activities were associated with integration in some but not all instances. Our analysis supports a conceptual model of integration that highlights the development of common spaces radiating outward from self-identified ethnic groups as both a means and a marker for integration.

Resume

Cet article porte sur les relations dans les activites qui favorisent I'affectif et le relationnel pour les groupes d'immigres et de non-immigres identifies par le dossier analytique de I'Enquete sur la diversite ethnique (EDE 2002) sur lequel il s'appuie, et sur les variables selectionnees pour mesurer leur integration par la creation d'espaces communs. A partir du modele d'Ager et Strang (2004, 2008), nous avons pose l'hypothese que ces deux activites suscitent et refletent bien davantage de tels espaces toujours plus lies a l'integration en question. Dans presque tous les cas, celles a caractere relationnel ont ete associees a l'etablissement de terrains communs qui servent de marqueurs d'insertion, tandis que celles a caractere affectif n'ont eu qu'un effet d'inclusion dans certaines circonstances, mais pas dans toutes. Notre analyse soutient un modele conceptuel d'integration qui met en lumiere le deveroppement d'espaces communs en expansion a partir de groupes se definissant comine ethniques, a la fois comme facteur et comme marqueur inclusifs.

INTRODUCTION

Since 2001, Canada's population has grown faster than all other G8 countries when growth is measured as a percentage of the national population (Statistics Canada 2010a). This growth has been sustained by net international migration, which accounted for two-thirds of the population increase (Statistics Canada 2010b). It is estimated that one in six people living in Canada now was born outside the country (Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) 2009), and the federal government recently announced its intention to maintain immigration levels at or slightly above one-quarter of a million people for 2012 and beyond (CIC 2011, 11). While immigration levels have remained consistent in recent years, immigration patterns have changed significantly since the 1967 introduction of the points system to determine eligibility, and Canada's current multiculturalism policies are considered to be essential for maintaining social cohesion as significant numbers of newcomers enter Canada on an annual basis (CIC 2011, 29). Although "Canada has long been a world leader in welcoming and accepting immigrants, and immigration has contributed to Canada's growth and prosperity, as well as helping shape our current society" (Biles et al. 2008, 269), recent changes in immigration patterns and the entry of immigrants and refugees who are frequently identified as members of visible and religious minorities have sparked often contentious discussions about integration.

The purpose of this study is to explore the multi-dimensional concept of social integration based on the model developed by Ager and Strang (2004; 2008) as an example of a "common space" or "transnational social spaces" approach (e.g., Dib et al. 2008; Faist 2000; Frideres 2008). In these approaches, cultural diversity is regarded as a positive force in inter-group relationships, resulting in a "shared identity" and contributing to national unity. …

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