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Variables associated with the employment and occupational status of Southeast Asian women refugees Bunjun, Bénita 2002

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V A R I A B L E S A S S O C I A T E D W I T H T H E E M P L O Y M E N T A N D O C C U P A T I O N A L S T A T U S O F S O U T H E A S T A S I A N W O M E N R E F U G E E S by B E N I T A B U N J U N B . A . , The University of British Columbia, 1997 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R OF A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (School of Social Work and Family Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A August 2002 © Benita Bunjun, 2002 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department DE-6 (2/88) Southeast Asian Women Refugees ii Abstract There have been numerous studies on the economic, social, and emotional lives of the Southeast Asian refugees (Adelman, 1982; Beiser, Johnson, & Roshi, 1994; Haines, 1989; Neuwirth, 1984; Nutter, 1984; Whitmore, Trautmann, & Caplan, 1989), yet the lack o f focus on Southeast Asian women refugees is prevalent. Human capital theory explored Southeast Asian women refugees' unique settlement experience as workers in Canada. Data from the Refugee Resettlement Study, " A Ten Year Study of Southeast Asian Refugees in Canada" (Beiser et al., 1994) was used to examine the employment experiences of women from Vietnam and Laos who came to Canada as refugees. The majority o f the women were employed and were in jobs with low occupational status. Logistic regression was used to analyse variables associated with employment and occupational status. High English language proficiency was associated with being employed and having high occupational status. In addition, being younger increased employability. When the individual items within the English language proficiency scale were assessed, ability to read English and low ethnic concentration promoted employability. Abi l i ty to write English and low ethnic concentration increased the likelihood of having higher occupational status. This study contributes to the limited literature on refugee women's human capital accumulation and employment experiences during settlement in the host country. Southeast Asian Women Refugees iii Table of Contents Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i List of Tables iv Acknowledgements v C H A P T E R I Introduction 1 Purpose 3 Review of Literature 4 Introduction to Southeast Asian Refugees 4 Labour Market Trends 5 C H A P T E R II Human Capital Theory and Related Empirical Research 16 Human Capital Theory 16 Human Capital Variables Associated with Employment and Occupational Status 20 Hypotheses 28 C H A P T E R III Methods 31 Sample and Data Collection 31 Measures 31 Analyses 34 C H A P T E R TV Results 36 Description of Sample 36 Variables Associated with the Dependent Variables 43 C H A P T E R V Discussion 52 Human Capital Variables Associated with Employment Status .. 52 Human Capital Variables Associated with Occupational Status . 54 Length of Time in the Host Country 57 Limitations and Strengths 57 Conclusion and Implications 59 References 63 Appendix A - Terminology 70 Appendix B - Measures 71 Southeast Asian Women Refugees iv List of Tables Table 1 Employment Rates for Women Aged 15-64, by Age and Visible Minori ty Group, 1996 6 Table 2 Unemployment Rates for Women Aged 15-64, by Age and Visible Minori ty Group, 1996 8 Table 3 Occupational Distribution of the Population Aged 15 and Over Employed in 1995 - 1996 12 Table 4 Dependent and Independent Variables used in Analyses 35 Table 5 Demographic Characteristics 38 Table 6 Education and Training Characteristics 39 Table 7 English Language Abi l i ty and Use Characteristics 40 Table 8 Ethnic Concentration Characteristics 41 Table 9 Employment and Occupational Status Characteristics 42 Table 10 Selected Variables Associated with Employment Status 44 Table 11 Model 1: Logistic Regression Analysis of Employment Status with English Language Proficiency 46 Table 12 Model 2: Logistic Regression Analysis of Employment Status with Reading and Writing English 47 Table 13 Selected Variables Associated with Occupational Status 48 Table 14 Model 1: Logistic Regression Analysis of Occupational Status with English Language Proficiency 50 Table 15 Model 2: Logistic Regression Analysis of Occupational Status with Reading and Writing English 51 Southeast Asian Women Refugees v Acknowledgements I would like to respectfully recognize the Musqueam Nation, on whose land U B C is built and where I have spent the last 8 years studying, imagining, and constructing. A very grand appreciation to my family, Anand, Seeta, MamiSabit, and Gladis for the wonderful support during the completion of my Masters. A special thanks to a committed supervisor, Phyllis Johnson, and to my committee members, Dan Perlman and Shelley Moore. I honour the presence of many women who shared knowledge and scholarship with me and further mentored me. I would like to acknowledge the courage, strength and determination of the Southeast Asian women refugees who fled wars, crossed many borders, and migrated to Canada. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 1 C H A P T E R I Introduction The increased movement of people in the world due to political and economic reasons has contributed to the explosion of the refugee1 population and has affected the migration of people to Canada. Nineteen million people have been uprooted globally, two-thirds within the past 20 years, of which 80% are women or children (Barrenechea, 1995). Refugee movements have given rise to a new class of people who are homeless, stateless, and who live in a condition of constant stress and insecurity. The decision to leave one's country is a difficult one under normal circumstances. However, if one is forced to leave, the grieving process is intensified with a sense of powerlessness and anger. Often these thoughts and feelings are the only luggage refugees bring with them when they come to Canada in search of a safe environment to begin their lives (Kelly, 1989). People move not only from one country to another, but also from one immigrant category to another. Between 1979 and 1980 a wave of refugees from Southeast Asia came to Canada, also known as the "Boat People". Twenty years later, they are Canadian citizens. The numerous types of pressures experienced by refugee women in transit and on arrival to Canada are very specific to their gender (Barrenechea, 1995; Huang, 1997; Kelly, 1989; Montgomery, 1992). Montgomery (1992) found refugee women to experience, both in refugee camps and in Canada, additional barriers associated with childcare, employment, and sexual abuse. Unfortunately, there exists very little research regarding refugee women's settlement process in the host country. 1 Refer to Appendix A. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 2 There are many differences in the way refugee men and women experience adaptation in a host country including the resources and information needed, received and used (Barranechea, 1995; Boyd, 1986; Milagros, 1991). Before 1974, in Canada, women entering as dependents of a sponsor were not given priority for government-funded language and skills training programs (Boyd, 1986). Barranechea (1995) concluded that women were often unable to access and use new services and programs available to them, specifically English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Language illiteracy amongst women may have been more frequent than amongst men, therefore impeding women's participation in the culture of the host country. In addition, the provision of day-care spaces for women refugees enrolled in E S L classes became essential specifically when childcare support may have existed in their country of origin by family/community members. Women's migration was thought to be less important and their economic potential was often downplayed since women were assumed to migrate only because their husbands or families did (Milagros, 1991). Yet, Diner (1983) and Weatherford (1986) found that refugee women joined the workforce in the host country because their husbands' or fathers' wages were not sufficient to support the family. In some cases, women contributed to the much-needed cash resources not only to their families in the host country but also to the families they had left behind. Overall, studies have shown that refugee women lead solitary and isolated lives without proper language training, without appropriate orientation to the new society and with restricted access to support within the community (Barrenechea, 1995; Huang, 1997; Kel ly , 1989; Montgomery, 1992). In spite of such inhibitors, women have been expected to support their family in economic survival and adaptation. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 3 Purpose There have been numerous studies on the economic, social and emotional lives of the Southeast Asian refugees (Adelman, 1982; Beiser, Johnson, & Roshi, 1994; Haines, 1989; Lee, 1998; Madamba, 1998; Neuwirth, 1984; Nutter, 1984; Rumbaut, 1989; Strand & Jones, 1985; Whitmore, Trautmann, & Caplan, 1989), yet Southeast Asian women refugees have not been the focus. Such past research on the refugee population has not necessarily reflected the reality of women as refugees and workers. Studies have pointed out that women and specifically refugee women experience immigration and settlement differently from men (Barrenechea, 1995; Ke l ly , 1989; Milagros, 1991). In particular, Morokvasic (1983) noted that female immigrants, particularly as workers, were left out of most migration analysis until the second half of the 1970s. Earlier literature made occasional references to immigrant women as wives or mothers. This limited view in previous research has constructed immigrant women as followers, dependants, unproductive persons, isolated, and ignorant (Morokvasic, 1983). Milagros (1991) found this neglect of immigrant women in past studies to be particularly noticeable in the area of economic integration. It is evident that immigrant women are a large population in the labour force. Chard, Badets, and Howatson-Leo (2000) found 76% of immigrant women working in the Canadian labour force, yet studies of immigrants in the labour market have been based exclusively on men. Specifically, the occupational status of immigrant men has been the subject of most research. Refugee women's access to occupational or language education and training has varied considerably from men. Therefore, this much needed study brings forth Southeast Asian refugee women's unique settlement experience as workers in the labour force. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 4 This study focused on employment experiences of Southeast As ian 2 women who came to Canada as refugees. Specifically, the research addressed the following questions: 1. What variables have been associated with the employment status of Southeast Asian women refugees after 10 years in Canada? 2. What variables have been associated with the occupational status o f Southeast Asian women refugees after 10 years in Canada? Review of Literature Introduction to Southeast Asian Refugees The collapse of the government of South Vietnam in A p r i l 1975 provoked the largest emergency movement of refugees in the post-World War II era. The main influx of Southeast Asian refugees to Canada did not take place until the latter part of 1979 after the government of Canada had developed a program that invited the private sector to enter into partnership with the government in the settlement o f Southeast Asian refugees. The thousands of refugees who fled Southeast As ia (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) from their homeland in 1979-80 were called the Boat People. Canada took in 60,000 of these refugees between 1979 and 1980 (Adelman, 1982). The Southeast Asian refugees, a diverse and heterogeneous group, differed in many ways such as geography, urbanization, ethnicity, language, culture, history and socio-economic status. The refugees included five diverse ethnic groups: Vietnamese, ethnic Chinese from Vietnam, ethnic Lao and Hmong from Laos, and Khmer from Cambodia. These refugees had spent many years as displaced persons within and outside their own countries due to the effects o f devastating wars and aid-dependent economies (Strand & Jones, 1985). 2 Refer to Appendix A. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 5 In order to capture the labour experience and socio-economic status of Southeast Asian women, it is necessary to review the literature of immigrant and visible minority women in Canada. The Southeast Asian women of this study do fall in the category of immigrant as wel l as visible minority, yet with a clear recognition of their refugee status upon arrival to Canada. Their arrival as refugees has influenced their labour market experiences, recognition and accumulation of human capital, as well as their employment and occupational status. Labour Market Trends Employment status of immigrant and visible minority women. According to Statistics Canada's 1996 Census data (see Table 1), 53% of visible minority women were either paid employees or were self-employed, compared with 63% of non-visible minority women (Chard, 2000). Immigrant and visible minority women were less likely than other Canadian women to be employed (Chard, 2000; Chard et al., 2000). Both immigrant and visible minority women have had lower labour force participation rates than their male counterparts. Chard et al. (2000) found that immigrant women had more difficulty finding employment than their male counterparts. Disparities in unemployment rates between the genders were more pronounced for recent immigrants than for earlier immigrants, or Canadian-born women and men. Chard et al. (2000) found that the greater tendency o f recent immigrant women to be unemployed may reflect, in part, the fact that many of these women came here as either family class immigrants or spouses or dependants of economic immigrants, rather than as primary economic class applicants. Many of these recent immigrant women placed a high priority on establishing the family household upon arrival in Canada. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 6 Table 1 Employment Rates for Women Aged 15-64, by Age and Visible Minority Group, 1996 Peop le aged 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 T o t a l (15-64) Visible Minority women % Chinese 32.8 64.8 62.9 59.7 29.1 52.6 South A s i a n 39.4 57.1 62.3 57.9 26.6 51.0 B l a c k 32.3 54.7 63.4 71.3 54.1 53.7 F i l i p i n a 51.0 76.6 78.0 81.6 56.1 72.2 A r a b / W e s t A s i a n 32.9 39.2 46.6 46.0 21.9 39.1 L a t i n A m e r i c a n 32.9 47.0 52.3 53.9 35.1 45.3 Southeast Asian 33.6 50.3 54.0 52.9 24.2 45.9 Japanese 38.7 62.2 67.9 69.6 49.1 57.0 K o r e a n 31.9 55.1 60.4 64.2 46.9 50.1 Other v is ib le m i n o r i t y 43.1 70.4 71.4 64.2 46.9 61.2 M u l t i p l e v i s ib le m i n o r i t y 40.3 70.6 69.5 71.4 41.8 59.4 Total visible minority 35.9 58.7 62.6 63.1 35.5 53.0 Other w o m e n 51.9 71.6 73.8 69.3 36.5 63.3 V i s i b l e minor i ty m e n 36.4 73.7 77.2 77.2 57.2 64.6 Other m e n 53.6 82.8 85.0 83.0 56.4 74.1 Source: Statistics Canada (2000). Women who are looking for employment but who are unable to find jobs are considered to be unemployed. The inability to secure employment becomes a barrier to the successful settlement in a new homeland, thus, making settlement into Canadian society more difficult (Chard et al., 2000). Immigrants, especially recent immigrants, have experienced relatively high rates of unemployment. For example, among women, 12% of all immigrants, and 19% of recent immigrants, were unable to find employment compared with just 9% of Canadian-born women (Chard et al., 2000). Furthermore, in spite of high Southeast Asian Women Refugees 7 educational qualifications, visible minority women have experienced considerably greater levels of unemployment than other women (Chard, 2000; Milagros, 1991). The 1996 Census also found that 15% of visible minority females were unable to find work. There has been considerable variation in the rate of unemployment among women in different visible minority groups. For example, among women, 22% of Arab or West Asians, 22% of Latin Americans, 20% of Blacks, and 19% of Southeast Asians were unemployed compared with just 8% of Japanese women and Filipinas (see Table 2). In addition, one of the least l ikely female visible minority groups to be employed in Canada was Southeast Asians at 46% (see Table 1). The employment status o f visible minority women is affected by characteristics such as age, area of residence, family status, educational attainment, and length of time in Canada. Visible minority women who are recent immigrants may encounter particular problems in their search for employment because they may have limited local contacts and little or no Canadian work experience. A s well , these women may only possess foreign educational and occupational credentials, which may not be recognized by all employers in this country. Ralston (1991) described the lived experience of immigrant women in the paid Canadian labour force. Immigrant women said that they had experienced difficulties in trying to get a job. Many o f them found that they were socially defined as "different" because o f educational qualifications, language, Third World origin, skin colour, and work experience (or lack thereof). A n d "different" was all too often construed as inferior. In Atlantic Canada, the experience of frustration in getting paid work outside the home was greater for women with graduate degrees who had worked in their home country than for those women who were less highly qualified (Ralston, 1991). Many women were underemployed and had a sense of being undervalued. The superior class position they had Southeast Asian Women Refugees 8 held i n their home country because o f their educational qual i f icat ions was discounted i n Canada. Ralston's study expla ined that w o m e n faced situations that were sometimes unique to them as immigrant w o m e n be longing to a v i s ib le minor i ty group. Table 2 Unemployment Rates for Women Aged 15-64, by Age and Visible Minority Group, 1996 Labour force participants aged 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 Total (15-64) Visible Minority women % Chinese 17.4 10.8 9.1 8.5 10.0 10.7 South Asian 24.4 17.6 15.8 16.3 23.6 18.6 Black 31.8 22.4 17.7 12.0 10.2 19.8 Filipina 14.4 7.8 6.6 5.6 8.2 7.8 Arab/West Asian 22.8 23.4 21.3 18.3 22.0 21.8 Latin American 26.1 21.7 21.0 18.7 14.7 21.5 Southeast Asian 23.5 19.7 16.6 17.4 19.0 19.1 Japanese 15.6 6.6 5.2 4.7 5.2 7.5 Korean 16.7 8.6 9.8 7.4 8.1 10.3 Other visible minority 24.9 12.7 11.4 15.2 14.6 14.9 Multiple visible minority 24.5 10.8 10.0 7.6 6.2 13.1 Total visible minority 23.0 15.7 13.0 11.5 13.1 15.3 Other women 16.3 9.5 7.7 6.8 7.1 9.4 Visible minority men 23.1 12.9 11.1 9.6 11.4 13.2 Other men 17.8 10.1 8.0 7.2 8.6 9.9 Source: Statistics Canada (2000). Southeast Asian Women Refugees 9 Employment status of Southeast As ian refugees. Beiser et al.'s (1994) longitudinal research on Southeast Asian refugees found 71 % of the women to be employed 10 years after arrival in Canada (Time 3) . A t each time period of their longitudinal study, men were more likely than women to be employed and women were more l ikely than men to be unavailable for work. At Time 2 (2 years after arrival), some of the women who had not been available for work moved into the category of unemployed as more of the unemployed were women. At Time 3 (10 years after arrival), finances may have become sufficiently stable to allow family members, such as women, to leave the labour force i f desired (Beiser et al., 1994). Neuwirth (1984) found Southeast Asian refugees to be "doubly handicapped" as they entered the labour force. Most of these refugees did not have readily transferable occupational skills and most of them newly spoke English. Furthermore, Neuwirth (1984) observed that due to family obligations, one-fifth of the 113 women did not seek employment, four women had not found a job, and two had worked but were not employed at that time. In addition to low wages, Southeast Asian refugee women were frequently underemployed in that they worked less than 40 hours a week (Neuwirth, 1984). About 40% of the women and one-third of the men did not have full-time jobs. Those who went on to a second job showed little improvement as far as occupational status or wages. Women continued to work in service occupations or they became employed in the garment industry. Although non-English speaking men as well as women refugees could only find employment in unskilled jobs regardless of their professional training, unskilled jobs seem to "fit" immigrant and refugee women much better than they fit their partners (Barrenechea, 3 Data were collected in Canada since arrival at 3 points in time: 18 months (Time 1), 2 years (Time 2) and 10-12 years (Time 3). For this study, complete data were available for 275 women at Time 3. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 10 1995). Nguyen and Henkin (1992) concluded that women assumed the task of earning a living for the family much more readily than men, and therefore took the jobs that were available. Occupational status of immigrant and visible minori ty women. Lower occupational status jobs have been performed more by foreign-born than non-foreign-born women (Beach & Worswick, 1993; Boyd, 1984; Christofides & Swidinsky, 1994; Hum & Simpson, 1999; Raijman & Semyonov, 1997; Shamsuddin, 1998). Women who were foreign-born faced an occupational status disadvantage in the Canadian market due to their membership in two negative status groups: female and foreign-born (Hum & Simpson, 1999). Sorenson (1995) further explained that immigrant women were not only disadvantaged occupationally because of their status as women and foreign-born, but also as immigrants and racial minorities. Researchers have emphasized immigrant women's continued oppression (what some call a triple burden or oppression) as gender inequalities are compounded by discrimination on the basis of class and race or ethnicity (Boyd, 1986; Foner, 1998; Philzacklea, 1983; Raijman & Semyonov, 1997; Sorenson, 1995). Furthermore, researchers not only found that foreign-born occupied the lowest positions in the labour market but experienced gender, racial, legal, and economic discrimination as a result of their immigration status, ethnicity, birthplace and gender (Boyd, 1984; Boyd, Goyder, Jones, McRoberts, Pineo, & Porter, 1981; Hoffman-Nowotny, 1978; Hum & Simpson, 1999; Philzacklea, 1983; Raijman & Semyonov, 1997; Rockett, 1983; Sorenson, 1995). Boyd (1984) found that foreign-born and non-foreign-born workers did not share the same economic status and labour market rewards. For some specific immigrant groups, there appeared to be a sizeable double negative effect particularly for highly educated immigrants. In addition, a significant shortfall in Southeast Asian Women Refugees 11 occupational status for highly educated workers emphasizes the problem of recognition of credentials in the labour market (McDade, 1988). Beach and Worswick (1993) found evidence that highly skilled immigrant women were also concentrated within low status occupations. Among females in the paid Canadian workforce in 1995 or 1996, 60% o f visible minority women were employed in clerical, service, or sales jobs (Chard, 2000). Specifically, 36% of visible minority women were employed in sales or service, while 24% were administrative or clerical personnel (see Table 3). Among female immigrants who participated in the paid work force in 1995 or 1996, 56% of immigrants and 58% of recent immigrants worked in administrative, clerical, sales, or service jobs (Chard et a l , 2000). In contrast, men were only about half as likely to work in these occupations. The major difference between immigrant women and Canadian-born women, in terms of occupation, was the proportion of women who were manual workers. Visible minority women were twice as likely as other women to be employed in manual jobs. Southeast Asian (32%), South Asian (19%), and Latin American (16%) women were particularly likely to be manual workers (Chard, 2000). Therefore, Southeast Asian women held the highest share of manual jobs. Because employment can often be difficult to find, recent immigrants may initially accept jobs for which they are overqualified, hoping to later find work that more closely matches their credentials. The 1996 Census data showed that on the basis of their education some immigrant women appeared overqualified for the type of occupations they held. To illustrate, among women who were employed in 1995 or 1996 and who held a Bachelor's degree or higher, recent immigrant women were six times more likely to be manual workers compared with their Canadian-born counterparts. Furthermore, recent immigrant women Southeast Asian Women Refugees 12 with university degrees had been twice as likely as the Canadian-born to be employed as administrative, clerical, sales, or service workers (Chard et al., 2000). Table 3 Occupational Distribution of the Population Aged 15 and Over, Employed in 1995 -1996 Occupation Manager Professional Administrative /clerical Sales /service Manual Other Total Visible Minority women % Chinese 6.8 15.7 26.2 30.8 13.2 7.4 100.0 South Asian 4.7 12.0 25.7 32.0 18.7 7.0 100.0 Black 3.3 14.3 24.1 38.7 10.9 8.8 100.0 Filipina 2.6 11.5 20.1 49.7 8.5 7.5 100.0 Arab/West Asian 7.9 15.9 21.8 39.8 6.0 8.6 100.0 Latin American 3.4 8.1 18.0 46.5 16.3 7.8 100.0 Southeast Asian 3.9 9.3 13.8 32.6 31.8 8.8 100.0 Japanese 7.1 19.9 27.4 33.7 2.8 8.9 100.0 Korean 19.2 12.6 14.5 43.2 4.8 5.6 100.0 Other visible minority 3.7 10.3 33.4 32.3 12.5 7.7 100.0 Multiple visible minority 4.8 14.1 26.4 32.3 13.1 9.2 100.0 Total visible minority 5.2 13.4 23.8 36.4 13.4 7.8 100.0 Other women 6.1 16.1 27.3 33.9 6.5 10.1 100.0 Visible minority men 10.0 14.8 9.8 26.6 21.6 17.2 100.0 Other men 11.1 12.0 7.2 20.3 22.8 26.5 100.0 Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Canada. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 13 Foner's (1998) research of immigrant women in New York, found that many immigrant women who had professional or white-collar jobs in their home country had experienced downward occupational mobility when they arrived in New York. Without American-recognized training, English language proficiency, or resident status, highly qualified women were often confined, at least temporarily, to relatively low-level positions when they initially arrived. Similarly, Chiswick's (1978) analysis on occupational mobility found immigrants initially experiencing downward mobility in relation to their home country occupation. Yet with time, immigrants were able to improve their occupational status. Immigrant women have also been experiencing the restrictions of a sex-segregated occupational structure in which women's jobs have been characterized by lower wages, fewer opportunities for occupational advancement, and less job security than men and those of non-foreign-born groups (Beach & Worswick, 1993; Boyd, 1984; Hanson & Pratt, 1991; Sorenson, 1995). In addition, Boyd (1986) found immigrant women less likely to be in professional occupations than Canadian-born women and much more l ikely to hold jobs in the service industry. In New York, Foner (1998) found enormous varieties in the kinds of jobs occupied by female immigrants, from professional and managerial positions to low-level service and factory work. The fact that many immigrant women were able to obtain professional and managerial jobs was not surprising given the human capital they brought with them. While the majority of immigrant women - especially i f they were foreign-born and/or visible minority - tended to be in the lower-paid, less skilled and less secure traditional female occupations (Boyd, 1975, 1984; N g & Ramirez, 1981), other research has indicated that they are bimodally distributed in the occupational structure. For example, a high Southeast Asian Women Refugees 14 percentage of immigrant women have been found concentrated in the more skilled and professional occupations. (Arnopoulos, 1979; Boyd, 1975, 1986; Stasiulis, 1986). Occupational status of Southeast Asian refugees. Houstoun (1983) and Whitmore (1984) have shown that employed Southeast Asian refugees were in low-status, low-skilled, and low-pay blue-collar service, or farm jobs. Sixty-nine percent had jobs of low status and the other 20% were in middling occupations (Whitmore, 1984). Their occupational level in the United States has been consistently lower in status than the occupations they held in Southeast Asia . There appears to have been little direct transfer of the skills from employment in Southeast As i a to the jobs attained in the U S . Managers, professionals, and clerical workers had relatively more success finding some work in the U .S . than those in other occupations. Officers, farmers, and fishers had lower employment rates. Among all prior occupational groups, those who had found jobs usually worked in the farming, garment, and restaurant industries (Houstoun, 1983; Whitmore, 1984). Therefore, i f not actually unemployed, there was a strong tendency for many of the refugees to be underemployed. According to Employment and Immigration Canada (1982), the occupations of Southeast Asian refugees in Canada have been non-workers, housewives, workers in fabrication and repair, students, and new workers. Specifically, Southeast Asian women have been mostly concentrated in textile processing or in factories. Neuwirth (1984) found most of the refugees' first employment was in the labour intensive industries of the secondary sectors. About 39% worked in various service occupations, mainly as unskilled workers, janitors, or in laundries and dry cleaning establishments; 11% found work in the garment industry; and the rest were scattered over a wide range of occupations but only a few had skilled white-collar jobs. Nearly half of the women worked mostly as chambermaids or in personal service occupations, followed by 30% who were in the garment industry. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 15 Neuwirth (1984) stated, "just as some Southeast Asian countries have become a source of cheap labour for the factory outlets of multinational corporations, Southeast Asian refugees may wel l become a pool of cheap labour for that nonunionized secondary sector within Canada" (p.47). According to Neuwirth (1984), refugees' integration w i l l eventually be similar to that of past European immigrants and refugees; that is, they w i l l be able to improve their position slowly but steadily and attain jobs consistent with their skills. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 16 C H A P T E R II Human Capital Theory and Related Empirical Research The chapter begins by reviewing human capital theory, highlighting the international skill transferability model, and the limitations of the theory. Next, a review of the literature is presented on the following human capital variables associated with employment and occupational status: English language proficiency, education/training, length of residence, age, sponsorship, ethnic concentration, and presence o f children. The chapter ends with the hypothesized statements of this study based on human capital theory and empirical research. Human Capital Theory Salamon (1991) defines human capital as "the acquired skills, knowledge, and abilities of humans" (p.3). This refers to the notion that improved skills, knowledge, and abilities increase human productivity, and that such human capital accumulation is enough to justify the cost to acquire the skills. Therefore, expenditures on improving human capabilities are seen as investments that generate future income or results that justify the amounts spent on them. Human capital theory concentrates on "quality" differences among workers. In addition, human capital research focuses on the differences among individual workers but generally assumes all workers participate in a common aggregate labour market (Hanushek, 1981). Human capital theory emphasizes investments by individuals such as schooling and on-the-job training. The theory also focuses on the differential expected earnings related to human capital investment. Women may experience a diverse continuum of human capital accumulation as it relates to their lives and work histories. Although education and the acquisition of marketable skills form the majority of human capital theory, they do not exhaust it (Schultz, Southeast Asian Women Refugees 17 1995). Schultz (1995) suggests anything that materially affects the size, productive capabilities, or useful life of the workforce can properly be considered a form of human capital. Hence, Schultz (1995) includes in his definition of human capital: child care, home and work experience, the acquisition of information and skills through schooling, and other improvements in health that could improve population quality. Salamon (1991) made the case that human capital investment is more problematic when the indirect and direct costs of such investments are difficult to assess. For example, a year of schooling may or may not be a contribution to the stock of human capital. Therefore, it is difficult to assess what the quantity of human capital really is and whether the training acquired has a productive use in the labour market, which can also change over time. Furthermore, unlike physical capital, human capital cannot be owned by someone else. In addition to general economic circumstances, barriers such as racial or gender discrimination can also limit the returns on human capital investments by keeping certain classes of workers from acquiring the jobs or the salaries to which they would otherwise be entitled (Salamon, 1991). Therefore, human capital theory focuses so heavily on the shortcomings of potential workers that it ignores or downplays the shortcomings of the broader market in which workers must function and the disadvantages they must overcome. Hence, the human capital theory provides a useful framework for identifying the range of macro and micro activities that could appropriately be considered a part of human investment categories (Salamon, 1991). From a macro perspective, factors that affect size and composition of the work force, such as birth rates, death rates, health status, migration patterns, and labour force participation rates, can be understood. Also relevant are patterns of discrimination that affect access to particular jobs, cultural traditions that affect the propensity for labour force participation and the availability of day-care and other supports Southeast Asian Women Refugees 18 that affect accessibility to work. A t the macro level, other factors that have an impact on worker productivity, such as structure of employment opportunities, mobility among jobs and regions, can also be analyzed. From a micro perspective, factors that affect worker capacity, such as early childhood development, basic schooling, on-the-job training, and job-related skil l development can be studied to better understand individual human capital investments. The knowledge and skills that a worker obtains through education and training generate a certain stock of productive capital. Although, such marketable skills are usually the primary focus o f human capital theory, they do not necessarily form the majority of human capital accumulation (Schultz, 1995; Zuiker, 1998). Zuiker (1998) considered human capital accumulation not only at an individual level but also at a collective/community level. Zuiker (1998) incorporated aspects o f community, family, and individual into her human capital theory. For this study, it was important to fully capture the diverse human capital variables that promote employment and occupational status in both the short and long term for refugee women. Since this study focuses on women as workers, it was important to recognize that women accumulate human capital in terms of their gender, family, and community characteristics (Hanson & Pratt, 1991). A s supported by past research (Salamon, 1991; Schultz, 1995; Zuiker, 1999), this study adopted the diverse factors that have an impact on worker productivity and capacity, such as age, ethnic concentration, and presence of children, as human capital investments. International skill transferability model. Studies on immigrant occupational status have found that immigrants face employment and occupational disadvantage at the time of immigration (Borjas, 1994; Chiswick, 1991a, 1991b; Duleep & Regets, 1997). The human capital model of international skill transferability provides a theoretical explanation Southeast Asian Women Refugees 19 regarding the socio-economic status, including employment and occupational status of immigrants (Borjas, 1994; Chiswick, 1978, 1979, 1986; Zimmermann, 1995). According to this model, immigrants possess skills acquired in their country of origin, which are skills that are not fully rewarded in the host country due to country-specific human capital investments. This model suggests that the lower the international transferability of human capital, the sharper the decline in occupational status. With increased time of residence in the host country, immigrants invest in the country-specific human capital of the host country. Therefore, the additional acquired human capital improves their employment and occupational status on the hierarchy o f status. Chiswick (1978, 1986) has explained that the extent of human capital transferability between two countries is dependent on the individual's type of ski l l , as well as the similarity of language, culture, labour market structure and institutional settings of the two countries. Furthermore, the model suggests that immigrants with a low degree of human capital transferability experience a much lower labour market position at the time of immigration. Yet, they also experience a faster improvement with time of residence in the host country. Immigrants with higher educational levels have the sharpest deterioration in their labour market position during the initial time of migration. According to Lee (1998) and Rumbaut (1989), Southeast Asian refugees had little education, poor language ability, and few transferable occupational skills upon arrival. Therefore, these refugees arrived with fewer "human resources" than other immigrants in history (Rumbaut, 1989). Furthermore, the size, suddenness, timing, and context of their arrival into the United States and Canada complicated their reception. The Southeast Asian refugees who arrived in the United States in 1980 did so during one o f the worst domestic inflation rates followed by severe economic recession. According to Rumbaut (1989) the Southeast Asian Women Refugees 20 economic recession was accompanied by a socio-political climate reflecting increased nationalism, racism, xenophobia, and compassionate fatigue. Researchers also found returns on human capital investments to be at low levels for certain gender, racial and ethnic groups such as women, Blacks, and Asian-Americans (Blau & Duncan, 1967; Portes & Zhou, 1992; Treiman & Roos, 1983). Portes and Zhou (1992) found some groups to be devalued consistently in the labour market while others were over-rewarded. Human Capital Variables Associated with Employment and Occupational Status Among the human capital variables, researchers have identified low levels of English language proficiency, education, and training as significant variables of unemployment and lower occupational status amongst immigrants (Boyd, 1984; Dunning, 1989; Hum & Simpson, 1999; Lee, 1998; L i u , 1996; Ngo, 1994; Nutter, 1984; Roberts & Starr, 1989; Tsokhas, 1994). Other human capital variables such as lack o f work experience in the host country (Hum & Simpson, 1991; L i u , 1996) and lack of recognizable credentials (Foner, 1998; L i u , 1996; Nutter, 1984; Sorenson, 1995; Tsokhas, 1994) have also been found to impede employment and occupational status. Variables such as type of sponsorship (Bach & Carroll-Seguin, 1986; Johnson, 1984) and ethnic concentration, including the presence of similar ethnic co-workers and friends (Granovetter, 1983; Roberts & Starr, 1989), have been found to significantly affect the employment status of refugees. In addition, presence of children (Bach & Carroll-Seguin, 1986; Ngo, 1994; Nutter, 1984; Whitmore et al., 1989) has been identified as a significant variable affecting the presence of refugee women in the labour force. English language proficiency. One important aspect of human capital is "language capital"; that is, speaking, reading, and writing skills in one or more languages of the host Southeast Asian Women Refugees 21 country. Chiswick (1991a; 1991b), Dustmann (1994), and Strand and Jones (1985) explained that language proficiency included the ability to read and write as well as speak the language of the host country. These skills were not only necessary for integration, they were also highly correlated with refugee self-sufficiency (Strand & Jones, 1985). Immigrants from non-English speaking countries, even those with some knowledge o f English, found their employment and occupational status to be hindered by the lack of language fluency of the host country (Boyd, DeVries, & Simkin, 1994; Chiswick & Mil le r , 1992; Verma & Basavarajappa, 1989). Among immigrants, the acquisition o f language capital relevant to the host country can be a very costly and demanding process, especially when the language differs greatly from the mother tongue (Chiswick & Mil ler , 1999; 1998; 1995). Several studies have shown that the level of English fluency of refugees (Nutter, 1984; Rumbaut, 1989; Strand & Jones, 1985; Whitmore, 1984; Whitmore et al., 1989) and immigrants upon arrival in the host country was the most powerful variable associated with employment and occupational status (Boyd, 1984; Boyd et a l , 1981; L i u , 1996; Ngo, 1994). Dustmann's (1994) research suggested that immigrant women working in low-skilled occupations who were married and were illiterate experienced lower language proficiency. Being married constrained women in acquiring speaking skills due to isolation. Other variables which have been found to contribute to lower English language proficiency and therefore employment and occupational status for married immigrant women were low English abilities of their partner and low educational background (Dustmann, 1994). Many of the refugees had experienced illiteracy to some degree, which is a serious barrier for learning a foreign language. Refugees with poor English abilities were more likely to live and work on the margins of Canadian society. Furthermore, research suggested Southeast Asian Women Refugees 22 that the pre-arrival English literacy of refugees was indeed a crucial human capital resource (Dunning, 1989; Strand, 1989; Whitmore et al., 1989). Foner (1998) and Chard (2000) found that English language ability and work skills helped women enter the workforce. The lack of English and specific job skills limited their employment possibilities. Higher unemployment rates among recent immigrant women may have been caused, in part, by difficulties with the English and French languages. Indeed, data from the 1996 Canada Census indicated that unemployment rates were considerably higher among recent immigrant women who did not speak either official language. Educat ion and training. The increase in qualifications required in the current job market means that people with lower educational attainment have fewer job options and face a more vulnerable future. Education and training emerged as critical factors for overcoming unemployment, under-employment and poverty and for attaining economic security and independence (Ministry of Women's Equality, 2000). Chard et al. (2000) noted that although recent immigrant women did have a greater chance of finding employment when they had a post secondary education, even very educated immigrant women had higher unemployment rates compared with Canadian-born women. Recent immigrant women who held a Bachelor's degree or higher were 4 times as likely to be unemployed (17%) as similarly educated Canadian-born women (4%). Furthermore, the only Canadian-born women who were more likely to be unemployed than these highly educated recent immigrant women were those who had less than a Grade 9 education (Chard et al., 2000). Educated immigrant women face a number of barriers in securing employment. Employers may hesitate to accept a job applicant with foreign degrees and little or no Canadian work experience. Some women may have Southeast Asian Women Refugees 23 difficulty getting professional certification in Canada i f they completed their education abroad (Lindsay, 2000). Education as a human capital skil l confirmed the occupational status of refugees (Beiser et al., 1994; Hum & Simpson, 1999; Montgomery, 1992). Nutter (1984) also concluded that the economic self-sufficiency of the Southeast Asian refugees was highly dependent on job skills and language training. L o w educational and occupational skills located immigrants within the lower classes in relation to the labour needs of the receiving countries, therefore creating an underclass (Hoffman-Nowotny, 1978). Thus, the impact of gender and immigration status located immigrant women as more disadvantaged educationally when compared to immigrant men and Canadian-born women. Adjusting to their new work environment and mechanization of the workplace, most refugees are not able to transfer their occupational skills without some additional training. According to Neuwirth (1984), the majority of refugees required some occupational upgrading and those with obsolete skills required occupational re-training. Dunning (1989) found that prior education (having completed at least 8 years of school in Vietnam) and the ability to speak some English significantly increased the chances o f receiving vocational training. Length of residence. Researchers have found that the chance of being employed improved the longer the adult refugee lived in the host country (Gordon, 1989; Lee, 1998; Montgomery, 1992; Strand, 1989; Tsokhas, 1994). Gordon (1989) further explained that "time in the host country" for a refugee is one critical predictor among other variables explaining refugees' economic integration process. The positive effect of time on economic integration, including labour force participation and occupational opportunities, of Southeast Asian refugees has been documented in a number of studies (Beiser et al., 1994; Dunning, Southeast Asian Women Refugees 24 1989; Rumbaut, 1989; Strand, 1989; Whitmore et al., 1989; Whitmore, 1984). A n increase in the number of months in the host country led to an increase in economic self-sufficiency and a decrease in welfare dependency (Rumbaut, 1989). Age. Researchers have found younger refugees (18-22 years old) and older refugees (over 50) less l ikely than others to be employed (Dunning, 1989; Dustmann, 1994; Ngo, 1994; Tsokhas, 1994). Older refugees had less education and had received less exposure to English than their younger counterparts. Visible minority women between the ages of 35 to 54 were more l ikely to be employed than were visible minority women in other age groups (Chard, 2000). It was only among women aged 55-64 that the gap in employment rates virtually disappeared: 36% of visible minority women and 37% of non-visible minority women aged 55-64 were employed. Sponsorship. Southeast Asian Boat People refugees were sponsored in two ways: government or privately. Bach and Carroll-Seguin (1986) and Johnson (1984) found that the type of sponsorship affected the numbers of refugees who were employed. Two-thirds of the privately sponsored refugees and half of the government-sponsored were employed. Therefore, sponsorship had an effect: privately sponsored were more likely than government-sponsored refugees to be employed. Johnson (1984) further explained that the increased likelihood of employment for privately sponsored refugees was not surprising since private sponsors often provided support in the job search, and job creation, or contacted people who would hire the refugees. Government-sponsored refugees were not the recipients of such individual attention and may have had to locate the job on their own (Johnson, 1984). Ethnic concentration. There exists limited research on how the ethnic social network of refugees affects employment and occupational status. Ethnic social networks such as relatives, friends, co-workers, employers, and people within their ethnic community Southeast Asian Women Refugees 25 may have an impact on refugees' presence and status in the labour force. This section presents both positive and negative effects of ethnic concentration on employment experiences. Amongst Southeast Asian refugees, Roberts and Starr (1989) found Vietnamese refugees who had similar ethnic co-workers and a high number o f Vietnamese friends had experienced a negative effect on their employment status in Canadian society. Granovetter's (1983) research on the strength of weak ties, offered an explanation on how high ethnic concentration can impede employment opportunities and occupational advancement. Although ethnic enclaves may create networks and a sense o f community, they do not necessarily allow the flow of resources and information into the ethnic enclave. Granovetter (1983) made the argument that acquaintances (weak ties) are less likely to be socially involved with one another than are close friends (strong ties). Weak ties play a particular role in bridging networks and allowing for the flow and dissemination of information that is important to the survival of individuals, families, and communities. Granovetter (1983) suggested that individuals with few weak ties w i l l be deprived o f information o f the distant part o f the social system and w i l l be limited to local resources, information, and views of their close family and friends. This deprivation w i l l not only insulate them from the latest information and ideas but put them in a disadvantaged position in the labour market, unaware of appropriate job openings at the appropriate time. In contrast, other studies have found high ethnic concentration to play a critical role in providing social and economic resources from the range of personal, family, and ethnic networks (Foner, 1998; Milagros, 1991; Portes & Zhou, 1992). Foner (1998) established that co-ethnics were l ikely to follow through a process o f network hiring and referrals as well as employer preferences. Furthermore, due to development of ethnic networks, informal Southeast Asian Women Refugees 26 work cultures developed on the job, made work more interesting and increased likelihood of maintaining employment. A s there exists strength in weak ties, there also exists strength in strong ties. A n ethnic economy, bounded by race, ethnicity, or national origin can be defined as any situation where common ethnicity provides an economic advantage, such as employment (Logan, Alba, & McNul ty , 1994). Portes and Zhou (1992) found an ethnic economy to play an important role in being employed, with greater opportunities to find employment in businesses owned by those of similar ethnicity. Ethnic networks can give rise to an ethnic economy to promote the well-being of its members (Cobas, 1987; Magdalena, 1982; Portes, 1987). Women, especially new immigrants, who may otherwise be disadvantaged in the mainstream labour market because of their limited knowledge of the host country's language and culture, can be accommodated in the ethnic economy. Yet, ethnic concentration also hinders women's occupational advancement. For example, the concentration of women in low occupations of an ethnic group reflects the job recruitment through ethnic networks, which is done commonly by word of mouth among women working in low occupations (Glenn, 1986). Therefore, the protected market of an immigrant ethnic community has its limitations in how much it can provide resources and information to the ethnic community. Employees of ethnic employers earned low wages and had few opportunities for occupational advancement (Granovetter, 1983; Gilbertson, 1995; Portes & Zhou, 1992; Zhou & Logan, 1989). Furthermore, Chiswick and Mi l l e r (1996) noted that l iving in an area where others speak the same minority language inhibited the acquisition of language skills. A n immigrant who does not know the host country's language might have a language-minority enclave Southeast Asian Women Refugees 27 (Chiswick, 1991b). A language-minority enclave may limit training opportunities and job mobility, and further contribute to being unemployed and having low occupational status. Presence of children. Women continue to assume the major responsibility for the care of children, as well as other dependants. In B C , women aged 45-64 carried the heaviest responsibilities, as they often provided childcare and eldercare at the same time as having the primary responsibility for the household and being employed outside the home (Ministry of Women's Equality, 2000). Since raising children continues to have greater impact on women than men, there can be even greater economic differences between women with and without children than there are between women and men. One variable that is essential to any examination of gender and work issues, therefore, is the presence of children (Status of Women Canada, 1997). While recognizing that the effects of having children continue to be felt even after children have grown, these effects are most acute when children were young. Caregiving responsibilities interrupt women's career development and therefore affect their employment status as well as their occupational and earning status. In the early 1990s, 47% of women temporarily leaving the labour force left for family-related reasons (Ministry of Women's Equality, 2000). Human capital theorists have explained that the low level of human capital investments and accumulation by women are due to the many childcare interruptions (Bach & Carroll-Seguin, 1986; Blau & Ferber, 1992). Blau and Ferber (1992) have explained that a woman shifts in and out of the labour force as her family situations change. Therefore, women anticipate shorter and more disrupted work careers than men. The labour force participation rate of women in B C with children under three years of age in 1999 was 68% (Ministry of Women's Equality, 2000). The Ministry of Women's Equality (2000) found 13.3% of women in B C reporting childcare as a key reason for having Southeast Asian Women Refugees 28 irregular work schedules. The lack of access to childcare was cited by many women as the main reason for not participating in the paid labour force. Extensive research has explained how the number and age of children affect women's employment status. A negative relationship between childcare responsibilities and labour supply amongst the women was found (Gringeri, 1995; Ngo, 1994). In addition, the presence of pre-schoolers inhibited mothers' participation in the workforce. Therefore, young children appeared to be a major constraint on immigrant women's participation in paid employment. According to Zukewich (2000), there has been a particularly sharp growth in the employment rate of women with children in the past two decades. In 1999, 69% of all women with children less than age 16 living at home were part of the workforce, up from 39% in 1976. Women with children, though, were still less l ikely to be employed than women without children (Zukewich, 2000). For example, women with pre-school-aged children, were still less likely than those with school-aged children to be employed. Overall, in 1999, 63% of women with children under age six were employed, compared with 74% of those whose youngest child was aged 6-15 years (Zukewich, 2000). Hypotheses The hypotheses were derived from the findings of the literature review on employment and occupational status of immigrant visible minority women and Southeast Asian refugees. In addition, the hypotheses reflected the human capital theory, which indicates that as human capital accumulation increases so does employment and occupational status. Researchers have identified low levels of English language proficiency, education, and training as variables associated with not being employed and lower occupational status amongst immigrants (Boyd, 1984; Chard et al., 2000; Dunning, 1989; Hum & Simpson, Southeast Asian Women Refugees 29 1999; L i u , 1996; Ngo, 1994; Nutter, 1984; Roberts & Starr, 1989; Tsokhas, 1994). Therefore, the following can be hypothesized: H I a: Southeast Asian women with high English language proficiency w i l l be more likely to be employed. H l b : Southeast Asian women with high English language proficiency wi l l more likely have higher occupational status. H 2 a : Southeast Asian women with high educational level w i l l be more likely to be employed. H 2 b : Southeast Asian women with high educational level w i l l more likely have higher occupational status. H 3 a : Southeast Asian women with training w i l l be more likely to be employed. H 3 b : Southeast Asian women with training w i l l more l ikely have higher occupational status. Visible minority women between the ages of 35 and 54 were more likely to be employed than were visible minority women in other age groups (Chard, 2000). In addition, researchers found the youngest refugees (18-22 years old) and elderly refugees (over 50) less likely than others to be employed in the labour force (Dunning, 1989; Dustman, 1994; Ngo, 1994; Tsokhas, 1994). Therefore, the following can be hypothesized: H 4 : Southeast Asian women between the ages of 28-49 w i l l be more likely than older refugees to be employed. Johnson (1984) found the type of sponsorship had an effect on employment status, where privately-sponsored refugees were more likely than government-sponsored refugees to be employed. Johnson (1984) further noted that the increased likelihood of employment for Southeast Asian Women Refugees 30 privately-sponsored refugees may be due to the additional level o f support provided by private sponsors. Therefore, the following can be hypothesized: H 5 : Privately-sponsored Southeast Asian women refugees w i l l be more likely than government-sponsored women refugees to be employed. A number of researchers found refugees/immigrants who had similar ethnic co-workers and/or ethnic employers, as well as a high number of ethnic friends to experience a negative effect on their employability and low occupational status (Gilbertson, 1995; Roberts & Starr, 1989; Zhou & Logan, 1991). In addition, Chiswick and Mi l l a r (1996) found living in similar ethnic areas to inhibit the acquisition of language ski l l , which can be associated with not being employed and a lower occupational status. H 6 a : Southeast Asian women with high ethnic concentration w i l l be less likely to be employed. H 6 b : Southeast Asian women with high ethnic concentration w i l l experience lower occupational status. Women with children have been less likely to be employed than women without children (Zukewich, 2000). Researchers, including human capital theorists, have explained that the low level of human capital investments and accumulation by women, as well as not being employed and low occupational status were due to the many childcare interruptions (Blau & Ferber, 1992; Ministry of Women's Equality, 2000). H 7 a : Southeast Asian women who have children w i l l be less likely than those without children to be employed. H 7 b : The presence o f children w i l l be associated with lower occupational status for Southeast Asian women. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 31 C H A P T E R III Methods Sample and Data Collect ion The data for this study were collected for the third wave of a ten-year longitudinal study on the resettlement of adult Southeast Asian refugee who first settled in an urban center and in a rural community in British Columbia between 1979 and 1981. A sampling frame was generated with the assistance of a consortium of community agencies and private sponsors who were involved in refugee resettlement. Data were collected by trained bilingual interviewers at 3 points in time: during the respondent's first 18 months in Canada (Time 1), then again at 2 years (Time 2) and 10-12 years later (Time 3). For this study, complete data were available for a subsample of 275 women at Time 3. A detailed description of the sampling procedures used for the Refugee Resettlement Study can be found in Beiser et al. (1994). Measures A structured interview was developed, translated, back translated, and tested prior to conducting the survey. A listing of the questionnaire items used in this study can be found in Appendix B . Dependent variables. The first dependent variable, employment status, was divided into two groups: employed and not employed. Respondents were asked "Are you currently working? " If they were not working, they were asked why. The "not employed" included those who were unemployed and those who were not available for work (housewife, in school or training, retired, disabled, pregnant or in poor health). The second dependent variable was occupational status, which was measured by asking the respondents: "What kinds of jobs do you have currently?" This item was Southeast Asian Women Refugees 32 classified by the following categories: baker; cabinet and furniture maker; carpenter; cook; farm labourers; janitor and cleaners; kitchen helper and related; labourer [all other industries]; labourer and manufacturing; meat canner, curer, and packer; picker, fruits and vegetables; sewers and sewing machine operators; and other (specify). Blishen and Carroll's (1978) Socioeconomic Index for Occupations in Canada was used to classify the occupations, where income levels and educational status determined the ranking of occupational groups. Occupations were coded by two trained research assistants independently. In the case of any discrepancies, it was resolved in discussion with the research project manager and the two coders came to an agreement on the codes. For analyses, occupational status was divided into two categories: low and high occupational status. Low was very low (20.00-29.99) and high (30.00-79.99) included a large range of occupations. Independent variables. The independent variables included age (self-reported), marital status (married, other), self-reported ethnicity (Chinese Vietnamese, ethnic Vietnamese, or Laotian), individual annual income, and sponsorship (government or private). English language proficiency was assessed by asking respondents the following three questions: "How well can you speak English?", "How well can you write English?", "How well can you read English?" (None, A little, or Well). The three measures were developed into a composite scale for overall English language proficiency. The scale had a high reliability of Cronbach alpha 0.90, indicating homogeneity of the items. In addition, English language usage was assessed by asking respondents the following questions: "To what extent is English required on the job?" (Often, Sometimes, or Seldom), "Most of the time at home, do you speak your mother tongue(s) or English with a) your spouse, b) children in the Southeast Asian Women Refugees 33 household?", "Most of the time when outside your home, do you speak...?" (Mother tongue(s), English, Equally both, N / A ) . Education was measured on a continuous scale of the highest grade completed in elementary or high school (home or Canada). In addition, respondents were asked, "What is the highest degree you obtained?" (home or Canada). The two measures were then developed into the highest educational level completed (Primary School, High School, and College or University). For analysis, College/University and High School were combined to represent High Educational Level. Respondents were asked i f they had received any job training either in their home country or in Canada. To further assess training, respondents were asked, "Do you feel you are working at your level of ability or training?" (Yes, No). Attending English classes was considered as training and the following question was asked, "Have you attended English classes in Canada?" (Yes, No). Two scales were used to evaluate ethnic concentration: ethnic workplace concentration and ethnic media concentration. Combining the ethnicity of supervisor, interviewer and employer created the scale for ethnic workplace concentration. The scale had a high reliability o f Cronbach alpha 0.96. Combining watching ethnic T V , reading ethnic newspapers, and watching ethnic movies created the scale for ethnic media concentration. The scale had a moderate reliability of Cronbach alpha 0.65. The presence of children was assessed by asking respondents, "Most of the time, do you speak your mother tongue(s) or English with children in the household?" (Mother tongues, English, Equally both). Women who spoke with children in the home indicated presence of children. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 34 Analyses To measure the association between selected variables and the dependent variables, chi-square tests and logistic regression were used. The Mest procedure was used to test the difference in means of the continuous variable of age. Table 4 presents a summary of the dependent and independent variables used in the analyses. Logistic regression with backward elimination (stepwise) was used to analyse the employed and not employed as a dichotomous variable for the following hypotheses: H I a, H2a , H3a , H 4 , H 5 , H6a , and H7a . The likelihood of being employed was assessed in relation to the following independent variables: English language proficiency, educational level, training, age, type of sponsorship, ethnic concentration, and presence o f children. Similarly, logistic regression with backward elimination (stepwise) was used to analyse low and high occupational status as a dichotomous variable to the following hypotheses: H l b , H 2 b , H3b , H 6 b , and H7b . The likelihood of low occupational status was assessed in relation to the following independent variables: English language proficiency, educational level, training, ethnic concentration, and presence of children. Researchers (Chiswick, 1991a; 1991b; Dustmann, 1994; Strand & Jones, 1985) have indicated that specific individual language abilities (speak, read, write) may have a stronger association with employment and occupational status. Not only was it important to identify the overall English language proficiency, it was also important to test the separate effect of the individual items included in the measure. Hence, two models were presented to analyze variables associated with each dependent variable, the first includes overall English language proficiency, and the second, includes individual language ability items. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 35 Table 4 Dependent and Independent Variables used in Analyses Variable Measurement Dependent Employment Status Occupational Status Derived from the question: "Are you currently working? " Yes was coded 1; no, 0. Derived from the question: " What kinds of jobs do you have currently?" Blishen and Carroll's (1978) Socioeconomic Index was used to code the occupations. Scores ranged from 20.00-80.00 where 20.00-29.99 was coded as low and 30.00-79.99 coded as high. Low was coded as 1; high, 0. Independent Age Type of Sponsorship Ethnicity Presence of Children Marital Status Educational Level Training English Classes English Language Proficiency Ethnic Media Concentration Ethnic Workplace Concentration Self-reported age in years. Derived from the question: " What was your sponsorship status? " Private was coded as 1; government, 0. Self-reported ethnicity. Chinese was coded 1; Vietnamese and Laotian, 0. Presence of children in the home. Respondents with children were coded 1; those without, 0 Married was coded as 1; Other, 0. Other included: widowed, single, divorced, and separated. Years of completed education. CollegeAJniversity and High School was coded as 1; Primary School, 0. Included both home and/or Canadian training. Yes was coded 1; no, 0. Derived from the question: "Have you attended English classes in Canada?" Yes was coded 1; no, 0. Measure derived from 3 items: ability to read, write, and speak English with an alpha of 0.90. High was coded 1; low, 0. Measure derived from 3 items: reading ethnic newspapers, watching ethnic TV, and movies with an alpha of 0.65. High was coded 1; low, 0. Measure derived from 3 items: ethnicity of supervisor, interviewer, and employer with an alpha of 0.96. High was coded 1; low, 0. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 36 C H A P T E R I V Results The following chapter presents the findings of this study. Human capital variables were tested for their relationship with employment and occupational status. The chapter begins with a general description of the sample, followed by the results from the univariate analyses and concludes with the multivariate results. Description of Sample As shown in Table 5, half of the women were Chinese Vietnamese with the remainder split between ethnic Vietnamese and Laotian. The pre-dominant age categories were 28-35 (38%) and 36-45 (37%), with a mean age of 42 years. The majority were married or common-law (80%) and had children (86%). Women primarily entered Canada through private sponsorship (68%). Within the category of the privately-sponsored, 83% of the women were sponsored by religious organizations. Individual annual earned incomes were at low levels with 37% below $20,000. Educat ion and training characteristics. About half of the women had no training, either in their home country or in Canada. While the percentage was small (8%), some had received training in both countries. A s presented in Table 6, the most common types of training in the home country were garment and craft, semi-manual, clerical, and teaching. O f the 42% who had training in their home country, only 7% tried to have that training recognized in Canada. In addition, only 15% received training in Canada. The main types of Canadian training included clerical, health care, hairdressing, food services, and manual work. Although a few women (9%) said they had trained in professional occupations (medicine, engineering, pharmacy) in their home country, none of the women received similar training in Canada. When asked i f they were using their Canadian training and Southeast Asian Women Refugees 37 working at the level of their training, the majority said yes. Only a third agreed with the statement, "men should have more access than women to higher education and career training". About half had completed primary school (see Table 6). O f the remaining with education over 8 years, only 2% had education beyond high school. Seventy-six percent of the women had attended some English classes. English language ability and use characteristics. A s reported in Table 7, the overall ability to read, write, and speak English was largely concentrated in low levels at 74% (none/little). English language proficiency was based on three criteria, reading, writing, and speaking. About a quarter of the women spoke English well . Approximately 30% could neither write nor read English. Their daily interactions varied in when English or their mother tongues was used. Women mostly spoke their mother tongue with their spouse and children. When outside of their home, they spoke English and their mother tongue equally and stated English was required on the job. Ethnic concentration characteristics. The job interviewers, employers, supervisors, and customers were predominantly Caucasian (see Table 8). In contrast, co-workers were distributed equally across the ethnic categories. A l l women were asked questions about how much they used ethnic media sources. Almost two-thirds of the women identified having used low levels of ethnic media (ethnic television, ethnic newspaper and ethnic movies). The majority identified that they had neighbours of the same ethnicity (82%) and that they frequently gathered with their relatives (71%). Southeast Asian Women Refugees Table 5 Demographic Characteristics (n=275) Characteristic n % Marital Status a Married 220 80.0 Widowed 20 7.3 Single 16 5.8 Divorced 13 4.7 Separated 4 1.5 Forced Separated 2 0.7 Ethnici ty b Chinese - Vietnamese 144 52.4 Laotian 68 24.8 Vietnamese 62 22.6 Type of Sponsorship Private 0 181 67.5 Government 87 32.5 Presence of Children Yes 234 85.7 No 39 14.3 Individual Annual Income No Income 3 1.1 Under $5,000. 2 0.7 $5,000-$9,999 6 2.2 $10,000-$14,999 38 13.8 $15,000-$ 19,999 54 19.6 $20,000-$29,999 51 18.5 $30,000-$59,000 11 4.0 Don't Know 25 9.2 N / A (Not Employed) d 85 30.9 A g e e 28-35 105 38.0 36-45 102 37.0 46-55 28 10.0 56 and Over 40 15.0 For analysis, widowed, single, divorced, and separated were combined to create Other. b For analysis, Laotian and Vietnamese were combined to create Non-Chinese. c Private sponsorship included religious sponsors. Religious sponsors were 56% of the total sample. Not employed included women who were unemployed and unavailable for work. eM=42,5D=11.93 Southeast Asian Women Refugees 39 Table 6 Education and Training Characteristics Characteristic n % Highest Educational Level Completed a 267 100.0 Primary School 141 52.8 High School 120 44.9 College or University 6 2.2 Home and Canadian Training 275 100.0 Home -Canadian 22 8.0 No Home - Canadian 19 6.9 Home - No Canadian 92 33.6 No Home - No Canadian 141 51.5 Training in Home Country 275 100.0 Yes 114 41.5 No 161 58.5 Type of Training In Home Country 114 100.0 Garment and Craft 37 32.5 Semi-Manual 21 18.4 Clerical Work 15 13.1 Teaching 15 13.1 Professional b 10 8.9 Vocation Skilled 13 11.4 Food Services 3 2.6 Training in Canada 274 100.0 Yes 41 15.0 No 233 85.0 Type of Job Training in Canada 22 100.0 Clerical Work 5 22.7 Health Care c 4 18.2 Hairdressing 4 18.2 Food Services 2 9.2 Manual Work 1 4.5 Other d 6 27.2 Working at Level of Training 151 100.0 Yes 140 92.7 No 11 7.3 Attended English Classes 275 100.0 Yes 210 76.4 No 65 23.6 Men should have more access to Higher 272 100.0 Education/Career Training Agree 89 32.7 Disagree 183 67.3 aFor analysis, College/University and High School were combined to represent High Educational Level. Professional included engineering, medicine, pharmacy, and nursing. c Health Care included nursing, first aid, long-term care. d Other included: military, electronics, cashiering, homemaking, flight attendant, contact lens polisher. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 40 Table 7 English Language Ability and Use Characteristics Characteristic n % English Language Proficiency a 272 100.0 Low (Scores 3-6) 202 74.3 High (Scores 7-9) 70 25.7 Ability to Speak English b 272 100.0 None 34 12.5 Little 169 62.1 Well 69 25.4 Ability to Write Eng l i sh b 272 100.0 None 84 30.9 Little 152 55.9 Well 36 13.2 Ability to Read English b 272 100.0 None 76 27.9 Little 161 59.2 Well 35 12.9 English Required on the Job c 152 100.0 Often 83 54.6 Sometimes 40 26.3 Seldom 29 19.1 Language Spoken with Spouse 230 100.0 Mother Tongue 216 93.9 English 5 2.2 Equally Both 9 3.9 Language Spoken with Children 248 100.0 Mother Tongue 157 63.3 English 8 3.2 Equally Both 83 33.5 Language Spoken Outside of Home 267 100.0 Mother Tongue 78 29.2 English 37 13.9 Equally Both 152 56.9 aM=5.8, SD=\.l. Combined ability to speak, read and write English create scale. b For analysis, Little and Well were combined to create Other. 0 Applicable for employed women only. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 41 Table 8 Ethnic Concentration Characteristics Characteristic n % Ethnicity of Job Interviewers a 139 100.0 Same Ethnicity 26 18.7 Asian But Not Same Ethnicity 18 12.9 Caucasian 95 68.4 Ethnicity of Employers a 143 100.0 Same Ethnicity 17 11.9 Asian But Not Same Ethnicity 19 13.3 Caucasian 107 74.8 Ethnicity of Supervisors a 141 100.0 Same Ethnicity 35 24.8 Asian But Not Same Ethnicity 14 9.9 Caucasian 92 65.2 Ethnic Workplace Concentration a b 149 100.0 Low (Scores 2-3) 89 59.7 High (Scores 4-6) 60 40.3 Watched Ethnic T V 272 100.0 Never 71 26.1 Seldom 73 26.8 Sometimes 84 30.9 Often 44 16.2 Read Ethnic Newspapers 272 100.0 Never 63 23.2 Seldom 104 38.2 Sometimes 83 30.5 Often 22 8.1 Watched Ethnic Movies 272 100.0 Never 77 28.3 Seldom 80 29.4 Sometimes 80 29.4 Often 35 12.9 Ethnic Media Concentration c 272 100.0 Low (Scores 2-3) 159 58.5 High (Scores 4-6) 113 41.5 a Applicable to employed women only (excluding self-employed). A/=3.8, SD=\.20. Combined ethnicity of: job interviewer, employer, and supervisor to create scale. CM=6.9, SD=2.20. Combined watched ethnic TV and movies, and read ethnic newspapers to create scale. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 42 Table 9 Employment and Occupational Status Characteristics Characteristic n % Employment Status 275 100.0 Employed 190 69.1 Not Employed a 85 30.9 Occupational Status b 185 100.0 20.00 - 29.99 126 68.1 30.00 - 39.99 27 14.6 40.00 - 49.99 6 3.2 50.00 - 59.99 21 11.4 60.00 - 69.99 2 1.1 70.00 - 79.99 3 1.6 a The not employed included those not available for work (68 women) and the unemployed (17 women). bM= 33.01, SD = 11.39. Applicable to employed women only. Blishen and Carroll's (1978) occupational status index scores were used. Employment status characteristics. A s shown in Table 9, 69% of the women were employed and 31% were not employed («=85). Those who were not employed were either unemployed or unavailable to work. The common reasons for being unavailable to work were family reasons (28%), retirement (27%), and health reasons (20%). Women who were not employed were asked i f they were currently looking for work. O f the 85 that responded, only 22% said yes. The reasons for not seeking work were largely due to age (45%), health (20%), and family (23%). Occupational status characteristics. Respondents were mainly in lower level occupations with 68% in the range from 24.00 to 29.00 on Blishen and Carroll's (1978) Socioeconomic Index (see Table 9). The remaining 32% were not necessarily in high occupations, since it included a range from 30.00 to 79.99 on the Socioeconomic Index. This indicates that the low category is very low and the high category is not very high. The mean (standard deviation) of occupational scores was 33.00 (11.4). In the scale, there was a potential range of scores from 20.00 to 79.99, with the higher score indicating the highest occupational levels. Employed women were mainly in the following industries: Southeast Asian Women Refugees 43 manufacturing (19%), farming greenhouse (15%), restaurant (15%), food and beverage (13%), and clothing (11%). Variables Associated wi th the Dependent Variables Employment status. A s shown in Table 10, based on chi-square or Mest as appropriate, marital status, age, training, educational level, English classes, English language proficiency, reading and writing English, ethnic media concentration, reading ethnic newspaper, and watching ethnic T V were significantly associated with employment status. Sponsorship, presence o f children, ethnicity, home training, Canadian training, and speaking English were not significant. Women who were married, younger, attended English classes, had some training (Canadian or home), high education, and high English language proficiency were significantly more likely to be employed than not employed. Age was significant with a mean of 38 years old for employed women and 51 years old for the not employed. In addition, respondents who engaged in high ethnic media concentration were significantly less likely to be employed (37% vs. 51%). When looking at the ability to speak, read, and write English, the pattern was that those who could read and write English were significantly more likely to be employed than not employed. Only 1% of the employed women did not speak any English. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 44 Table 10 Selected Variables Associated with Employment Status Variables Employed Not Employed x2 or t (n= 190) (n = 85) Privately Sponsored a 67.7 67.1 0.01 Presence of Children b 86.8 83.3 0.56 Chinese Ethnicity 50.5 56.5 0.83 M a r r i e d b 85.8 68.7 1 0 . 8 2 * * * Age, M (SD) 37.7(6.6) 50.7 (15.6) 9 . 6 6 * * * Received T ra in ing c 52.1 31.0 1 0 . 5 1 * * * High Educational Level d 54.3 31.3 English Classes e 82.6 62.4 1 3 . 3 8 * * * High English Language Proficiency b f 34.4 6.0 2 4 . 2 8 * * * Speaking E n g l i s h e g None 1.1 38.6 74.14 Little 64.6 56.6 W e l l 34.4 4.8 Reading E n g l i s h 6 8 None 17.5 51.8 3 3 . 8 0 * * * Little 66.1 43.4 W e l l 16.4 4.8 Writing English e g None 18.5 59.0 4 4 . 3 6 * * * Little 64.0 37.3 W e l l 17.5 3.6 High Ethnic Media Concentration e h 37.2 51.2 4 . 6 6 * aData were missing for 7 respondents. bData were missing for 2 respondents. c Data were missing for 1 respondent. d Data were missing for 8 respondents. e Data were missing for 3 respondents. f Combined speaking, reading, writing English to create scale. BFor analysis. Little and Well were combined to create Other. h Combined watching ethnic TV, movies, and reading ethnic newspapers to create scale. */?<.05. **p<.0\. ***/7<.001. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 45 The following hypotheses were tested using logistic regression through backward elimination. H I a: Southeast Asian women with high English language proficiency w i l l be more likely to be employed. H 2 a : Southeast Asian women with high educational level w i l l be more likely to be employed. H 3 a : Southeast Asian women with training w i l l be more l ikely to be employed. H 4 : Southeast Asian women between the ages o f 28-49 w i l l be more likely than older refugees to be employed. H 5 : Privately sponsored Southeast Asian women refugees w i l l be more likely than government-sponsored women refugees to be employed. H 6 a : Southeast Asian women with high ethnic concentration w i l l be less likely to be employed. H 7 a : Southeast Asian women who have children w i l l be less likely than those without children to be employed. For the analyses of employment status, marital status and English classes were included in the models since they were found to be significant with chi-square analyses. The first model (see Table 11) excluded four variables: sponsorship, educational level, English classes, and presence of children. The Cox and Snell R 2 statistic indicates that the remaining set of 5 variables accounted for 28% of the variance in the dependent variable. With this set of 5 variables, there was an 81% overall correct prediction of employment status, compared to a baseline of 69% employed. Prediction success was greater for the employed than the not employed, 94% and 51% respectively. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 46 English language proficiency and age were significantly associated with employment status. Each additional year of age decreased employability by a factor of 0.91. Respondents with high English language proficiency were 3.8 times more l ikely to be employed than i f they had low English language proficiency. Table 11 Model 1: Logistic Regression Analysis of Employment Status with English Language Proficiency Variable P SD Odds ratio P Age -0.09 0.02 0.91 .000*** High English Language Proficiency 1.32 0.52 3.75 .010** Had Training 0.57 0.34 1.77 .096 High Ethnic Media Concentration -0.64 0.35 0.53 .063 Married 0.75 0.41 2.11 .066 *P<.05. **p<m. ***/><.ooi. The second model (see Table 12) used the measure o f reading and writing English to test whether a specific language ability is better associated with employment status. The ability to speak English was not included since only two employed women could not speak English. Six variables were excluded in the final model: sponsorship, training, English classes, presence of children, ability to write English, and educational level. The Cox and Snell R statistic indicates that the remaining four variables accounted for 27% of the variance in the dependent variable. With this set of variables, there was an 81% overall correct prediction of employment status, compared to a baseline of 69% employed. Prediction success was greater for employed than not employed, 94% and 50% respectively. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 47 A s shown in Table 12, age, ability to read English, and ethnic media concentration were significant. Each additional year of age decreased employability by a factor of 0.92. Respondents who could read English were almost 3 times (2.7) more l ikely to be employed than i f they did not read English. In addition, respondents who engaged in high ethnic media concentration were less likely to be employed by a factor of 0.44 than i f they engaged in low ethnic media concentration. Although being married was not significant at p < .05, it was close (p = .053). The pattern demonstrated that respondents who were married were twice (2.2) as likely to.be employed as those who were not married. Table 12 Model 2: Logistic Regression Analysis of Employment Status with Reading and Writing English Variable P SD Odds ratio P Age -0.09 0.02 0.92 .000*** Can Read English 1.00 0.36 2.71 .006** High Ethnic Media Concentration -0.81 0.34 0.44 .017* Married 0.78 0.40 2.18 .053 */7<.05. **p<M. ***/K.001. Therefore, hypotheses H I a, H 4 , and H 6 a were found to be consistent with the findings and hypotheses H 2 a , H3a , H 5 and H 7 a were not supported. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 48 Table 13 Selected Variables Associated with Occupational Status Variables Low Occupational High Occupational x2 or t Status Status (« = 126) (n = 59) Privately Sponsored a 70.7 63.8 0.09 Presence of Children b 91.2 81.4 3.69* Chinese Ethnicity 51.6 50.8 0.01 Married 88.1 81.4 1.51 Age, M (SD) 37.8 (6.5) 37.6 (7.0) 0.20 Received Training 51.6 52.5 0.02 High Educational Leve l 0 51.2 60.7 1.40 Attended English Classes 83.3 79.7 0.37 High English Language Proficiency b d 24.8 52.5 13.81*** Speaking English b e None 1.6 0.0 9.54 Little 72.8 49.2 Well 25.6 50.8 Reading Engl i sh b e None 23.2 6.8 7.34 Little 67.2 64.8 Well 9.6 28.8 Writing English b e None 23.2 10.2 4.42* Little 68.8 54.2 Well 8.0 35.6 High Ethnic Media Concentration f 36.3 39.0 0.12 High Ethnic Workplace Concentration 8 42.0 33.3 0.79 all other variables. Data presented in %. a Data were missing for 4 respondents. b Data were missing for 1 respondent. c Data were missing for 6 respondents. A Combined speaking, reading, writing English to create scale. e For analysis, Little and Well were combined to create Other. f Combined watching ethnic TV., movies, and reading ethnic newspapers to create scale. Data were missing for 2 participants. 8 Data were missing for 5 respondents and 35 were not applicable due to being self-employed. Combined ethnicity of job interviewer, employer, and supervisor to create scale. V<05. **p<.01. ***/?<.001. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 49 Occupat ional status. A s shown in Table 13, based on chi-square test or Mest as appropriate, the presence o f children, English language proficiency and specifically the ability to write English were significantly associated with occupational status. Women with children were significantly more likely to have low occupational status than high occupational status (91% vs. 81%). Women with high English language proficiency were significantly more likely to have high occupational status than low occupational status (53% vs. 25%). In addition, women in high occupational status were much more likely to speak, read, and write English well than those in low occupational status. The following hypotheses were tested using logistic regression through backward elimination. H l b : Southeast Asian women with high English language proficiency w i l l more likely have higher occupational status. H 2 b : Southeast Asian women with high educational level w i l l more likely have higher occupational status. H3b: Southeast Asian women with training w i l l more likely have higher occupational status. H6b: Southeast Asian women with high ethnic concentration w i l l experience lower occupational status. H7b: The presence of children w i l l be associated with lower occupational status for Southeast Asian women. Two models are presented to analyze variables associated with occupational status. The first model (see Table 14) used English language proficiency as the measure for English language ability. Five variables were excluded in the final model: educational level, ethnic Southeast Asian Women Refugees 50 media concentration, training, English classes, and presence of children. The Cox and Snell 2 . . . . R statistic indicates that the remaining two variables accounted for 8% o f the variance in the dependent variable. Wi th this set of variables, there was a 71% overall correct prediction of occupational status, compared to a baseline of 68% low occupational status. Prediction success was greater for low occupational status than high occupational status, 82% and 48% respectively. Table 14 Model 1: Logistic Regression Analysis of Occupational Status with English Language Proficiency Variable P SD Odds ratio P Low English Language Proficiency 0.95 0.36 2.58 .008** High Ethnic Workplace Concentration -0.77 0.40 0.46 .054 */><.05. **p<m. ***/K.OOI. English language proficiency was the only significant variable. Respondents with low English language proficiency were almost two and a half times more likely to have low occupational status than i f they had high English language proficiency. Ethnic workplace concentration was not significant at p < .05, it was close (p = .054). This suggests that respondents with high ethnic workplace concentration were more l ikely to have low occupational status by a factor o f 0.46 than i f they had low ethnic workplace concentration. The second model (see Table 15) used the measure of reading and writing English to test whether a specific English ability is better associated with occupational status. Six variables were excluded in the final model: educational level, ethnic media concentration, training, English classes, presence of children, and ability to read English. The Cox and Snell R 2 statistic indicates that the remaining two variables accounted for 7% of the variance Southeast Asian Women Refugees 51 in the dependent variable. Wi th this set of variables, there was a 68% overall correct prediction of occupational status, similar to the baseline of low occupational status. Prediction success for low occupational status was 100%. Table 15 Model 2: Logistic Regression Analysis of Occupational Status with Reading and Writing English Variable P SD Odds ratio P Can Not Write English 1.12 0.58 3.07 .052 High Ethnic Workplace Concentration -0.85 0.40 0.43 .032* *^<.05. * * / K . 0 1 . ***p<.001. A s shown in Table 15, ethnic workplace concentration was significant. Respondents with high ethnic workplace concentration were more likely to have low occupational status by a factor of 0.43 than i f they had low ethnic workplace concentration. The ability to write English was not significant at p < .05, it was close (p = .052). Therefore, this suggests that respondents who could not write English were 3 times more l ikely to have low occupational status than i f they could write English. Therefore, hypotheses H l b and H6b were found to be consistent with the findings. The following hypotheses were not supported, H2b, H3b, and H7b Southeast Asian Women Refugees 52 C H A P T E R V Discussion The primary purpose of this study was to bring forth an understanding of the unique settlement experience of Southeast Asian female refugees as workers in the Canadian labour force, h i particular, the study identified human capital variables, including individual and family/community variables, associated with employment and occupational status. A s supported by human capital theorists (Salamon, 1991; Schultz, 1995; Zuiker, 1999), this study included the diverse factors that have an impact on worker productivity and capacity, such as age, ethnic concentration, and presence of children, as human capital investments. Therefore, since this study focused on women as workers, it was important to discuss the findings with the recognition that women accumulate human capital in terms of their personal, family, and community characteristics. Human Capital Variables Associated with Employment Status Southeast Asian women in this sample were mostly employed (69%) with only 6% unemployed. The remainder were not available for work due mostly to retirement, health, and family reasons. Based on the univariate analyses, the following variables were significantly associated with being employed: training, high educational level, high English language proficiency, low ethnic concentration, and being young and married. Within the English language proficiency measure, the ability to read and write English showed differences in being employed. From the multivariate analysis, high English language proficiency, low ethnic concentration, and being young were significantly associated with being employed. Consistent with the literature, women below the ages of 50 years were more likely to be employed (Dunning, 1989; Dustman, 1994; Ngo, 1994; Tsokhas, 1994). The women had a Southeast Asian Women Refugees 53 mean age of 42 years and therefore, their children were l ikely to be older. According to human capital theory, this suggests that women were mostly employed since their children were school-aged and older. Therefore, older children require less interruptions in the labour force than younger children (Zukewich, 2002). The majority o f women attended English classes and this contributed to their employed status. Furthermore, employed women were much more l ikely to speak, read, and write English than the not employed. Consistent with the literature, this indicates that the overall English language proficiency promotes employability and is an important human capital (Dunning, 1989; L i u , 1996; Ngo, 1994; Nutter, 1984; Tsokhas, 1994). When the individual items within the scale were assessed, the respondents with the ability to read English were more l ikely to be employed than i f they did not read English. Also , consistent with past research, speaking English was essential for employment, but the ability to read further promoted being employed (Chiswick, 1991a; 1991b; Dustmann, 1994; Strand & Jones, 1985). A s predicted, women who engaged in high ethnic concentration were less likely to be employed (Chiswick & Mil le r , 1996; Granovetter, 1983; Roberts & Starr, 1989). Usage of ethnic media was used to measure ethnic concentration. The findings suggest that as women watched ethnic TV/movies and read ethnic newspapers, they contributed to the development of an ethnic language enclave. A s supported by Chiswick and Mi l l e r (1996), an ethnic language enclave inhibits the abilities to communicate in the language o f the host country and therefore limits human capital accumulation and employability. In previous research, educational level (Chard et al., 2000; Ministry of Women's Equality, 2000), training (Gringeri, 1995; Lindsay, 2000; Zukewich, 2000), type of sponsorship (Johnson, 1984), and presence of children (Foner, 1998; Ngo, 1994) were found Southeast Asian Women Refugees 54 to be associated with employment status. However, these variables were not significant for this sample. Possible explanations for the non-significant findings are 1) human capital investments; 2) length o f time since arrival; and 3) age o f child. First, despite low educational level and limited training women were still employed. The majority o f employed women attended English classes which increased their employability. In addition, it is possible that women may have been employed in ethnic jobs that did not necessarily require the host country's human capital skills, such as training and education. Second, respondents may have no longer been in touch with their sponsors and therefore the variable sponsorship may no longer have an impact on refugees as it had when they initially arrived. Third, since women were older with a mean age of 42 years at the time of study, it was l ikely that their children were also older. Past studies have indicated that younger aged women with children were less l ikely to be employed because the presence o f young children decreased employability (Dunning, 1989; Ngo, 1994; Tsokhas, 1994). Human Cap i t a l Variables Associated wi th Occupational Status A s for occupational status, respondents were quite homogeneous with the majority in the lowest level o f occupations (68%). Suggested reasons for the homogeneity in occupational status are that the women arrived under similar conditions as women refugees from a war stricken country in the Third World, with limited human capital resources accumulated. According to human capital theory, women's concentration in the lowest of occupations can be explained since half of the women had no home or Canadian training and only 2% had education beyond high school. Southeast Asian women in this study worked in similar occupations as found in past studies (Houstoun, 1983; Whitmore, 1984). Using Blishen and Carroll's Socioeconomic Southeast Asian Women Refugees 55 Index of Occupations (1978) the most cornmon occupations for the women were: sewing machine operators, manufacturing labourers, chambermaids, farmworkers, cooks and restaurant workers. Research has documented such occupations as low-skilled, low-paid female-dominated occupations that offer limited job security and chances for occupational advancement (Beach & Worswick, 1993; Boyd, 1984; Chard et al., 2000; Houstoun, 1983; Hanson & Pratt, 1991; Sorenson, 1995; Whitmore, 1984). From the univariate analyses, the following variables were consistent with the literature and were significantly associated with high occupational status: high English language proficiency and no children present (Boyd, 1984; Chard et a l , 2000; Chiswick, 1991a; 1991b; Dunning, 1989; Dustmann, 1994; Foner, 1998; L i u , 1996; Ngo, 1994; Nutter, 1984). Within the English language proficiency measure, the ability to write English showed differences in high occupational status. Based on the multivariate analyses, low English language proficiency and high ethnic concentration was significantly associated with low occupational status. Consistent with the literature, low English language proficiency was found to impede occupational status (Boyd, 1984; Hum & Simpson, 1999; L i u , 1996; Ngo, 1994; Strand & Jones, 1985; Tsokhas, 1994). Respondents in low occupations were less likely to speak, read, and write English well than those in higher occupational status. This suggests that language capital of the host country is strongly associated with being in higher occupations. Women's low or lack o f English language capital investments since arrival contributed to their low occupational status. When the individual items in the scale were assessed, respondents who did not write English were more likely to have low occupational status than i f they did write English. Therefore, women's lack of presence in the higher occupations can Southeast Asian Women Refugees 56 be explained since high-level occupations or professions require not only the ability to speak and read English but furthermore, the ability to write English. As predicted, women who engaged in high ethnic concentration were more likely to have low occupational status (Chiswick & Mil ler , 1996; Granovetter, 1983; Roberts & Starr, 1989). Granovetter's (1983) research on the strength of weak ties offers an explanation on how high ethnic concentration impedes employment opportunities and advancement. Although ethnic enclaves may create networks and a sense of community, it does not necessarily allow the flow of resources and information into the enclave. This suggests that women may not access employment resources and information, and therefore may be at a disadvantage in the labour force. According to Granovetter (1983), weak ties (low ethnic concentration) play a particular role in bridging networks and allow for the flow and dissemination of information that is important to the existence of individuals, families, and communities. In previous research, educational level (Chard et al., 2000), training (Gringeri, 1995; Zukewich, 2000), and presence of children (Foner, 1998; Ngo, 1994) were found to be associated with occupational status. However, these variables were not significant for this sample. The explanations for the non-significant findings include 1) sample size; 2) homogeneity of the population; and 3) age of the women. First, the sample size was reduced considerably from 275 to 190, since only the employed were included for occupational status analyses. Second, the sample was highly homogenous since the majority of the women arrived with little human capital and did not invest in human capital of the host country through time. Lastly, presence of children did not have an effect on the occupational status since the women were older and therefore their children were also older, not requiring the same needs as younger children. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 57 Length of Time in the Host Country Human capital theory suggests that as the length of time in the host country increases so does the occupational opportunities (Beiser et al., 1994; Chiswick, 1978, 1986; Dunning, 1989; Rumbaut, 1989; Whitmore et al., 1989). Although, women may have been employed, after 10 or more years in Canada they occupied the lowest levels o f occupation. Hanson and Pratt (1991) offer an explanation for women's low occupational status. Individuals do not come to the job search as economic women, reacting only to the structure of labour markets and employment opportunities, but they come fully embedded in social relations of family, community, and gender. Hanson and Pratt (1991) found women in female dominated occupations to value a different set of job priorities such as close to home and suitable hours, and they are more l ikely to use personal, community-based, female contacts to find their jobs. The female contacts for the jobs were also likely to be women working in low-skill , and low-paid female dominated occupations. This possibly explains how women not only remain in low occupations but also further reproduce such low status after 10 years. Limitations and Strengths Several limitations in this study should be noted. First, the study o f the "Boat People" as a refugee group is very specific to their population in relation to the time of arrival, economic recession, war, and other global and local circumstances. Therefore, the results of this study cannot be generalized for other refugee women or future refugee groups who have and/or w i l l arrive to Canada. Specifically, the Southeast Asian refugees were not Convention Refugees as defined in subsection 6(2) of the Immigration Act, but were a Special Movement class established to respond quickly to the war crisis (Montgomery, 1992). This response by Canada was the first of its kind in the history where a massive sponsorship program was initiated by the government and public. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 58 Second, human capital theory assumes that all workers participate in a common aggregate labour market and does not take into account general economic circumstances and systemic barriers. Barriers such as citizenship status, racial, class, or sexual discrimination can also limit the returns on human capital investments by keeping certain classes of workers from acquiring occupations to which they would otherwise be entitled (Salamon, 1991). For example, Portes and Bach (1985) found immigrants to receive lower returns than average for their human capital investments. Integrating human capital theory with other frameworks that explain discrimination amongst the female workforce may further strengthen this study. Finally, the measure ethnic media concentration may not have adequately captured the ethnic enclave's impact on the women's employment and occupational status. In addition, the scale had a moderate reliability (alpha = 0.65) indicating the lack of homogeneity amongst the items. This may not have adequately tested for the ethnic enclave's effect. Ethnic concentration as a measure is dependent on the existence of an ethnic enclave or community. Such ethnic communities only increase in presence and visibili ty with time and population size. Therefore, in the early 1990s, it may very well have been that the Southeast Asian communities in British Columbia had not yet developed in size for ethnic concentration (i.e., ethnic media or businesses) to have a large effect. This study has several strengths that should be noted. First, considering the population of the research (Southeast Asian women refugees), the sample size of 275 women was large enough to make some general associations between human capital variables and the dependent variables. Second, this study is the first of its kind to measure the ethnic concentration of women refugees. In particular the measure o f ethnic workplace concentration had a high reliability of Cronbach alpha 0.96. Third, human capital theory accommodated the diverse types of human capital accumulation that refugee women may Southeast Asian Women Refugees 59 find important as women, workers, and mothers. The theory is further strengthened when it includes individual, family, and community human capital variables. Finally, several attempts were made to increase the accuracy and validity of the responses by having interviewers who were bilingual, o f the same ethnicity, and same gender as the respondents (Beiser et a l , 1994). Conclusion and Implications A s a goal to further the understanding o f refugee women's experience in relation to their employment and occupational status in the Canadian labour force, this study used human capital theory. The theory promoted an understanding of refugee women's accumulation or lack of human capital investments. Human capital variables were assessed for their relationship with being employed and with level of occupation. The results showed that English language proficiency and ethnic concentration are the primary human capital variables associated with the dependent variables. Findings indicate that the strongest human capital indicator for employment and level of occupation is language capital. English language proficiency not only increases the chance of being employed, but also plays a critical role in having higher occupational status. In particular, the ability to write English plays a role in achieving higher occupations. This suggests that literacy in English is an important criterion for occupational mobility. Increased age was found to decrease employability and high ethnic concentration was found to impede both employment and occupational status. The findings have several implications for social policy and future research. The study provides immigration policy-makers and officials with additional information and explanations on refugee women's settlement and labour force experience. Since, this group is the first of its kind in Canadian history to enter through a Special Movement class, the study Southeast Asian Women Refugees 60 can offer immigration policies insights on future Special Movement classes that may arise due to global disasters or wars. In addition, immigration settlement policy makers and organizations can further develop and implement appropriate and adequate settlement programs specifically for women refugees. Programs that promote training, education and other human capital skills specific to the needs of refugee women, such as childcare, may in fact increase an understanding towards adequate service delivery by immigration/settlement service-providers. Furthermore, the study suggests that the ability to speak English alone may be sufficient for employment in low-skilled occupations but other language skills such as reading and writing may increase women's occupational status. In particular, the study found the ability to write to further increase women's occupational status. Therefore, English language programs for new immigrants need to examine the impact o f language ability at all three levels: speaking, reading and writing. This study also examines human capital theory and explores the possible gaps of the theory, which may not accommodate the context of refugee women's investments (or lack of) in terms of human capital accumulation. Therefore, by examining refugee women's immigration settlement process and their accumulation o f human capital, this study further contributes to the theory. Human capital theory overlooks some of the realities of the labour market for women, such as what hinders or fosters their human capital development. Therefore, using models that imply the normative male pattern may not be applicable to women and furthermore to refugees/immigrant women. For example, it ignores the fact that different populations do not have equal access to educational and training opportunities. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 61 Future research should continue to develop diverse occupational scales to improve the conceptualization and measurement of occupational status for women, especially immigrant women. Due to cross-cultural differences, women in this sample may define and rate their occupations differently. In particular, they may view and categorize low and high occupations differently from Blishen and Carroll 's (1979) Socioeconomic Index. Therefore, researchers should not be limited to single occupational scales but attempt to find additional appropriate measures that fully capture how refugee or immigrant women rate their occupations. A n additional area for future research is the attempt to investigate how the role of ethnic concentration and networks affect women's and men's employment experiences differently. There may be both advantages and disadvantages to high ethnic concentration. For example, Hanson and Pratt (1991) attempted to show how job search enters the process of "gendering" paid employment. Women employed in ethnic businesses found jobs through personal, community-based, and female contacts (Hanson & Pratt, 1991). The female contacts for the jobs were likely to be women working in low-ski l l , and low-paid female dominated occupations. This could possibly explain how women's high ethnic concentration may provide the link to employment but may also keep women in low occupations. In closing, this study provides insight on how a refugee group with low human capital accumulation experienced employment and occupational status after 10 years in the host country. Based on the findings we can predict that the women w i l l l ikely remain at the same low levels of occupations due to growing older and lacking human capital investments. In particular, the women had no or limited training and limited ability to write and read English. Therefore, they are unlikely to invest in additional human capital in order to increase their occupational status. Also , their employment status is l ikely to change to not being available Southeast Asian Women Refugees 62 for work due to age, health, and retirement reasons. Clearly, the women were likely to be employed and were working at the level of their training and human capital skills. 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N Y : Garland Publishing, Inc. Zukewich, N . (2000). Paid and unpaid work. In Women in Canada 2000: A gender-based report (pp. 97-133). Ottawa, Ontario: Statistics Canada. Southeast Asian Women Refugees 70 Appendix A Terminology Immigrant visible minority women: Non-Caucasian or non-Aboriginal women belonging to a racialized group who are the first generation to immigrate and are not Canadian citizens by birth (Chard, 2000; Chard et a l , 2000). Refugee Class: According to the U N definition, "any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country, or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of this former habitual residence, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it" (Saikal, 1989). Southeast Asians: Currently, descendants from the following regions: Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and East Timor. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, refugees from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam were referred to by researchers and governments as Indochinese and/or the Boat People. However, in recent years they are referred to as Vietnamese or Laotian, or broadly as Southeast Asian. This research w i l l refer to the refugee women being studied as Southeast Asians, who had arrived to Canada / U .S . particular from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Appendix B Measures - Dependent Variables Employment Status: Are you currently working? Yes 1 N o 2 Why are you not currently working? 01 = Housewife 02 = Full-time school 03 = Training 04 = Retired 05 = Disabled 06 = Pregnancy 07 = Poor health 08 = Closed down business 09 = Fired 10 = La id off 11 = Quit, don't like previous job 12 = Quit work to move to another job 13 = Quit, pay isn't enough 14 = Lack work experience 15 = Lack training 16 = Lack language ability 17 = Can't find a job 18 = Other (specify) Southeast Asian Women Refugees 71 Southeast Asian Women Refugees 72 Occupational Status What kind of jobs do you have currently? 32 = Baker 70 = Cabinet and Furniture Maker 73 = Carpenter 89 = Cook 150 = Farm labourer 260 = Janitor and Cleaner 280 = Kitchen helper and related 300 = Labourer ( A l l other industries) 307 = Labourer, Manufacturing 352 = Meat Canner, Curer and Packer 500 = Picker, Fruits and Vegetables 549 = Sewer and Sewing machine operator Other (Specify) What kind of industry do you work in? 03 = Manufacturing 04 = Restaurant 06 = Wood and Lumber 07 = Furniture 09 = Farming and Greenhouse 10 = Food and Beverages 15 = Jewellers 23 = Clothing 13 = Repair 37 = Construction Other (Specify) Southeast Asian Women Refugees Measures - Independent Variables English Language Proficiency How well can you speak English? None 1 How well can you write English? None 1 How well can you read English? None 1 English Language Usage To what extent is English required on the job? 1 = Often 2 = Sometimes 3 = Seldom Most of the time at home, do you speak your mother tongue(s) or English with a) Your spouse? b) Children in the household? Mother tongue(s) English Equally both N / A 1 2 3 8 Most of the time when outside your home, do you speak? Mother tongue(s) English Equally both N / A 1 2 3 8 Education What is the highest grade you completed in elementary or high school? # of grade 00 = no education in Canada What is the highest degree you obtained? 01 = Junior College Diploma 02 = Bachelor 03 = Master level 04 = Doctorate level Other (specify) A little 2 A little 2 A little 2 Wel l 3 Wel l 3 Wel l 3 Southeast Asian Women Refugees 74 88 = N / A (no degree) Training and Education Value: Men should have more access than women to higher education and career training. Agree 1 Disagree 2 Job Training in Home Country and Canada What type of job training did you have? 01 = Ma in ly manual work 02 = Semi-manual (driving, seamstress, tailor, factory, semi-skilled worker) 03 = Vocational skilled (auto-mechanic, welder, electrician) 04 = Clerical work (typing, bookkeeping) 11= Farming 12 = Fishing 26 = Baking 27 = Carpentry Other (specify) 88 = N / A Since receiving the job training have you worked in a job that used the training? Yes 1 N o 2 Do you feel you are working at your level of ability or training? Yes 1 N o 2 Have you attended English classes in Canada? Yes 1 No 2 Age: What is your age (years)? Southeast Asian Women Refugees 75 Type of Sponsorship What was your sponsorship status? 1 = Government sponsored 2 = Religious organization 3 = Private Group 4 = Family / Relative Ethnic Concentration Who helped you to get this job? 01 = Self 02 = Family/Relative 05 = Private Personnel Agency 06 = Government Employment Centre 13 = Friend (ethnic) 14 = Friend (non Asian) 15 = Friend (Asian, non ethnic) 16 = Person at work (ethnic) 17 = Person at work (non Asian) 18 = Person at work (Asian, non ethnic) Other (Specify) What is the ethnicity of your employer, that is, the owner of this business? 1 = Same ethnicity 2 = Asian but not same ethnicity 3 = Caucasian (i.e., non Asian) Are your customers? 1 = Main ly ethnic 2 = Main ly Caucasian (non ethnic) 3 = Equally both 4 = Don' t know Southeast Asian Women Refugees 76 What is the ethnicity of your interviewer? 1 = Same ethnicity 2 = Asian but not same ethnicity 3 = Caucasian (i.e., non Asian) What is the ethnicity of your immediate supervisor? 1 = Same ethnicity 2 = Asian but not same ethnicity 3 = Caucasian (i.e., non Asian) Are your co-workers? 1 = Main ly ethnic 2 = Main ly Caucasian (non ethnic) 3 = Equally both 4 = Don't know How often do you watch T V (ethnic program)? (Ethnic Media) Often Sometimes Seldom Never N / A 1 2 3 4 8 How often do you listen to the radio (ethnic program)? (Ethnic Media) Often Sometimes Seldom Never N / A 1 2 3 4 8 How often do you read the newspaper / magazine (ethnic)? (Ethnic Media) Often Sometimes Seldom Never N / A 1 2 3 4 8 How often do you see movies (ethnic)? (Ethnic Media) Often Sometimes Seldom Never N / A 1 2 3 4 8 How often do you go to places that you have mentioned where people from Laos or Vietnam get together? Often Sometimes Seldom Never N / A 1 2 3 4 8 Southeast Asian Women Refugees 77 Presence of Children Most of the time, do you speak your mother tongue(s) or English with children in the household? Mother tongues English Equally both N / A 1 2 3 8 Ethnicity How do you define your ethnicity? Marital Status What is your marital status? 1 = Single 2 = Married 3 = Widowed 4 = Separated 5 = Divorced 6 = Forced Separated 7 = Common-law 

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