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Class and ethnicity : the social organization of working class East Indian immigrants in Vancouver Cassin, A. Marguerite 1977

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CIASS AND ETHNICITY: The Social Organization Of Working Class East Indian Immigrants in Vancouver A. Marguerite Cassin B.A.,•University of Manitoba, 1967 A Thesis Submitted In Partial Fulfillment Of The Requirements For The Degree Of Master Of Arts THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology University of British Columbia We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July, 1977 by in A. Marguerite Cassin, 1977 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives. I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not allowed without my written permission. Department The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Westbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 -6 - i i -ABSTRACT The thesis is concerned to explicate the social organization of ethnicity and ethnic relations in the Canadian setting. The work is developed from an ethnography of the East Indian 'community'•in Vancouver, Bri t i sh Columbia and from other theoretical work done on ethnicity. The argument which is presented is that ethnic relations are special -forms of class relations, which are mediated by the social ly organized practices of the social institutions of the society. The method of work proceeds in two ways. In the f i r s t place I begin from the categories and concepts present in the theoretical l i terature and return those to the social relations which they name; which are actual act iv i t ies of individuals. In the second, I articulate on the basis of the actual act iv i t ies of individuals who are part of and related to the social organization of a particular ethnic community, how the social organization of that ethnic community arises and is maintained. The f i r s t part of the thesis reviews the l i terature , presents the theoretical framework which is developed out of this method of work, describes the particular research procedures and provides an i n i t i a l overview of the community I studied. The later chapters explicate the social relations and describes family organization, labour force participation and the market relations of East Indian individuals. A central focus in the later chapters is to examine the work procedures of individuals who conceptualize and organize the 'community1. The thesis provides brief concluding remarks which t ie the different arguments in the thesis together, and point out areas where the work must be further developed. - i i i .TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Chapter I. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Introduction 8 Review of Literature 9 Toward An Alternative Method 17 Marxist Method of Work 24 Class and Ethnicity - Alternative Conception 37 II. FIELDWORK, OVERVIEW OF THE COMMUNITY Fieldwork 41 Overview of the Community 59 III. SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS Introduction 73 Social Agencies 76 The Lived Relation 77 Socially Organized Practices of Social Service Agencies 85 Advocacy Agencies 100 IV. FAMILY RELATIONS IN THE EAST INDIAN COMMUNITY Introduction 104 Family Relations 105 Families Where Women Do Not Work Outside the Home 107 Families Where Women Work Inside the Community 113 Familes Where Women Work Out of the Community 120 Families Where Incomes Are Made in Professions and Business 125 V. LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION OF FAST INDIAN WORKERS Introduction 137 Participation of East Indian Immigrant Men in the Labour Force 138 Working Class Women's Participation in the Labour Force 156 i v -Chapter VI. BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS OF THE EAST INDIAN COMMUNITY Introduction 172 Community Organizations 174 East Indian Business Organizations 180 CONCLUDING REMARKS 196 BIBLIOGRAPHY 198 \ - V -ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS There are a number of i n d i v i d u a l s who make my work possible: Dorothy E. Smith, whose work I have used extensively both formally and informally helped me learn a method of work i n sociology, c r i t i c i z e d my work and provided encouragement. Helga E. Jacobson helped me at c r i t i c a l points with the ethnography and made us e f u l suggestions i n my w r i t i n g and organization. Kenneth Stoddarij o r i g i n a l l y taught me to do ethnography. Nancy Jackson and A l l i s o n Boulter discussed and c r i t i c i z e d my work at length and contributed th e i r own work to improve mine. Marie Campbell read and c r i t i c i s e d my work and supported me as I was w r i t i n g the t h e s i s . Roxanna Ng shared her work with me which provided some contrast at an important time. The members of the Graduate Seminar i n Women's Studies to whom I f i r s t presented t h i s work and other thinking provided a s e t t i n g for the development of t h i s work. Sharing work with women, I have learned, i s very important. Many East Indian and non-East Indian persons spent time providing information and a n a l y s i s , about the 'community' and t h e i r own s i t u a t i o n s and jobs. A large number of East Indian i n d i v i d u a l s , men and women from the working cl a s s talked to me at length about t h e i r l i f e s i t u a t i o n and explained i n d e t a i l many aspects of th e i r day-to-day l i v e s . Without these persons the work would not have been poss i b l e . Several people who were interviewed i n the ethnography became interested i n my work. I hope that i t w i l l be u s e f u l to them i n t h e i r l i f e and work. Steve B a l y i , with whom I did some of the o r i g i n a l ethnographic work, has been a constant personal and i n t e l l e c t u a l support, who has talked and l i s t e n e d to me and cooked, washed my clothes and organized my maintenance - v i -during the time I wrote my t h e s i s . Dorothy R e s t a l l gave me a great many personal supports and typed the f i r s t d r a f t of the t h e s i s . Marie Scott typed the f i n a l d r a f t . My thanks to a l l these i n d i v i d u a l s . INTRODUCTION The ethnic community as a s o c i a l phenomenon, i s v i s i b l e as d i f f e r e n t from the community which surrounds i t . This difference i s s o c i a l l y organized. The difference arises out of the s o c i a l l y organized practices of the labour force and the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , as they are h i s t o r i c a l l y determined, which singles out a category of persons to be treated d i f f e r e n t l y from other members of the society. I t w i l l be argued i n t h i s thesis that the ethnic community as a s o c i a l phenomenon i s a pa r t i c u l a r organization of class relations i n t h i s society. I t i s an organization of class relations which appear as ethnic r e l a t i o n s . Ethnic relations are part i c u l a r s o c i a l relations i n which the class r e l a t i o n between individuals who are i d e n t i f i e d as d i f f e r e n t , i s mediated and organized by the practices of the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s to appear as dif f e r e n t from the class r e l a t i o n between other individuals i n the society. That i s ethnic relations appear as relations between individuals who are sim i l a r i n background, country of o r i g i n , culture and r e l i g i o u s orientation, who l i v e together i n t h i s society, i n an ethnic community as a matter of personal preference. The practice which organizes individuals d i f f e r e n t l y i n r e l a t i o n to the labour market i s the organization of a segregated p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the labour force. This creates an e t h n i c a l l y segregated labour force. This aspect of the organization of the labour force constitutes, for the working c l a s s , a d i v i s i o n within the working class i t s e l f . In the work I w i l l present here, I w i l l demonstrate these par t i c u l a r aspects of class organization of the East Indian community i n Vancouver. When one examines the East Indian community - 2 -i n Vancouver from the location of businesses, s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , and departments of government, i t appears as a homogenous group of people, organized and held together by their own personal preferences, ethnic i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , and c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s . Individuals i n the community are v i s i b l y d ifferent from most other members of the society; i n one or more ways, colour of skin, dress or language. Thus the East Indian community i s d ifferent from the society which surrounds i t . I f , however, you examine the family s i t u a t i o n and family organization of East Indian families who are organized into the community, a class d i v i -sion becomes v i s i b l e . I t i s from t h i s location that the class relations of the community can be seen. This class r e l a t i o n i n the community arises as a d e f i n i t e practice. Individuals who are members of the East Indian community are organized as different from the majority of Canadian born c i t i z e n s , as they are organized by their r e l a t i o n to the labour force, s o c i a l agencies, schools, p o l i c e , press and law. At the same time the practices of the so c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s (education, s o c i a l welfare, law) are such that they d i f f e r e n t i a t e among East Indians. These are the s o c i a l l y organized practices which organized the class relations i n the community and which create and organize the East Indian community as different from the society which surrounds i t . An examination of the actual a c t i v i t i e s and relations of working class East Indian families reveals that they are i n many ways similar to the actual a c t i v i t i e s and relations of working class 'Canadian' families. Yet, members of t h i s society, who are East Indian and i n the working class are located d i f f e r e n t l y i n the society from members of the society who are not et h n i c a l l y i d e n t i f i e d . This becomes clear when you examine the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of East Indian men and women ( i n the working class) i n the labour force. - 3 -Consistently, they hold jobs which axe among the lowest paid, most insecure and most physically demanding i n the labour force. This segregation locates non-ethnically organized workers i n an exploitative r e l a t i o n to East Indian workers. The practice of th i s r e l a t i o n i s such that 'Canadian' workers benefit materially from the segregation of East Indian workers i n the labour force and further are part of organizing that segregation. These practices and others which I w i l l describe at length, are constitutive of a d i v i s i o n within the working class. I am suggesting that ethnic community has no other basis than as pro-duced out of the combined l e g a l , s o c i a l service, school and businesses practices of th i s society. I t i s through these practices that individuals are defined as East Indian immigrants, with p a r t i c u l a r characteristics and organized into an ethnic community. The ethnic community i s a particular organization of class relations which conceals class relations through practices which organize individuals f i r s t as different from the majority of Canadian born c i t i z e n s , then as members of an ethnic community, on the basis of their country of o r i g i n . When I began my f i e l d work among East Indian immigrants i n Vancouver, I accepted the difference between East Indians and Canadians as a given. I understood that I was investigating an ethnic community which was a c u l t u r a l island within and dif f e r e n t from the broader society. I however found many inconsistencies with t h i s view when I began to interview a broad range of people within the East Indian community. The interviews with s o c i a l service agencies began to point to a series of problems i n the community, which encouraged me to examine further the family relations i n the community. Yet there seemed i n some ways that the community did not e x i s t . There was no firm geographic organization. People who were East Indians or at least - 4 -claimed that as their f i r s t country of o r i g i n i n immigration statements, were not i n the community. However the community was v i s i b l e ; how then did i t exist? The leadership of the community was c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i a b l e ; who they led or represented was not. The leadership of the community held views about the community which were very d i f f e r e n t from i n d u s t r i a l and service workers. The leadership were almost uniformly business and professional people and a l l were men. Workers i n s o c i a l service agencies seemed to be describing a class phenomenon i n the delivery of service, yet they at the same time presented the description of the community as homogenous and u n i f i e d . As I struggled with the problems of trying to decide i f there was a community at a l l and i f there was, what was i t s composition, i t began to be obvious to me that the frame that I was working with was concealing from me the organization of the community,and was further disorganizing my data. I began to look at the assumptions that I was working with. My frame did not allow me to account for or understand the d i v e r s i t y i n points of view and inconsistency of description i n my data. There did not seem to be a way of organizing the material. This led me to c r i t i q u e my assumptions and to discard the frame that I was working with, to examine the l i t e r a t u r e on ethni-c i t y and to begin an inquiry into how I had i n fact proceeded. I went back la t e r to ask different;questions and to interview a large number of working class East Indians. I did several short ethnographies on work setting which employed East Indian workers. In addition I did some corporate research on East Indian owned businesses and talked to numerous individuals on the street, at gas stations, parking l o t s , pubs and restaurants. (This i s expanded i n the Chapter on Data.) In doing t h i s I found that i n the f i r s t place I had i n my work taken - 5 -fox granted many of the relations of the society. I had i n i t i a l l y imposed a conceptual understanding, as a way of ordering and understanding the r e l a -tions among ind i v i d u a l s . As a resul t I found that my data did not make sense and further that the data did not reveal any of the community relations to me. I had not begun by understanding that the relations as they were might already be ordered and that my task might be to reveal or uncover the relations as they were organized i n the everyday a c t i v i t i e s of individuals, i n thei r work, homes and friendships. Working i n a dif f e r e n t way I found indeed that the relations were already ordered. I do not work here i n a way that simply describes the f i e l d work. Rather I engage i n a dif f e r e n t enterprise. I use my f i e l d work to explicate the r e l a -tions among individuals who are East Indian working class immigrants i n Vancouver. To do t h i s I begin by grounding the description of the community i n the everyday l i v e s of individuals i n the community so that we are able to see how the relations are li v e d i n the community. My f i e l d work w i l l be used to reveal how the analysis was developed out of the everyday relations which I studied. Other studies have been done on aspects of the East Indian community i n Vancouver. I have looked at the UNESCO Study done on Media treatment of East Indians (Scanlon, 1975), a study on community-police relations (Singh, 1975), the Canive-Kazinski study prepared for the Immigration Branch of the Department of Secretary of State (Canive, Kazinski, 1976), and a s o c i a l pro-f i l e of the East Indian community prepared for the Department of Labour, B r i t i s h ColumbLa (Campbel, Froise, Wood, 1976 i n Mimeograph). In addition I have examined some of the material on European labour force trends and at ethnic studies of East Indian and Pakistani immigrants i n England. These provided useful background to me both i n my f i e l d work and i n my consideration of my data. They are referenced i n the bibliography. I however have not used - 6 -them d i r e c t l y i n the work I w i l l present here. The f i r s t chapter of my thesis i s concerned with the theoretical frame-work which I use to examine my data. I have reviewed some of the l i t e r a t u r e on e t h n i c i t y and ethnic groups, and have provided an alternative theoretical j > model. Chapter Two presents the data gathering procedures and described the types of research I did , the problems I had and the lim i t a t i o n s of the research. In addition i n t h i s chapter I present an introductory description of the community,with a b r i e f h i s t o r i c a l background. In Chapter Three I look at the s o c i a l services which are provided to the community. Chapter Four i s about the s i t u a t i o n of East Indian families i n Vancouver. The p a r t i c i p a t i o n of East Indian workers i n the Vancouver labour force i s examined i n Chapter Five and the East Indian business community and community organizations are described i n Chapter Six. The Conclusion brings together my analysis r I and provides some consideration of problems that I see i n this.treatment of the topic. CHAPTER I THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Introduction ^In May 1977, i n a lecture i n Santa Barbara, C a l i f o r n i a , Smith presented her recent work on description. Smith began by locating her work on descrip-t i o n f i r s t . i n r e l a t i o n to a study of the s o c i a l organization of the produc-tion of news and second i n r e l a t i o n , to the work and practices of socio l o g i s t s . F i r s t she i d e n t i f i e d the procedure for studying news as focused on the practices by which information, news, and knowledge of various kinds i s produced. The focus then i s on the actual practices which give shape to or determine the character of that knowledge. The focus i n the second i s on an inquiry into the so c i o l o g i c a l practices as among these practices constitu-t i v e of knowledge i n society. This she suggests i s an inquiry, of the kind that Marx did of p o l i t i c a l economy. I t i s not only a c r i t i c i s m of the way d i s c i p l i n e proceeds, but i s i t s e l f an inquiry. (Smith, 1977a)* I want to locate my work i n a way similar to Smith's. F i r s t , the study focuses on the actual practices which give form to what i s v i s i b l e as an ethnic phenomenon. This involves examining the actual practices which bring the community into being. These practices are a c t i v i t i e s . They organize *In quoting Smith from Santa Barbara, and la t e r Smith from a lecture on Women and Class I have used tape, recordings and transcripts of tape recording, to draw the material I quote. In some cases I have paraphrased and i n others, edited direct quotation. I f i n doing this there are errors, they are mine. - 8 -- 9 -the relations of the community i t s e l f which i s the 'material r e a l i t y ' which i s seen and described by so c i o l o g i s t s . Thus the practices which give form to the community also shape our knowledge of the community. Second, I w i l l locate my work i n r e l a t i o n to the enterprise of socio-logy. In examining the l i t e r a t u r e on e t h n i c i t y , and ethnic groups, I w i l l draw out some of the concepts and practices which anthropologists and sociologists have used to describe and account for ethnic phenomena. In the presentation of my f i e l d work, I w i l l use the concepts theorists have used and return them to the actual practices from which they ar i s e . This inquiry begins to sketch the l i n k s between the practices of ethnic theorists i n doing thei r work, and how the account that i s generated by the theorists i s related to the organization of the ethnic community. Review of the Literature Recent s o c i o l o g i c a l and anthropological l i t e r a t u r e on the topic of ethnic relations and ethnic communities, has focused on the problem of explaining the development and persistence of ethnic groups i n the face of s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and economic interaction among c u l t u r a l l y diverse, groups of people. I have focused on two pieces of l i t e r a t u r e which high-l i g h t the issues raised i n the l i t e r a t u r e . Barth has provided an alterna-t i v e to t r a d i t i o n a l anthropological approaches to ethnic groups. Boulter has provided a consideration of class and et h n i c i t y with respect to recent l i t e r a t u r e on the topic. Barth provided a c r i t i q u e of the methods of s o c i a l anthropologists, which framed the study of ethnic groups i n terms of c u l t u r a l difference. (Barth, 1969). Social anthropologists argue that the preservation of c u l t u r a l groups depends on the r e l a t i v e i s o l a t i o n of groups from one another. - 10 -The procedure that i s used for studying ethnic communities i s to begin with an i d e a l type d e f i n i t i o n , which Barth describes: The term ethnic group i s generally understood i n anthropological l i t e r a t u r e ( c f . e.g. Narrol 1964) to designate a population which: 1. i s largely b i o l o g i c a l l y self-perpetuating 2. shares fundamental c u l t u r a l values, r e a l i z e d an overt unity i n c u l t u r a l forms. (Barth, 1969) Boulter, i n her examination of Barth summarizes h i s p o s i t i o n as follows: Therefore, the d i s t i n c t i v e feature of ethnic groups becomes not the c u l t u r a l content of any given ethnic group, but rather the boundaries which distinguish one group from the other. Thus the observable boundaries of ethnic groups ar i s e out of a comparative stance v i s a v i s other groups. In other words, the need to categorize oneself and one's group as an ethnic group arises only i n the context of another group being . present. I t i s the interaction between the two groups, the 'dichotomized statuses' which bring the bounderies into play. (Boulter, 1977) Barth suggests, on the basis of t h i s analysis a d i f f e r e n t procedure for the study of ethnic groups. "By concentration on what i s s o c i a l l y e f f e c t i v e , ethnic groups are seen as a form of s o c i a l organization." (Barth, 1969) F i r s t we give primary emphasis to the fact that ethnic groups are categories of^ascription and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n by the actors themselves, and thus have the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of organizing interaction between people. We attempt to r e l a t e other cha r a c t e r i s t i c s of ethnic groups to t h i s primary feature. Second, the essays a l l apply a generative viewpoint to the analysis: rather than working through a typology of forms of ethnic groups and r e l a t i o n s , we attempt to explore the d i f f e r e n t processes that seem to be involved i n generating and maintaining groups. Third, to observe these processes we s h i f t the focus to ethnic boundaries and boundary maintenance. (Barth, 1969) E t h n i c i t y then i s the primary i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , which i s developed within the s o c i a l interaction between one or more groups. E t h n i c i t y becomes v i s i b l e as a s o c i a l organization, which i s organized and perpetuated over time through the maintenance of boundaries, which may have - 11 -one or more focuses, economic, c u l t u r a l , etc. I t i s ethnic status then which i s the primary factor governing the status of individuals i n r e l a t i o n to each other. Ethnic i d e n t i f i c a t i o n grows out of the s o c i a l interactions which define and develop differences between one group and another. Those differences are seen as a property of the groups and of the individuals i n the groups,but a r i s e not out of i s o l a t i o n , or c u l t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n p a r t i c u l a r , but out of ascribed characteristics which are agreed upon by a l l groups involved i n the s o c i a l negotiation. Barth attempts to provide for an examination of the ethnic groups over time,through both a theory of e t h n i c i t y and the development of a method which allows for the examination of differences among ethnic groups. Although he d i f f e r e n t i a t e s his work from s o c i a l anthropologists by defining the differences as a s o c i a l interaction rather than a set of c u l t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , i n fact he concentrates on the v i s i b l e differences of ethnic groups i n much the same way as the anthropologists he c r i t i c i z e s . Barth's enterprise and those he c r i t i c i z e s are e s s e n t i a l l y the same; i t i s to explain the v i s i b l e differences of ethnic groups. Social anthro-pologists a t t r i b u t e t h i s difference to the i s o l a t i o n of groups from each other, and then proceed to describe the differences as a property of the group. According to Barth an ethnic group i s d i f f e r e n t i a t e d f i r s t by the maintenance of boundaries and then by the d i s t i n c t i v e c haracteristics which are a property of the group. In the organization of the s o c i a l interaction between ethnic groups, Barth argues, the ethnic status i s prior i n determining status i n the society which surrounds the ethnic group, or between ethnic groups. In cases where groups share a common economic organization,the group that controls the economic organization, i s the group that has the higher - 12 -status. However, where groups do not share a common organization, other s o c i a l interactions are part of determining the r e l a t i v e status of the individuals i n the groups to one another. Boulter argues i n her paper that Barth: i n t h i s part of h i s argument, conceals the r e l a t i o n between class and e t h n i c i t y : Therefore i t can be seen that Barth does three things: 1. he postulates that ethnic status i s superordinate and imperative and thus a l l other statuses are subordinate to ethnic status. 2. he begins from a r e l a t i o n a l construction of ethnic boundaries and he uses a s t a t i c descriptor for showing the ethnic status as indeed superordinate: and 3. i n order to account for the obvious ethnographic differences or descrepencies he develops a category of v a r i a t i o n w i t h i n which to place any anomolies. (Boulter, 1977) Barth i n his analysis has raised a debate i n the l i t e r a t u r e over the r e l a t i o n between class and e t h n i c i t y i n determining the status of individuals i n a society. The debate revolves around whether class or e t h n i c i t y i s prior i n determining status. In the debate Barth has been read as providing a method for under-standing ethnic groups which i s subjective, that i s , which depends primarily upon aspects of how individuals see themselves. He i s seen by theoreticians who use h i s work to have placed objective features, such as class outside this frame. I think that t h i s i s a misreading or misunderstanding of Barth, at least as far as I have been able to understand his method and procedural recommendations. I understand him to suggest that the factors which emerge i n the d e f i n i t i o n of boundary maintenance i n each s p e c i f i c instance w i l l determine the factors relevent to the determination of the differences i n the ethnic group. Then insofar as economic relations were relevent to the maintenance or determination of boundaries, these factors would indeed be relevent. - 13 -However, a considerable amount of the l i t e r a t u r e proceeds on the basis of the understanding Barth as not accounting for 'objective 1. Van Den Berg, for example, argues with him with respect to method, but suggests that economic c r i t e r i a ought to be introduced to bring objective aspects of any ethnic group into the frame. (Van Den Berg, 1975) He argues that both class and e t h n i c i t y must be Introduced i n the study of e t h n i c i t y and that both are relevent i n determining status. Van Den Berg suggests that class i s generated by non-ethnic factors. However, many factors which determine class are linked to or are ethnic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . At the same time aspects of e t h n i c i t y are independent of power and production relations which constitute c l a s s . Thus class and et h n i c i t y are linked, but are two d i s t i n c t phenomena. Robbins enters the debate i n a somewhat dif f e r e n t way. He suggests that i t i s necessary to begin by locating the ethnic groups i n the context "of a d e f i n i t i o n of the structure of the whole society." (Robbins, 1975) In t h i s way i t i s possible to discover "whether ethnic groups are super-ordinant, derivative, or, perhaps, i r r e l e v e n t . " (Robbins, 1975) Et h n i c i t y , he argues, i s e f f e c t i v e l y a c u l t u r a l or ideological value or set of prescriptions by a group about i t s e l f . Class, however, i s independent of the perceptions that individuals have of themselves. Robbins suggests that i n American sociology; class i s understood i n a way which confuses and conceals the st r u c t u r a l relations i n the society. This i s precisely what i s revealed by a class analysis. Class, Robbins argues, i s a complex of concrete relationships of individuals to the productive and s t r u c t u r a l organization of the society. These relationships, he suggests, are p r i o r to and determine status. He concludes on the basis of h i s work i n Walbush, Newfoundland: - 14 -Ethn i c i t y defined important s o c i a l d i visions among people but class explained why these divisions were important. Class was more c r i t i c a l i n defining s o c i a l patterns than e t h n i c i t y . Emphasis on e t h n i c i t y alone would r e i f y cognition, but would not root i t i n the concrete s t r u c t u r a l r elations which shape and define that cognition. Class analysis, by engaging the problem of production as the basic aspect of s o c i a l formation, roots that analysis i n the concrete without ignoring the r o l e of cognition. (Rbbbins, 1975) Despres deals with the problem of e t h n i c i t y and class i n t h i s way: I f e t h n i c i t y i s viewed as one form of s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n , i t needs to be emphasized that s o c i a l class i s quite another. Ethnic s t r a t i -f i c a t i o n s derive t h e i r s t r u c t u r a l features from categorical status descriptions. By way of contrast, class s t r a t i f i c a t i o n s are more evidently based on status i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s which are achieved. In theory, these two forms of s t r a t i f i c a t i o n e x i s t i n contradiction. In f a c t , they may co-exist i n complex ways according to the h i s t o r i c a l , techno-environmental, economic and p o l i t i c a l parameters of the part i c u l a r societies i n which they are found. (Despres, 1975) Thus Despres suggests that the analysis of class and e t h n i c i t y proceed i n a way that considers both ascribed characteristics and economic character-i s t i c s . Material resources become s i g n i f i c a n t for the determination of status when groups are i n a s i t u a t i o n to compete for them. This i s the economic dimension which provides for the use of class as w e l l as e t h n i c i t y i n understanding the s t r a t i f i c a t i o n of ethnic groups. I want to t r y to draw out the two s i g n i f i c a n t features of the l i t e r a -ture under review. The f i r s t i s that a l l the analysis focuses on accounting for the differences among or between ethnic communities. Secondly the l i t e r a -ture i s concerned to understand the position of individuals who are members of ethnic group's, within the society i n which the group i s located, taking e t h n i c i t y i nto consideration. What we can see i n the l i t e r a t u r e i s that ethnic communities appear and are seen as populations which are di f f e r e n t from the society which surrounds them. The communities are v i s i b l e as a r e s u l t of the difference - 15 -between the ethnic organization and the dominent community, or the community which they r e l a t e to. These populations are more than simply groups of individuals who are c u l t u r a l l y d i f f e r e n t , as a personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , they are organized patterns of relationships, which may include c u l t u r a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l concerns. The ethnic community as presented i n the l i t e r a t u r e i s a set of d e f i n i t e s o c i a l relationships, which appear to be v i s i b l e through or at the point of interaction with another community. The procedure i s to focus the difference, either through an examination of boundaries, as i n the case of Barth, or through a combination of s o c i a l and economic factors. Boulter summarizes this point as follows: "Ethnicity, as conceived _by the theorists discussed below, consists of a group of individuals who are and conceive of themselves as being d i f f e r e n t from other groups of i n d i v i d u a l s . This difference i s manifested in.dress, language, s o c i a l customs and morals, etc. These v i s i b l e differences are the c u l t u r a l d i a c r i t i c a which are seen as a part of the ethnic community and as belonging to them as a group. In other words, the v i s i b l e difference i s attributed to the group by others and by themselves. This a t t r i b u t i o n of difference i s the point at which most ethnic theorists begin. (Boulter, 1977) When the ethnic community i s seen as a set of interactions,which make one or more ethnic groups v i s i b l e , a central question arises with respect to the relationship of the ethnic groups and individuals from the ethnic groups to the larger society and to each other. I t i s at t h i s point that the issue of status i s raised. Boulter suggests that status i s considered because the researchers are attempting to understand the d i f f e r i n g positions of individuals i n the status heirarchy. (Boulter, 1977) The debate i n the e t h n i c i t y l i t e r a t u r e i s over what c r i t e r i a are relevant i s establishing the status of individuals i n the society. In some cases e t h n i c i t y i s considered primary i n determining status, i n others class i s considered c e n t r a l . In s t i l l other cases, i t i s argued that a combination of class and ethnic factors are responsible for the status ranking of an - 16 -i n d i v i d u a l . In my introduction, I suggested that i n my work, when I began to look at the i n t e r n a l relations i n the community, I did not f i n d that the group was homogenous, and furthermore found that the int e r n a l relations i n the groups were important with respect to an understanding of how the group appears as an ethnic community. At t h i s point i n the consideration of the l i t e r a t u r e I want to explore how ethnic t h e o r i s t s , i n thei r work, come to focus their work away from the internal organization of the community and on to the relationships between the community and the society which surrounds or relates to i t . The focus of e t h n i c i t y theorists on the concepts of cl a s s , e t h n i c i t y and status constitutes both a misunderstanding of 'what i s being seen' and an analytic procedure.which conceals the relations as they a c t u a l l y are. By concentrating on describing the differences among ethnic groups, i t i s not possible to see how the groups arise or e x i s t together except as a matter of a s c r i p t i o n . This ignores the r e l a t i o n of the group to the society i n which i t i s located except as a set of status heirarchies. Focusing on status maintains the analysis at a l e v e l that requires a mapping out of the various positions of individuals as they are obvious i n the society. Hence i n trying to determine the status of individuals imposes a conceptual order on what i s already v i s i b l e , inequality among the positions of individuals i n the society. I see t h i s as problematic since i t neglects the question of how these in e q u a l i t i e s arise and are v i s i b l e i n this way. I consider the enterprise to go beyond one of description. -17 -Toward An Alternative Method When we look at an ethnic group, we see that i t i s different from the society that surrounds i t , or from other groups that i t relates to. This difference i s seen by sociologists and anthropologists as wel l as individuals i n the society, although the understanding or interpretation of the difference may not be i d e n t i c a l . As sociologists and anthropologists we begin with the v i s i b l e difference. Then we go on to describe the group as different and we tr y to develop a theory which provides for how the diff e r e n t group arises and i s maintained. A. The Social World We See I want for the moment to examine the fact that we recognize a group as diffe r e n t and explore what we are seeing. Some of Smith's work provides a useful procedure to ask some questions about the s o c i a l world we see when we go out into i t as so c i o l o g i s t s . In doing t h i s , I am not attempting to draw attention to a problem of bias, or interest on the part of s o c i o l o g i s t s . Rather I am beginning to draw attention to how i t i s that the s o c i a l world we see i s ordered for us, when we go into i t to study and analyse aspects of i t . Smith i n her work develops a c r i t i c a l procedure for sociology, which i i s drawn from the method which Marx used to do a c r i t i q u e of p o l i t i c a l economy. This procedure involves: Not a c r i t i c i s m which i d e n t i f i e s problems i n the d i s c i p l i n e , or i n the way that the d i s c i p l i n e proceeds, but i s i t s e l f an inquiry, which focuses on the so c i o l o g i c a l practice which are among those practices which are productive of knowledge i n society. (Smith, 1977a) Smith describes what she draws on from Marx: Knowledge of society, for Marx involves not the renunciation of the world of theory for that of the p r a c t i c a l knowledge of the experienced world, but passing beyond or through the world of theory to return again to the world of actual l i v i n g individuals. (Smith, 1974) However Smith cautions us with respect to how to read her work: - 18 -In returning to Marx I have been concerned with how to make use of h i s work. Therefore although I have t r i e d to be f a i t h f u l i n presenting what he sa i d , t h i s cannot be treated as an exegesis or r e l i e d upon as an interpretation. I have approached his work to find out how to think about society, and thus at every encounter have developed not simply his text, but the understanding which i s my preliminary use of i t as a means to think with. (Smith, 1974) Smith distinguishes between ideology and knowledge i n her work i n a way sim i l a r to Marx: The id e o l o g i c a l practice i s one which creates a rupture i n the r e l a t i o n between the forms of thought and the . p r a c t i c a l . a c t i v i t i e s of men. Concepts become constituted as a kind of currency—a medium of exchange among ideologists. (Smith, 1974) Smith points out that the method that i s used by ideologists i s to separate the concept from the actual a c t i v i t i e s of individuals and to make the concept into merely that. When concepts are detached from the r e l a t i o n i n which they make the world of l i v i n g men observable, they become a means of operating s e l e c t i v e l y upon i t and of sorting out i n ways which preserve the i d e a l representation. Ideology can be viewed as a procedure for sorting out and arranging conceptually the l i v i n g world of people so that i t can be seen as we already know i t i d e o l o g i c a l l y . This i s a ch a r a c t e r i s t i c of any ideological practice of thinking regardless of i t s place i n the p o l i t i c a l spectrum of ideas. I t i s a practice which has the effect of making the fundamental features of our own society mysterious because i t prevents us from recognizing them as problematic. The concept then becomes a substitute for r e a l i t y . (Smith, 1974) Smith draws.to.our attention that the s o c i a l world which we look at i s diff e r e n t from the one which Marx examined. Thus to apply h i s analysis d i r e c t l y to the present circumstances, would not be useful, even i f Marx's method of work suggested that we do t h i s . Smith a r t i c u l a t e s the special nature of the world as we see i t now: What i s special about our kind of society i s that much which we recognize as that which we know, much which i s c l a s s i f i a b l e , a s what here has been c a l l e d 'observable'; i s already worked up and produced i n a process which mediates i t s r e l a t i o n to what men have actually done i n the place where the process begins. That mediating process i t s e l f i s a p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y . (Smith, 1974) - 19 -Thus the s o c i a l world that the so c i o l o g i s t looks at i s already ideologi-c a l l y structured for her when she observes i t . As we l l sociologists have a part i n the ideological structuring i t s e l f : The world as we know i t and experience i t i s already i d e o l o g i c a l . The s o c i a l facts i n terms of which we work, with varying degrees of sophistication are constituted p r i o r to our examination by processes of which we know l i t t l e . They are constituted i n a mode which separates them from the a c t u a l i t i e s and subjective presences of in d i v i d u a l s . The ordinary forms i n which the features of our society become observable to us as i t s  features—mental i l l n e s s , neighbours, crime, r i o t s , l e i s u r e , work s a t i s f a c t i o n , stress, motivation, e t c . ; these are already constructed, some as administrative products, others by our soc i o l o g i c a l predecessors. They are the coinage of our d i s c i p l i n e . Our primary world as professionals i s thus an appearance. (Smith, 1974) How we know the s o c i a l phenomenon and how i t i s organized for us to see must then become central questions i n the so c i o l o g i c a l enterprise. Smith further argues that s o c i a l phenomena must ar i s e out of the a c t i v i t i e s of i n d ividuals: Thus whatever becomes observable to the s o c i a l scientist, under whatever form of thought has no existence other than as i t i s constituted by what men do. Men do not invent the ordering of the re l a t i o n s i n their heads and put them into practice. The ordering or relations arises out of the p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i -t i e s i n the context of the actual material conditions of that practice. Those conditions become conditions i n the context of a practice and are themselves the product of p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . (Smith, 1974) B. The Work of Description Fart of the work we do as sociologists and anthropologists i s the work of description. Description Smith has argued i s , part of the pro-cedure for "working the world up" i d e o l o g i c a l l y . (Smith, 1974) Smith and Jackson have examined some of the properties of description i n their study of news (Smith, 1977a, Jackson, 1977). I t i s t h i s work that I w i l l make use of to draw out one of the properties of description. Description, as we use i t as sociologists and anthropologists, i s a - 20 -method of referencing the-social world. Smith shows us how t h i s works as a method of reading: One of. the constraints of the descriptive reading i s that we take the description to be a description of something, that i s that there i s an a c t u a l i t y and...the method of reading that we use i s that we 'pass through' the description to an a c t u a l i t y on the other side of i t as i f i t were i n some sense available to us by virtue of the description.... This method of reading, i s a very d e f i n i t e practice of reading which we make use of i n reading factual accounts.... (Smith, 1977a) The d i f f i c u l t y that I am pointing to i s not confined to the description that the sociologist or anthropologist makes of the s o c i a l phenomenon, but i s also part of the data gathering process. In the f i r s t place our informants do a description for us: When the sociologist i s working i n the f i e l d and makes use of informants, and asks an informant to t e l l her what i s going on, what i s e l i c i t e d i s a part i c u l a r kind of t a l k . I t i s i d e n t i -f i a b l e quite r e a d i l y as descriptive talk...we treat the way terms mean i n a d i s t i n c t i v e way—we tend to treat t h i s as the only way words mean -as well--that i s that they reference, so that we can pass thrqtsagh the term to the r e a l world. (Smith, 1977a) Thus when informants describe to us some aspect of a s o c i a l phenomenon, i n our case an ethnic group, we understand that i n a pa r t i c u l a r way: I t i s with t h i s understanding that a sociologist proceeds with the interpretive work, by supposing that what i s named i n the description to her by an informant has i t s reference i n the a c t u a l i t y of what i s being described. This i s how she does her work—they take for granted that they are ta l k i n g about the world and describing i t to you, and that i n thei r description you can somehow reference that a c t u a l i t y which i s intended by their description. I t i s a work that tends i n some ways to o b j e c t i f y the a c t u a l i t y and places i t before the reader or hearer without the s u b j e c t i v i t y of the informant. • (Smith, 1977a) As s o c i o l o g i s t s , we often work by means of informants who already work i n a descriptive mode. These informants are individuals who work i n or produce descriptive forms of knowledge as part of t h e i r work. These individuals include police o f f i c e r s , teachers, and s o c i a l workers, who produce as part of their work factual representations of their own and - 21 -other individual's a c t i v i t i e s . Smith shows how t h i s descriptive work gets done: How the describer; who knows the o r i g i n a l setting and i s a competent member of i t , does her work i s controlled by her knowledge of the, s o c i a l l y organized processes which the terms serve to describe. This knowledge enters into the ordering of the description, the way the description i s done, i t i s essential to the sense that i s made by the description. (Smith, 1977a) However the description i t s e l f does not make v i s i b l e these s o c i a l l y organized processes. Rather i t obscures them. When we pass through an account to find on the other side an a c t u a l i t y , either i n reading or interviewing an informant, the a c t u a l i t y on the other side i s constituted for us as an object. Jackson points out: What happens i n th i s process of reading through i s the aspects of the method being used become transferred to the a c t u a l i t y as i t s features. I t becomes impossible to distinguish features of the ac t u a l i t y from features of the method used to represent i t . Smith has ca l l e d t h i s process one of transference. We w i l l focus on one outstanding c h a r a c t e r i s t i c that i s transferred by the descriptive method, which i s the sense that what l i e s beyond the description i s a 'thing', that i s , the method tends to ob j e c t i f y -to make objects o f — v a r i o u s features of the s o c i a l process which are not o r i g i n a l l y objects at a l l , but rather have thei r existence only i n the p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s of individuals* (Jackson, 1977) Thus for us the aspect of description that I want to focus on i n how we do our work i s that description of a s o c i a l phenomenon constitutes those phenomenon as objects not as practices. Moreover, i n making objects of phenomenon, which are indeed s o c i a l l y organized practices, we conceal the s o c i a l relations and lose track of the world as i t i s l i v e d . C. A r r i v i n g at a Description of Inequality. I want now to use what we have learned about description, as an ideological practice to look at status, as i t i s used by ethnic theorists. What I am going to suggest i s that both the procedures for a r r i v i n g at - 22 -status and the description i t s e l f produce an account of the l i v e d world of actual practices and a c t i v i t i e s of i n d i v i d u a l s , into objects, things, which i t would seem as Jackson suggests "can be gathered l i k e mushrooms." (Jackson, 1977) Status i s a description of the v i s i b l e differences among individuals i n a society. The concept of status and the procedures for a r r i v i n g at the description are drawn, i n sociology, from the f i e l d of s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n theory. Ethnic theorists use status to describe the inequality that i s v i s i b l e i n the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of members of ethnic groups i n the society that surrounds the group, or i n r e l a t i o n to another ethnic group. The enterprise of describing status or rank differences among individuals i n society has several established procedures. Scales for determining status have been constructed and variously consider occupation, income, education and membership i n organizations and perceptions of individuals about the importance of positions i n the society. The purpose of t h i s a c t i v i t y i s to describe the society as i t i s v i s i b l e : The f i e l d of s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n i n sociology i s broadly concerned with questions pertaining to the forms, functions and consequences of discernable systems of structured s o c i a l inequality. (Stolzman and Gamberg, 1974) Social s t r a t i f i c a t i o n i s concerned then with developing c r i t e r i a , which can then be used to order individuals into graded status categories. This procedure i s something of the order of locating c i t i e s on a map with flagged pins, with each of the flags bearing a d i f f e r e n t colour, to indicate the size of the c i t y . The location of the pins stand i n for the actual location of the c i t y , and the colour stands i n for the number of people who l i v e i n the c i t y . What i s before us i s an object, a geographic representation. - 23 -When we do status rankings we do something very s i m i l a r . We gather data about individuals and order the data into status rankings. We repre-sent the s o c i a l relations between individuals as the status of an indiv i d u a l and treat as ch a r a c t e r i s t i c of that i n d i v i d u a l , as c r i t e r i a , education, occupation, income, etc. Thus the s o c i a l relations between individuals become something else. They become objects rather than a c t i v i t i e s , statuses. Status i s a location i n the society i n similar way that a c i t y i s a location on a map. In doing t h i s , representing actual a c t i v i t i e s as objects i n t h i s case status, the actual a c t i v i t i e s , the l i v e d r e l a t i o n s , are no longer v i s i b l e and are treated as something else. Concealing the l i v e d r e l a t i o n , constitutes a r e i f i c a t i o n of the s o c i a l relations among individuals i n the society. R e i f i c a t i o n i s the naming of the practice of treating as a thing something which i s not a thing, (cf. Rubin, 1974 for a f u l l discussion). In this case the procedures through which status descriptions are arrived at treat s o c i a l relations (actual a c t i v i t i e s ) as things. To describe individuals i n terms of status then i s to r e i f y the so c i a l r e l a t i o n s , to treat the s o c i a l relations (actual a c t i v i t i e s ) as things (objects). Commonly, i n American and Canadian sociology, one of the procedures for determining status i s called class: For American s o c i o l o g i s t s , class came to refer to a series of quantifiable and measurable behaviours and att r i b u t e s . As a r e s u l t , there could be no clear structural position as such, only s p e c i f i c modes i n s o c i a l continuum, each d e r i v i t i v e of more general s o c i a l phenomena. S o c i a l categories, including c l a s s , were defined as s t a t i s t i c a l categories, based on stipulated c r i t e r i a (Warner 1957). Class although based on Income was a s o c i a l mode only,insofar as . i t allowed for a different s t y l e of l i f e a dif f e r e n t education and other s o c i a l l y 'valued' properties of l i f e . (Robbins, 1974) Thus when s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n theorists use the term cl a s s , they - 24 -axe t a l k i n g about a ranking of individuals usually with respect to 'factors' such as income, education, occupation etc. In multi-ethnic s o c i e t i e s , sociologists also consider e t h n i c i t y as s i g n i f i c a n t i n determining the status of individuals i n the society. As we have seen however, there i s a debate over the significance of class and et h n i c i t y i n determining status when ethnic groups are v i s i b l e i n the society. I want to point out that the c r i t i q u e which I have just done applies now both to the use of e t h n i c i t y as a procedure for determing status and class as a procedure for determining status; both r e i f y actual s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . The enterprise i s one i n which the issues cannot be understood precisely as a r e s u l t of the method used by sociologists themselves, i n doing their work. This method leaves their work at the l e v e l of description, with a l l the attendant d i f f i c u l t i e s which I have pointed out. I want now to begin to propose an alternative method for proceeding, one which I w i l l use i n the examination of the East Indian community i n Vancouver. This w i l l involve treating e t h n i c i t y and class as actual s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . Marxist Method of Work The method of work that I am going to propose as the method for studying ethnic phenomena i s one which r e l i e s primarily on the work of Smith and Marx. I t involves learning about s o c i a l relations as actual practices of individuals located i n actual places, i n s p e c i f i c period of time. I t also involves learning about the naming of objects within p a r t i -cular s o c i a l relations and learning that t h i s naming produces for us what I have cal l e d s o c i a l things, that i s , things which are constituted as things i n the s p e c i f i c s o c i a l relations i n which they are named. Further we must - 25 -learn that, class i s a s o c i a l r e l a t i o n . This involves us learning about s o c i a l l y organized practices, which develop and name s o c i a l phenomena, but have no other basis than i n the practices themselves. I have already drawn on Smith's work to point out how concepts are separated from actual practices and become abstractions. Smith points out that the concepts as wel l as s o c i a l phenomena ari s e out of actual practices of individuals. (Smith 1974) She further recommends a method for returning the concepts to the actual practices from which they a r i s e . (Smith, 1977b) I want now to provide for you a b r i e f account of the m a t e r i a l i s t method which i s the s t a r t i n g point for Smith's method i n sociology. A. M a t e r i a l i s t Method The method of work, f i r s t developed by Marx and Engels, i n The German  Ideology and used by Marx throughout h i s la t e r work i s one that begins from the premise that there are only actual i n d i v i d u a l s , l i v i n g together i n any parti c u l a r period of time, and that their practices are the only basis on which the s o c i a l world as we see i t can be known and understood. (Marx, Engels, 1974) This premise dictates the procedure for doing i n t e l l e c t u a l work. At the same time that the a c t i v i t i e s of individuals cannot be under-stood outside the context of t h e i r l i v e s , a separation of individuals from the h i s t o r i c a l period i n which they l i v e cannot be made i n theory, i f the i n t e l l e c t u a l work i s to be anything more than ideology. A s c i e n t i f i c understanding of the relations among individuals and the development of human his t o r y only arises out of a procedure which examines the actual a c t i v i t i e s of individuals i n their s p e c i f i c material conditions. I f i t appears for example, as the German Philosophers suggested, that Ideas developing through h i s t o r y produce the a c t i v i t i e s ^ b f people, - 26 -t h i s appearance arises out of d e f i n i t e a c t i v i t i e s of individuals which includes the a c t i v i t i e s and l i f e circumstances of philosophers themselves. The production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness, i s at f i r s t d i r e c t l y interwoven with the material a c t i v i t y and the material intercourse of men, the language of r e a l l i f e . Conceiving, thinking, the mental intercourse of men, appear at t h i s stage as the direct effux of their material behaviour. The same applies to mental production as expressed i n the language of p o l i t i c s , laws, morality, r e l i g i o n , metaphysics, e t c . — r e a l , active men as they are conditioned by d e f i n i t e development of their productive forces and of the i n t e r -course corresponding to these, up to i t s furthest forms. Conscious-ness can never be anything else than the conscious existence, and the consciousness existence of men i s the i r actual l i f e process. ' I f i n a l l ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as i n a camera obscura, t h i s phenomena arises just as much from their h i s t o r i c a l life-process as the inversion of objects on the r e t i n a does from their physical life-process. (Marx, Engels, 1974) At t h i s point I want to include a cautionary note; I do not under-stand Marx and Engels to be suggesting that ideas cause actions or a c t i v i -t i e s , but that ideas and the production of ideas are as much a part of the material processes as the production of other goods. This understand-ing i s i n d i r e c t contrast to many Marxists. Smith c l a r i f i e s t h i s point i n her work on ideology and knowledge: _ One d i f f i c u l t y i s that we work with a sociology of knowledge which i d e n t i f i e s ideology with a s i t u a t i o n a l l y determined and interested s o c i a l theory. I f the perspective and concepts of the knower are determined, not by the object of knowledge, but, for example by his class position and his class in t e r e s t s , then i t i s argued that knowledge i s irremediably ideological and 'knowledge' a term which must be continually resolved back into ideology. This d i f f i c u l t y i s our heritage from Mannheim and from Marxists—but not I s h a l l hold from Marx. I t i s precisely from Marx that I want to go to find an alternative way of thinking about ideology. (Smith, 1974) I do not want to take up the task of interpreting either Marx or Smith, rather I want to t r y to make clear the methodological implications i n the work of Marx, and Engels. - 27 -B. Social Relations* Smith draws on a second aspect of Marx's work i n order to see how the premises developed i n the m a t e r i a l i s t method became part of a procedure that Marx used to do his work. (Smith, 1977b) In Ca p i t a l , which Marx s u b t i t l e s a Critique of P o l i t i c a l Economy, Marx begins with the work of p o l i t i c a l economists, (Adam Smith, Ricardo and others) and works back to find the actual practices of Individuals which provide for the concepts that they use. In t h i s work he uncovers the practices of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . The work of p o l i t i c a l economists suggested that there were two sets of r e l a t i o n s , — s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , which were relations among people and economic r e l a t i o n s , which were rel a t i o n s among things. I t was the economic relations that they made the topic of their work. Economic relations were a system of relations among things,—labour, commodities, c a p i t a l and rent. The relations were described through categories, production, exchange, d i s t r i -bution and consumption. The p o l i t i c a l economists suggested that these relations existed i n their present and were 'discovered' by them. They further suggested that these economic relations were present throughout history. Marx i n his work began from the categories production, exchange, d i s -t r i b u t i o n and consumption and worked back to ground these relations not i n things, but i n the actual practices of individuals. He thus c l a r i f i e s that these categories name s p e c i f i c s o c i a l relations among individuals which can be seen and described emperically. They did not originate i n categories *In previous sections of the thesis, when I have used the name s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , I have used i t i n t h i s way, to mean specificand actual a c t i v i t i e s . - 28 -developed by the p o l i t i c a l economists. Marx describes exchange as an actual a c t i v i t y , an event between two individuals which does not e x i s t out-side t h i s r e l a t i o n : I t i s p l a i n that commodities cannot go to market and make exchanges of their own-account. We must, therefore, have recourse to their guardians', who are also their owners. Commodities are things, and therefore without power of resistence against man. I f they are wanting i n d o l i c i t y he can use force; i n other words he can take possession of them. In order that these objects may enter into r e l a t i o n with each other as commodities, thei r guardians must place themselves i n r e l a t i o n to one another,as persons whose w i l l resides i n those objects, and must behave i n such a way that each does not appropriate-the commodity of the other, and part with h i s own, except by means of an act done by mutual consent. (Capital, Vol. 1 undated) Marx concludes t h i s paragraph, The persons e x i s t for one another merely as representatives of, and, therefore, as owners of, commodities. In the course of our i n v e s t i -gation we s h a l l f i n d , i n general, that the characters who appear on the economic stage are but the personifications of the economic relations that e x i s t between them. (Capital, Vol. 1, undated) Thus, when p o l i t i c a l economists saw economic relations as relations among things, they were describing relations among people that took the form or had the appearance of relations among things. When Marx went to locate the relations i n actual practices, he found that these practices were relations among individuals, that i s they were s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . He further specified that s o c i a l relations are p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s involving s p e c i f i c material conditions, which are named by the categories that p o l i t i c a l economists used. Thus the categories that p o l i t i c a l econo-mists used, were not simply 'objective' analytic tools, but were part of actual and s p e c i f i c s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . The s p e c i f i c character of the s o c i a l relations that are named by production, exchange, d i s t r i b u t i o n and con-sumption i s such that the a c t i v i t i e s of s p e c i f i c individuals are organized to appear as relations among things, commodities, c a p i t a l , rent and labour. - 29 -What i s at issue heze i s that s o c i a l relations are actual a c t i v i t i e s , which must be specified. That procedure for specifying the a c t i v i t i e s i s to begin with the categories or concepts which describe the phenomena we see. C. S o c i a l l y Constituted Things Smith draws on Marx's understanding of s o c i a l l y constituted things in developing her understanding of s o c i a l l y organized practices. (Smith, 1977b) I want to t r y to make th i s v i s i b l e for you. To do t h i s I want to go back to Marx's discussion of exchange and commodities, and to the claim that p o l i t i c a l economists made for the i r work. The claim was that the things which make up the economic sphere and were related through the analytic categories they used, were rel a t i o n s which were present throughout h i s t o r y and were present i n economic relations irrespective of the h i s t o r i c a l period. What Marx discovers i n grounding the rel a t i o n s i n the a c t i v i t i e s of individuals i s that things as commodities e x i s t only i n p a r t i c u l a r settings. Hence a thing has the part i c u l a r character of a commodity only under p a r t i -cular circumstances. Every product of labour i s , i n a l l states of society, a use value; but i t i s only at a d e f i n i t e h i s t o r i c a l epoch i n a society's develop-ment that such a product becomes a commodity, v i z , at the epoch when labour spent on production of a useful a r t i c l e becomes expressed as one of the objective q u a l i t i e s of that a r t i c l e , i . e . as i t s value. (Capital, Vol. 1 undated) Thus the categories which p o l i t i c a l economists use to describe a l l economic relations throughout human hi s t o r y only apply to a particular h i s t o r i c a l period. Their conclusions derived d i r e c t l y out of the method which they used to go about their work. This method Marx and Engels had i d e n t i f i e d e a r l i e r as i d e a l i s t . (Marx and Engels, 1974) This method i s - 30 -one which takes as given the relations of the society as they appear and neglect to locate the work of inquiring i t s e l f in the material ac t iv i t i es characteristic of a given h i s tor ica l epoch. The ideal is t procedure is to abstract the understanding gained in observing the society in which the thinker is located and to l ink those abstractions log ica l ly without regard to the particular circumstances in which those observations apply. Hence social relations as actual act iv i t ies among individuals become unobservable. Marx found then that particular act iv i t i es of individuals must prevai l , before things as commodities can come into being. A commodity is the social form of a thing, which i s produced within socia l ly organized a c t i v i t i e s . The social form has nothing to do with the material properties of the object and stands as a social production. A commodity is therefore a mysterious thing, simply because in i t the social character of men's labour appears to them as an objective character stamped upon the product of that labour; because the re lat ion of the producers to the sum total of their own labour i s presented to them as a social re lat ion, existing not between them-selves, but between the products of their labour. This is the reason why the products of labour become commodities, social things whose qualit ies are at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses. In the same way the l ight from an object is perceived by us not as the subjective, excitation of our optic nerve, but as the objective form of something outside the eye i t s e l f . But, in the act of seeing, there is at a l l events, an actual passage of l ight from one physical thing to another from the external object to the eye. There is a physical relat ion between physical things. But i t is different with commodities. There the existence of things qua1 commodities and the value relat ion between the products of labour which stamps them as commodities, have absolutely no connection with  their physical properties and with the material relations aris ing  therefrom. There is a definite social relation between men, that  assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relat ion between  things. (Capital , Vol . 1, emphasis mine) I want to emphasize that the aspect of Marx that I have drawn on is part of what Marx saw as a complex social process, that was not causal or sequential, but worked together to bring about the society in the form - 31 -and with the appearances that i t had i n h i s time. I have t r i e d to draw out the method that he used to do a c r i t i q u e of p o l i t i c a l economy, to demonstrate how I am proceeding on the basis of Smith and. Marx. However I do not want to suggest that t h i s is a f u l l or adequate representation of Marx's work. D. S o c i a l l y Organized Practices In the"Ideological Practice of Sociology," Smith outlines one of the special features of the kind of society i n which we l i v e . Although I have quoted t h i s passage previously, I am going to do so again, so that we can have i t before us as we work. What: i s special about;our kind of society i s that much which we recognize as that which we know, much which i s c l a s s i f i a b l e as what here has been c a l l e d 'observable' i s already worked up and produced i n a process which mediates i t s r e l a t i o n to what men . have a c t u a l l y done i n the place where the process, begins. This mediating i t s e l f i s a p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y . (Smith, 1974) S o c i a l l y organized, practices are the p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s which Smith i d e n t i f i e s as mediating the 'observable' and what men have a c t u a l l y done i n the place where the process begins. Smith treats 'fact' as a s o c i a l organization: I s h a l l suggest that factual organization brings about a d e f i n i t e r e l a t i o n between knower and some a c t u a l i t y which becomes thereby the object of her knowledge and that t h i s also brings about a determinite r e l a t i o n among knowers. (Smith, 1973) She points out that; The factual property of a statement i s not i n t r i n s i c to i t . I t i s the knower's method of reading a statement and using i t or a t e l l e r ' s method of a r r i v i n g at a statement which lends i t s e l f to that method of reading. (Smith, 1973) Changing statements " I think and I believe" into factual statements i s a, so c i a l accomplishment, not merely a syntactic or l o g i c a l transformation. I t changes the r e l a t i o n between the knower and known, t e l l e r and hearer. (Smith, 1973) - 32 -Facts are s o c i a l l y organized: Facts then are not to be equated with factual statements. Nor are they the a c t u a l i t y which factual statements represent.... The fact i s not what ac t u a l l y happened i n i t s raw form. I t i s that a c t u a l i t y as i t has been worked up so that i t intends i t s own description. (Smith, 1973) And; These categorial and conceptual procedures which name, analyse and assemble what act u a l l y happened become (as i t were) inserted into the a c t u a l i t y as an interpretative account which organizes that for us as i t i s or was. (Smith, 1973) We have seen i n the section on 'Socially Constructed Things', that commodities are only such inside a part i c u l a r s o c i a l organization, the relations of exchange. Smith i l l u s t r a t e s the way i n which the construction of a statement as 'fact' mediates the relations among persons by making use of Marx's demonstration of the way i n which commodities mediate the rel a t i o n s among individuals. We might indeed rewrite parts of his account to do some work for us. He says: 'A commodity i s therefore a mysterious thing simply because i n i t the s o c i a l character of men's labour appears to them as an objective character stamped on the product of that labour' (Marx, C a p i t a l , undated) Rewrite that substituting 'fact' for 'commodity1 and making other appropriate changes and we get: 'a fact i s . . . . a mysterious thing simply because i n i t the s o c i a l character of men's consciousness appears to them as an objective character stamped on the product of the consciousness*. (Indeed l a t e r i n the same paragraph Marx draws a l i k e analogy with r e l i g i o n . ) The o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of labour i n the commodity i s brought about as relations of exchange. Relations between individuals come to appear as relations between commodities. S i m i l a r l y we can think of relations between subjecti-v i t i e s appearing as facts and as relations among facts. (Smith, 1973) Thus the practices which produce the 'fact', mediate our r e l a t i o n to 'what actu a l l y happened': - 33 -Su b j e c t i v i t i e s are necessarily implicated i n the accomplishment of facts,but disappear i n their product. Through the fact we are related to that other or those others whose observations, investigation or other experience were the source of i t s o r i g i n a l . But that does not appear. Through the fact they are related to us. But that does not appear. Through the fact we are related also to other knowers who , have known i t and who may know i t , since the s o c i a l organization of fact we enter a r e l a t i o n of knowing i n which i t does not matter who we are, where we stand, for we constitute i t as known the same. Constituted as fact our knowing i s subordinate to what i s there. The practice of fact and the s o c i a l organizational contexts which construct i t (as commodities are constructed i n the s o c i a l organization of exchange) creates not an intersubjective world known t a c i t l y among those sharing a here and now of co-presence, who as Shutz said, 'grow older together' (Shutz, 1962), but a world i n which s u b j e c t i v i t i e s are constituted as discrete and i n opposition to the objectively known. They are separated'ficom each other i n the s o c i a l act which creates an externalized object of knowledge—the fact. This s o c i a l orga-nization of knowledge depends upon but transcends the primary i n t e r -subjective p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n and constitution of a world known i n common. (Smith, 1973) The p r a c t i c a l accomplishment of 'fact' i s c r i t i c a l to us i n our under-standing of s o c i a l phenomena. Smith and Jackson i n their work on news and Smith i n her work on mental i l l n e s s demonstrate that these are not simply s o c i a l phenomena, but are s o c i a l l y organized phenomenas. Let us look at the understanding that Smith suggests for mental i l l n e s s . In an a r t i c l e on s t a t i s t i c s on mental i l l n e s s , Smith points out that s t a t i s t i c s present 'facts' about mental i l l n e s s as already constructed. She points out that when we read s t a t i s t i c s as facts we read through to a r e a l i t y we take then to represent, i n t h i s case the r e a l i t y of mental i l l n e s s . Smith suggests that: We must drop the idea that we can track back through the s t a t i s t i c s on mental i l l n e s s to find out about a r e a l i t y hidden behind then which they represent. They are figures which are not put together to draw a representation. We can't reach i n back of them or through them as i f they were a d i r t y glass through which we could have a perfect picture i f we could only clean i t up. (Smith, 1975) The alternative to reading s t a t i s t i c s as 'facts' about mental i l l n e s s , i s to ask: - 34 -How i s i t that these v a r i t i e s of relations between psychiatric f a c i l i t i e s and community can produce a coherent and apparently unproblematic c o l l e c t i o n of s t a t i s t i c a l information? How does a l l t h i s mess get cleaned up so that i t can be presented as i t i s and used as i t does so often get used? I think we have to think about the figures d i f f e r e n t l y and i n fact much more straig h t -forwardly. We have to begin by asking questions about how they are produced. (Smith, 1975) Smith then provides a general picture of the processes involved i n bringing the s t a t i s t i c s on mental I l l n e s s into being. I w i l l b r i e f l y summarize the points for you here. S t a t i s t i c s are produced out of extensive record keeping processes which governments have i n order to gather s p e c i f i c information about the state programs i n r e l a t i o n to individuals who use the services which are provided. Their interest i s i n the main concerned with costs and usage. This gives shape to the kind of information which i s gathered, and which Smith points out researchers make secondary use of. The character of the information which i s gathered i s intended to transform "the raw material of the world" into data which f i t s and can be processed i n professional and bureaucratic organization. This work i s done by professionals who i n th e i r t r a i n i n g learn how to understand what individuals who come to them t e l l them i n terms of the professional d i s -c i p l i n e . These are terms that are used to describe and ta l k about patients as w e l l as they are the terms that professionals use to ta l k to each other. They are important i n the process of a r t i c u l a t i n g everyday l i f e to the programs of the hospital of psychiatric f a c i l i t y : The world that people l i v e i n and i n which thei r troubles arise i s 'entered' into systems set up to control i t by f i t t i n g them and their troubles to standardized terms and procedures under which they can be formally recognized and made actionable. (Smith, 1975) Psy c h i a t r i s t s , psychologists, s o c i a l workers and other mental health - 35 -workers a r t i c u l a t e the abstracted procedures and terminology of their d i s c i p l i n e and their particular work setting to the indiv i d u a l who they are caring f o r . They shape up the pa r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n to f i t the setting and the d i s c i p l i n e . In t h i s process a constant r e l a t i o n with the everyday world i s maintained and as problems arise i n a changing world, new psychia-t r i c 'constituencies' are developed, and with them new agencies and programs. The theories and therapies are not confined to the trade, to professionals, but are also become part of the ways that individuals learn to think about themselves and others, through various i n s t i t u t i o n s and programs educa-t i o n a l and media coverage. The s t a t i s t i c s , then, do represent something which i s r e a l about the troubles which people have, but what i s r e a l cannot be separated from the professional and administrative operations which make those troubles actionable. These operations which make those over, t i d y up sort out and shape what i s a c t u a l l y happening with people into properly recognizable forms. (Smith, 1975 ) . Thus we begin to see that 'mental i l l n e s s ' arises out of s o c i a l l y organized practices. This i s not however to say that mental i l l n e s s does not e x i s t or that i t i s caused by psychiatrists and mental health workers themselves. Rather i t i s to say that for the problems that an indiv i d u a l has i n her d a i l y l i f e to be known, understood and i d e n t i f i e d as mental i l l n e s s , : there must also be present, (but not necessarily d i r e c t l y related to her) the s o c i a l l y organized practices which bring the 'naming* of problems that she has into being as mental i l l n e s s . Clearly the everyday problems do ex i s t , and they may be very serious, so much so that an in d i v i d u a l i s unable to go about her d a i l y l i f e . However t h i s i s not s u f f i c i e n t to name these problems as being Intimately related to her, i n fact part of her: to name her mentally i l l . The s o c i a l l y organized practices must e x i s t as w e l l . S o c i a l l y organized practices may not be present as v i s i b l e i n s o c i a l - 36 -phenomena as we study and describe them. Often they are taken for granted part of our world as we know i t . In doing descriptions of s o c i a l phenomenon we often treat these practices as a property of the phenomenon. This i s not v i s i b l e to us u n t i l we return the phenomenon to a l l the practices which are part of constituting i t as a phenomenon. The method of work which i s prescribed by Marx and Smith and which I w i l l make use of i n my work i s to begin from the material conditions which are part of carrying out these a c t i v i t i e s . The implication i s that we must ground i n the day to day practices of individuals the theories, ideas and concepts we as sociologists use to describe the s o c i a l phenomena which we see around us. Smith makes a methodological recommendation,which i s drawn from Marx's working method: So then as a s t i p u l a t i o n , although not a formal one, we have to be able to go back from what there i s for anyone as a taken-for-granted aspect of their world to demonstrate how i t i s organized by processes which are not d i r e c t l y available within i t and which are art i c u l a t e d to a larger s o c i a l and economic process of which i t i s a part. Then the concept of s o c i a l class i n t h i s context provides for us the key l i n k i n g , term between the conditions and s o c i a l organization of the everyday world and these externalized relations which determine them, which are the relations of the mode of production of capitalism. (Smith, 1977b) The method Smith recommends that we use to return to the world of actual a c t i v i t i e s i s ca l l e d substructing. This she describes as building underneath the concepts that we normally use to understand the s o c i a l phenomena we are looking at; to return the r e l a t i o n between concepts and the a c t i v i t i e s and circumstances of individuals which are named i n that way. (Smith, 1977b) To do t h i s we begin from within the 'head world' (Smith), with the - 37 -terms and concepts that we use to describe the phenomena and track back to find the s o c i a l relations that constitute the.phenomena. These s o c i a l relations as we have learned from Marx and Smith w i l l be actual a c t i v i t i e s of individuals. These relations are the s o c i a l l y organized practices which generate the phenomena. In tracking back i n this way to the actual a c t i v i t i e s of individuals i t i s important to see that administrative processes and i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y are part of what we are examining. Thus the procedures of research and the organizational practice of i n s t i t u t i o n s are. part.of. the actual a c t i v i t i e s that we examine when we begin to uncover the relations which produce a phenomena. Class and E t h n i c i t y - An Alternative Conception t; Rather than approach the debate on class and e t h n i c i t y as a matter of which i s prior i n determining status, I want to reformulate the conceptions and begin to account for how-what i s v i s i b l e as e t h n i c i t y comes into being, rather than simply describe i t . The alternative approach i s to focus on class and e t h n i c i t y as practices rather than categories for analysis. The focus then i s on the practices which bring class and e t h n i c i t y into being and make them i n v i s i b l e or v i s i b l e as s o c i a l phenomena. This involves the concepts that I have discussed above, the materialised method socia l r e l a t i o n s , s o c i a l l y constituted things, and s o c i a l l y organized relations a l l as actual p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s i n which individuals are engaged. These are the concepts which I want to apply d i r e c t l y to class and e t h n i c i t y . The f i r s t concern then i s one of method. The m a t e r i a l i s t method provides an alternative to moving from the a c t u a l i t y by substituting ideas - 38 -for the actual a c t i v i t i e s of individuals. Rather, the procedure i s to look at how things are act u a l l y organized, to locate the s o c i a l relations among individuals and to see how individuals actually proceed i n thei r a c t i v i t i e s . Further, we must locate the concepts that we use to name these a c t i v i t i e s i n the actual relations themselves, rather than to locate them as an abstraction,, description or representation of the a c t i v i t i e s . Thus the method i s a work of inquiry, an inquiry into the actual s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , the actual practices by which to re l a t e individuals to one another. When ethnic theorists study ethnic groups, they are able to locate the group as a r e s u l t of i t s v i s i b l e difference from tihe society i n which i t i s located. They study the group on the basis of the difference. The difference between the groups and the society i n which i t i s located i s attributed as a character or property of the group i t s e l f . Furthermore, the basis for the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the group i n the surrounding society i s understood to depend upon on the basis of the difference. I also found that the .East Indian community was dif f e r e n t from the community which surrounded i t . I t i s quite possible' to describe what appears as an ethnic group. This description however represents the a c t u a l i t y i n a way £hat required the concept of et h n i c i t y or ethnic groups before you can name the difference. I am suggesting that the naming of a group that i s d i f f e r e n t as an i ethnic group names a pa r t i c u l a r s o c i a l r e l a t i o n , names a particular set of organized practices, outside of which e t h n i c i t y or ethnic groups are. simply an abstraction. Furthermore the s o c i a l relations and a c t i v i t i e s which are named as an ethnic group are not confined to or only r e l a t i o n s within the group i t s e l f , but rather e x i s t i n the practices of the s o c i a l and economic i n s t i t u t i o n s of the society. That i s e t h n i c i t y names a - 3 9 -difference between one group of people and another; which i s produced as a s o c i a l l y organized practice. The s o c i a l l y organized practice of treating certain individuals as dif f e r e n t from others i n the society i s done by the a c t i v i t i e s of s o c i a l service agencies, schools, p o l i c e , press,: labour market and business community as they organize the p a r t i c i p a t i o n and a r t i c u l a t e individuals to the work practices of those organizations. Universities and s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s are also part of the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s which engage i n these practices. When we begin with the actual s o c i a l relations among ind i v i d u a l s , we do not encounter the problem which i s raised i n the debate over class and eth n i c i t y , when they are treated as categories. This ; i s because we examine the actual s o c i a l relations which are i n themselves a c t i v i t i e s which i n d i -viduals are engaged i n , which are v i s i b l e and i d e n t i f i a b l e . Class i s a s o c i a l r e l a t i o n , not a category. That i s as I have suggested e a r l i e r , a l l relations are s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . Some s o c i a l relations appear as relations among things as a r e s u l t of organized practices i n which things mediate the relations among individuals. Thus there i s not a dichotomy between economic relations and s o c i a l relations or a dichotomy between the economy and the community as such. However, the re l a t i o n s i n the economy and the rel a t i o n s i n the community are mediated d i f f e r e n t l y . Thus s o c i a l phenomena, commodities, g i f t s , tables, ethnic, class, money, p r o f i t , etc. a l l come into being i n s o c i a l relations and are constituted as what they are i n s o c i a l relations which are concrete practices. Class relations are generated out of the par t i c u l a r relations between labour and c a p i t a l . Class i s a part i c u l a r s o c i a l r e l a t i o n . I t i s the practice of organizing the r e l a t i o n between individuals who control and - 40 -organize the s o c i a l means of production and those who are organized by or as part of i t . When I examined the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , that i s the a c t i v i t i e s of individuals i n and related to the East Indian community i n Vancouver, I found that the relations were such that there i s a r u l i n g r e l a t i o n within the community. The r e l a t i o n i s such that the bouregois class of East Indian individuals have hegemony over the East Indian working class i n the community. I t i s out of t h i s r e l a t i o n that the community i n part ar i s e s . This r e l a t i o n i s organized and supported by practices of the business community, s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and laws. Thus then i n examining ethnic groups on the basis of actual a c t i v i t i e s I found i n the case of the East Indian community i n Vancouver that what are seen as ethnic relations were particular forms of class r e l a t i o n s ; such that the class r e l a t i o n ( r e l a t i o n between labour and c a p i t a l ) i s mediated by the s o c i a l l y organized practices of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and the labour force which organize East Indians as d i f f e r e n t from other individuals i n the s o c i -ety. Thus thei r glass r e l a t i o n s , (which are s o c i a l relations) appear as and are concealed by ethnic r e l a t i o n s . Ethnic relations then are class relations which are mediated by the practices which organize certain individuals as ethnic ( d i f f e r e n t ) . CHAPTER I I FIELDWORK, OVERVIEW OF THE 'COMMUNITY' FIELDWORK The i n i t i a l fieldwork was done May through August 1976, i n Vancouver. O r i g i n a l l y my work was connected to a research contract which was given by a government department. The department concerned with the diff e r e n t rates at which dif f e r e n t ethnic groups applied for c i t i z e n s h i p and wanted to discover the causes of the varying time periods which dif f e r e n t ethnic groups waited before applying for c i t i z e n s h i p . (Canive, Kazinski, 1976) The study we conceptualized began from the assumption of an ethnic group and concentrated on looking at the s o c i a l and economic factors which surrounded the emmigration from the country of o r i g i n and the situations i n which individuals found themselves i n Canada. I was assigned the community study. We planned t h i s as an ethnography of the ethnic community. In the context of th i s project the ethnography was not completed or used. I began my work by concentrating on the community, attempting to define the community from the point of view of members. In doing this I interviewed community leaders, s o c i a l workers, other s o c i a l service workers, poli c e , teachers,community businessmen and then began to interview the 'ordinary members of the community'. I t was at this point that I rea l i z e d that there was something wrong with how I was going about the study. I had assumed that there was a community, and that individuals saw themselves as belonging - 41 -- 42 -to the community. I was looking fox the things which held the community together and the things which differentiated the community from the surround-ing Vancouver community. At one l e v e l the homogeneity of the community as I. have described i t i n the introduction existed, at another i t did not. I t then began to occur to me that the community was 'produced' i n a way that I was not seeing. In addition the r e l i g i o u s and c u l t u r a l differences that I thought would be discussed with me did not seem to be important to individuals who were part of the community. Rather, individuals had d i f f i c u l t y i n negotiating the day to day transactions which were necessary i n their l i v e s ; t h i s was important to 'ordinary members of the community'. Social agencies described t h i s as a problem of 'backgxound'. My questions became: how did the community f i t i nto the laxgex society? Was the distinctiveness of the community a feature of the preferences and organizational behaviour of individuals as we suggested by community leaders, governments agencies and the p o l i c e , or was i t some-thing different? The very way i n which I o r i g i n a l l y organized my work, prohibited me (as I have described i n the Introduction) from seeing how the relations were i n practice organized. I assumed what had to be explained, namely how a community existed at a l l . I had to go back to look for the actual material relations which produced t h i s . The explanations given me for i t s existence varied, but for the most part i t came down to the question of the backgrounds of individuals. Certain members of the community did not have backgrounds which hampered them i n the pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n Vancouver a f f a i r s ; others did. Issues of language, education, parental positions i n India, were a l l seen as causal factors i n the location of Indians here. As I began to have a glimpse of the l i v e s of working class immigrants, I began to be suspicious - 43 -of this explanation. Thus I began to look at how I went going about my work, to begin to see how I had a part i n producing the information that I was working on. In January and February I went back to t a l k to members of the community again. I asked different questions. The data was gathered through indepth interviews, corporate research informal interviews, observations of settings, and some documentary informa-t i o n including other studies, police reports, newspaper, immigration s t a t i s t i c s , reports and material from the East Indian community media. The data was compiled i n handwritten notes with a few exceptions. The notes i n many cases were not taken verbatim. In some cases I wrote a transcript of the interview and gave i t to the person who was interviewed for a l t e r a -t i o n or correction. This provided a useful i n i t i a l check on the process of recording interviews, I found that individuals did not a l t e r the material s i g n i f i c a n t l y when I gave i t to them so I discontinued t h i s as regular practice. I decided not to tape the interviews. This was done pa r t l y on the advice of my key informants who f e l t that individuals who were not used to being interviewed would be uncomfortable with t h i s . Also they f e l t that the individuals might be less candid i f there was a taperecording being made of the interview. I think that these were v a l i d points. P a r t i c u l a r l y since i n many cases individuals were very concerned about c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y and were concerned that they not be i d e n t i f i e d i n my work. In addition i n many interviews translation was necessary and thus tapes would not have been a l l that useful. The interpreters were i n a l l cases, members of the community, although their location i n the community varied greatly. In some cases interpreters were friends informants brought - 44 -along, i n others they were persons I contacted. When I went to use my f i e l d work i f I quoted individuals d i r e c t l y and had not taken their state-ments down f u l l y I checked my reconstruction of their statements with them to be sure that i t i s an accurate r e f l e c t i o n of what they said. Also I have indicated where material i s drawn from translations. In cases where individuals have asked that material not be quoted because they f e l t that i t was very contentious or that they could be i d e n t i -f i e d I have respected the i r wishes. In the presentation of my f i e l d work I have protected the anonymity of my informants. This was a concern through-out my information gathering because the community i n some ways i s very small and has a communication system which r e l i e s a great deal upon i n d i v i -duals knowing and id e n t i f y i n g each other. In the presentation of the f i e l d work where I thought that individuals might be i d e n t i f i e d I have not used those f i e l d notes d i r e c t l y . I have t r i e d to present my f i e l d work i n a way that i d e n t i f i e s the sources of my information without revealing the i d e n t i t i e s of the individuals themselves by changing background character-i s t i c s , etc., which might ser^e to i d e n t i f y individuals. Indapth Interviews I did eighty-nine indepth interviews. Most of these interviews were done with the respondent and a translater present. This was normally necessary, but also I think that the presence of another indi v i d u a l who was East Indian gave me more c r e d i b i l i t y with the person interviewed and also made the respondent more comfortable. The interviews were done i n two groups as I have indicated. F i f t y -f i v e were done i n the May through August period and the rest i n January and February of t h i s year. I t r i e d to interview as many people as possible and - 45 -cover a broad cross-section of occupations, p a r t i c u l a r l y among wage workers. The interviews broke down as follows: ELECTED OFFICIALS 2 RAILWAYWORKERS 2 COMMUNITY LEADERS 9 FARM WORKERS 4 SOCIAL SERVICE WORKERS 13 JANITORIAL WORKERS 4 PROFESSIONALS 5 CANNERY WORKERS 4 BUSINESSMEN 8 PARKING LOT ATTENDENTS 4 GROUPS 3 MILL WORKERS 10 POLICE 5 HOUSEWORKERS 16 PRESS 1 GARMENT and other FACTORY WORKERS 8 ACADEMICS (also studying 6 DOMESTIC WORKERS AND ethnic relations i n Vancouver 6 BABYSITTERS 9 BUSINESSMEN (Non- East Indian) 6 GAS STATION ATTENDENTS 6 and GARAGE WORKERS UNION OFFICIALS (elected and s t a f f ) 7 CLERICAL WORKERS 4 SERVICE WORKERS 11 The interviews varied i n length from two hours to four hours. In one case I interviewed individuals on two separate occasions for several hours each time. I contacted individuals through my key informants i n some cases and i n others contacted them myself. I i d e n t i f i e d individuals through t a l k i n g to my informants and by asking individuals whom I interviewed i f they knew people whom I should t a l k to. In addition I interviewed individuals who were consistently i d e n t i f i e d as important community members for one reason or another. I did not work from a formal interview schedule, but I did have a few general areas which I asked about. I did not ask everyone the same ques-tions. Often individuals whom I interviewed would i n i t i a t e discussion themselves, p a r t i c u l a r l y when I had f a i l e d to ask them about matters they saw as important. Generally I asked about the community, how i t was a community and who was important i n the community. I asked about thei r own - 46 -personal p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n organizations and asked them to describe the community organizations to me. I asked questions about the membership i n organizations and who was on the executive. I asked questions about the work that the indiv i d u a l d id; how i t was done, how they got the job, how long they held i t and what t r a i n i n g they had. I asked about thei r income and about their formal and informal educa-t i o n . I asked questions about thei r immigration to Canada and about thei r f i r s t experiences i n t h i s country. When I interviewed Individuals i n thei r homes I t r i e d to speak to a l l members of the household separately although t h i s was not always possible. I asked individuals what they knew about government services, which ones they used and which they had contact with. I asked them to describe the occasions that they met with professionals or government o f f i c i a l s . I asked them questions about the immigration laws and about s o c i a l service regulations and asked them where they got their information about programs and law. I talked to almost a l l individuals who were interviewed about the management of their households, who managed the money, how the work was done, who was i n charge of what work. I also asked them i f they owned or rented their home and how they had found i t . I asked about the mortgage arrangements and about thei r rent i f they were tenants. Individuals who were interviewed i n thei r business, professional or leadership capacities were not always questioned about t h i s . Often when they were, they found the questions puzzling or irre l e v a n t . I asked about where individuals came from i n India; what thei r obligations were i n terms of their families i n India; about the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s that they had to other members of their family who immigrated and to describe the arrangements that they made to - 47 -bring members of their family here. Individuals talked about their work e a s i l y and described at length both the i r s i t u a t i o n here and the problems that they encountered when they came and at present. They gave detailed information about the community and a l l had opinions about what the community was and how i t worked. In d i -viduals i n the working class had very l i t t l e information about government programs or Canadian law and often the information that they did have was incorrect. They depended heavily on information from other members of the community for making decisions. Family organization d i f f e r e d and i n d i v i -duals reported varying d i f f i c u l t y with schools and s o c i a l agencies. Many had had no contact. There was a great deal of vagueness about who was part of the community. As w e l l there was a great deal of disagreement about how the community came to be. The leadership of the community held views about the working class which individuals i n the working class did not hold of themselves. Con-s i s t e n t l y the leadership of the community and professionals who were i n a service capacity to the community and were East Indian, spoke of the community and of members of the community as 'they'. When I asked them i f they thought that they were members of the community they often responded that they were i n a dif f e r e n t way and normally explained their c u l t u r a l and re l i g i o u s i n t e r e s t s . The interviews were for the most part unproblematic, however on a few occasions some problems were encountered; these are described next. Interview Problems I f e l t p a r t i c u l a r l y with respect to the women that I interviewed that the translation was a problem. This i s not to suggest that I do not think that the translation was accurate, however I often f e l t that I could not ask - 48 -as many questions as I might have i f I had been able to speak Punjabi. The problem that I encountered with translation was that I did not f e e l that I could establish as good a relationship with respondents when I was not able to speak with them d i r e c t l y . Thus I often refrained from asking questions which I f e l t were too personal when the majority of the interview was being translated. Interpreters were both men and women. I got into d i f f i c u l t y i n several interviews as w i l l be seen i n my fieldnotes i n the body of the thesis. Some ind i v i d u a l s , p a r t i c u l a r l y men, got very angry when they were questioned about housework and about their comments on their wives. Some individuals also got angry when I suggested that other informants had disagreed with them. At times one of the individuals who was translating would engage individuals who were being interviewed i n arguments. This happened when there were disagreements about aspects of the a c t i v i t i e s of the community. On some occasions t h i s turned out rather badly, on others i t was very revealing. Some in d i v i d u a l s , although they agreed to interviews, were what could only be termed h o s t i l e . They avoided being interviewed for days sometimes weeks, missing appointments and rescheduling them several times. These interviews were revealing but d i f f i c u l t . Corporate Research As part of my f i e l d work I examined the p u b l i c l y accessible documentary information on some of the East Indian owned companies, which were part of the community. (By the time that I did t h i s I included companies as part of the community when they were owned by East Indian individuals, employed East Indian individuals i n m a j o r i t y i n their'work force of the company, - 49 - ' or/and had East Indian individuals as their primary market). One source of the information was the Provincial Registrar of Companies. Information which can be gained from t h i s source includes an estimate of the assets of the company, the names of the members of the Board of Directors, the company's constitution, which includes the stated aims and the nature of the enterprise, the annual reports of the company, and the companies, f i n a n c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and individuals from whom the company has borrowed money. With respect to the companies indebtedness, only loans for which the company has mortgaged i t s e l f and therefore placed i t s assets as security for the loan are registered. Thus t h i s source does not necessarily provide an accurate assessment of the credit position of the company, or actually of i t s actual assets. I t i s possible to i d e n t i f y a l l companies which are owned wholly or p a r t i a l l y by an i n d i v i d u a l , or groups of individuals. However t h i s i s a very time consuming task since companies are registered i n thei r name, not i n the name of the owner, and companies are not cross referenced to thei r owners. Other information on companies was gathered from the c l i p p i n g service of the Vancouver Public Library. The business section of the l i b r a r y c l i p s , the f i n a n c i a l pages of the newspapers and f i l e s t h i s according to the type of business and the name of the company. The expansion of companies i s normally reported i n the f i n a n c i a l pages of a newspaper, as wel l as mergers, other business transactions and i n some cases bankruptcies. This source i s also important for information on the r e a l estate market. The cre d i t position of companies i s o f f i c i a l l y evaluated by two companies i n Vancouver. These companies w i l l provide, primarily to other business enterprises, assessments of the credit ratings of a given company. This i s done for a fee. The information which i s obtained gives a r a t i n g , - 50 -however i t does not provide data on the actual holding of companies. Although I found out about t h i s source, I was not able to make use of i t i n my work. I n i t i a l l y I was interested primarily i n the corporate research to investigate East Indian owned enterprises i n the forest industry, agribusiness and j a n i t o r i a l contracting.' I found that a good deal of the information that I wanted could not be secured through these sources, and that i n order to make information from these sources useful to me I would have to find a way of investigating these enterprises quite d i f f e r e n t l y . This involved a great deal more time and work. Part of the problem was that with the exception of enterprises i n the forest industry, many of the businesses either were not registered i n V i c t o r i a , or could not be located. As w e l l numbers'of employees, s a l a r i e s , company holdings and employee practices could not be gained from these sources. This information was more rea d i l y available from union research o f f i c e r s and from union contracts which are f i l e d with the Department of Labour and are p u b l i c l y available. These sources are not s u f f i c i e n t to f u l l y examine business enterprises i n a way that would reveal the r e l a t i o n between the labour and the p r o f i t s and assets of the company as w e l l as begin to reveal the l i n k s between enterprises enough information from the unions about employee wages and working conditions i n some cases. I did not go further with t h i s type of research because i t was taking me beyond the boundaries of the study that I had set out. However th i s informa-t i o n I think i s essential to do a f u l l assessment of the East Indian business community and of the relations among the East Indian business community and the Canadian business community. As well I think i n part i t i s the s t a r t i n g place for understanding the organization of what I describe later i n the thesis - 51 -as the East Indian bourgeoisie. Informal Interviews I talked to a large number of people informally as I met them at gas stations, on the street, i n restaurants, stores and other public places. This proved a very important source of information p a r t i c u l a r l y I think because people were relaxed and were not i n a formal interview s i t u a t i o n . Some of the individuals interviewed t h i s way were East Indian individuals, some were not. Many people were i n their working situations. We talked casually, usually for not more than ten minutes about thei r work, how they got their job, what thei r plans were. In some cases when the individuals were not East Indian I asked them i f they had any East Indian friends or had been i n contact with East Indian people through their work or other s i t u a t i o n . Normally people would give me th e i r opinions: about East Indian people without very many questions. East Indian immigration was a topic that individuals whom I talked to a l l had an opinion about. East Indian individuals who were intervieved i n t h i s way spoke English. They were candid about thei r situations and often gave detailed accounts about how they got their jobs and what they thought they would l i k e to do i n the future. They were a l l conscious of being different and spoke about t h i s . Normally t h i s came up when I asked them how they l i k e d Canada and what differences they found i n their l i v e s here. In t h i s interview process I made the error that Canadians normally make with respect to id e n t i f y i n g East Indian persons; that i s many of the persons who had the physical characteristics of East Indians, were not East Indians. They were immigrants from many other countries who had o r i g i n a l l y been from Indian but had emigrated from their f i r s t country of immigration, to Canada,e.g. East - 52 -Indians from Uganda. For the most part they are not part of the East Indian community as I am examining i t . I t i s true however that at the street l e v e l individuals do not make t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n . In these interviews I began to get a sense of how immigration worked for East Indians who are part of the working class i n Canada. As w e l l I got a good deal of information about the kinds of work the people that I talked to did i n India and how they came to decide to come to Canada. Individuals often suggested that they intended to go home after they had made some money, but when asked about the l i k e l i h o o d of t h i s said that they f e l t that i t may not be possible. Young men interviewed i n these circumstances were often more optimistic about their p o s s i b i l i t i e s . A great deal of information was gathered about farm workers and about j a n i t o r i a l workers i n t h i s way. I met many individuals who were or who had been farm workers and I met many individuals who were or had been j a n i t o r i a l workers. The work situations of j a n i t o r i a l workers and farm workers i s very d i f f i c u l t and individuals are often unwilling to discuss their situations for fear of repercussions from their employers. In this interview s i t u a t i o n I did not know the names, where they l i v e d , where exactly they worked or who s p e c i f i c a l l y they worked for. This does present a problem of v a l i d i t y i f t h i s had been the only source of information, however I have interviewed individuals i n other circumstances and have gathered information from individuals who have done other research i n t h i s area. In any case these interviews were valuable because they gave more s p e c i f i c information on labour contractors and on working conditions than did the other interviews and respondents were not as concerned about c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n . Individuals who were interviewed who were not East Indians were almost always negative about East Indian people. Some were mildly c r i t i c a l saying 53 -that East Indians were very different from them and did not f i t into the society w e l l . Others f e l t strongly that East Indians took jobs from them, were d i r t y , smelled, were depressing wages, and received special treatment from government which other Canadians did not receive. People often expressed resentment that their taxes were being used to pay for special language and traini n g programs for East Indians. I met several people who had small property holdingswho rented them. Some of these people did or had rented to East Indian people, others said that they would not rent to East Indian people. In both cases people held similar views of East Indians; that they were d i r t y , destroyed the property value, always l i e d , always had more people i n the house than was 'reasonable', and were generally bad tenants. Generally people who had neighbours who were East Indian did not l i k e t h e i r neighbours. Some people reported disagreements and open h o s i l i t y and others said that they wouldn't have anything to do with East Indians. The exceptions to t h i s view were some employers whom I met and individuals who l i v e d i n wealthier areas of the c i t y . The employers f e l t that East Indians were good employees, but had to be watched because they could not be trusted. They however agreed that they had not had d i f f i c u l t y with East Indian employees. They said that they hired East Indian individuals for various business reasons; that they could not get other people to work for the wages and i n the conditions they provided, that they had a po l i c y to hire a 'cross section of employees' to serve various needs i n the community or that East Indian persons had come to ask for jobs and they had hired people who came to them. I found that t h i s source of data was at times unreliable and did fi n d that some of the information could not be v e r i f i e d i n other parts of my - 54 -research. This information i s not included i n t h i s work. For the most part however t h i s source of information provided very valuable checks on data, new information and informed some of my questions i n the indepth interviews, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n January and February. I did run into d i f f i c u l t y on some occasions when I interviewed non-East Indian individuals who were very h o s t i l e on the subject of East Indian immigrants. These however were few and although uncomfortable were very revealing. V i s i t s to Work Places I v i s i t e d two sawmills, one garment factory and one luggage factory during my research. I arranged these through the management of the companies involved. As part of the agreement to v i s i t these work s i t e s I assured the management that I would not reveal the companies involved. I told each employer what my research involved and although each agreed that I would be able to see their business operation, a l l were very concerned about con-f i d e n t i a l i t y . I did not i n any case offer to show them my research or to l e t them a l t e r my data as I did i n many of the indepth interviews. I did however agree that s p e c i f i c s of the source of my information would remain con f i d e n t i a l . I made two v i s i t s to each of the enterprises. This was because on the f i r s t v i s i t i n each case I f e l t that the tour had been too a r t i f i c i a l . That i s I f e l t that the employees had been informed and that many of the practices were not v i s i b l e to me on the f i r s t occasion. This I know i s always a problem when you enter a setting i n which you are an obvious v i s i t o r , i however I f e l t that t h i s was overcome to some extent i n the second, impromptu v i s i t . The reactions to my second v i s i t were varied. Some individuals were pleasant and accomodating, others were surprised and somewhat annoyed. - 55 -On a l l occasions I was shown the production by a member of the manage-ment. I talked to management and to the foremen on the job. On each occa-sion I asked to meet with the elected union o f f i c i a l s on the job and was able to i n a l l but one case, where the employer refused to allow the workers to be absent from thei r work. The production was i n progress at a l l times during my observations. V i s i b l y i n a l l cases there was job segregation. Workers had various jobs which paid d i f f e r i n g rates. I asked for and was given i n a l l cases the wage scale for the production workers. I asked about the obvious segregation between East Indian workers and other workers on the job, which was most v i s i b l e i n the m i l l s . I asked about the work organization and about how the decisions on the work organization were made. Employers were also asked about h i r i n g procedures and promotion procedures. I spent two;' f u l l days i n each of the m i l l s . I was l e f t alone for several hours to observe production, i n an area specified by management. At f i r s t i t was d i f f i c u l t for me to understand the work process because the r organization of the production floor i s not ordered so that i t i s immediately obvious how the production works. However after a few hours i t became clearer how the process was ordered. The work always involved individuals cooperating with each other and work was done i n groups. Some jobs were i d e n t i f i e d as more s k i l l e d than others and were paid more highly. A l l of the jobs with the exception of the trades jobs were learned i n the m i l l . Employers estimated the t r a i n i n g period for jobs to be three days at the most, however there was a t h i r t y day probation period which presumably was the o f f i c i a l time that a worker was given to learn any one job. Promotions to more senior jobs i n the m i l l was done i n consultation with the union. Hiring was done through a h i r i n g o f f i c e r , however there - 56 -were i n a l l cases a variety of recruitment methods used. Formal applica-tions were not a s i g n i f i c a n t part of the h i r i n g procedure, but were used, sometimes after the decision to hire the indiv i d u a l had been made. Employers were concerned with the frequency with which workers went on compensation. They reported that East Indians were more often on compensation than other workers. This was a concern they reported because the Workers' Compensation Board had expressed concern at the cost of compensation. I asked employers i f the largest number of accidents occurred i n any part i c u l a r job i n the m i l l . They thought that i t was possible that there were more accidents on the green chain where the majority of East Indians work. They suggested however that t h i s was because East Indians were less s k i l l e d workers than others and that many accidents were f a l s e . In the garment factory there were-primarily two groups of workers. Although they did the same jobs they were segregated i n the production organization. The employer said that t h i s was for purposes of e f f i c i e n c y , because the workers spoke dif f e r e n t languages. This work s i t e i s the one i n which I f e l t least sure of my information. Workers when interviewed i n other situations reported working conditions which were not v i s i b l e i n t h i s work s i t e . I think that I needed a l o t more time to do observations to be able to see how the work organization was managed. On the two occasions I was i n the work place I was not alone and I spent less than three hours on each occasion. At least h a l f of t h i s time was spent i n the management o f f i c e s . The luggage factory was a simi l a r experience. Although management was cooperative and pleasant, they did not leave me to do observations. As w e l l they did not show me a l l the f a c i l i t i e s on the plant. This was the f i r s t observation that I did and I was not very sure about how to go about i t . In addition I antagonized the personnel o f f i c e r when I asked questions about recruitment and h i r i n g . There was very l i t t l e difference i n the salaries of individuals, although individuals did do diff e r e n t work. Hiring procedures were very informal and the employer reported a high turnover i n s t a f f . The v i s i t s to work s i t e s although b r i e f did provide a great deal of information which I then used i n the indepth interviews and i n my analysis. These v i s i t s were supplemented with interviews with union o f f i c i a l s , and workers i n which I checked my perceptions and understandings of the work organization and the h i r i n g and promotion procedures. The interviews with employers and management, were very informative although I think that i t would bave been valuable to see these work settings i n operation without management accompanying me. I have used t h i s information to begin to put together a picture of the labour force organization. Documentary Research There were several studies of the East Indian community which I found and which I have l i s t e d i n the introduction and i n the bibliography. I did not do a great deal of l i b r a r y research nor did I do an exhaustive search of the l i t e r a t u r e for material on the East Indian community i n Vancouver or other East Indian ethnic groups situated i n other places. I talked to several individuals who had been or were working on studies i n Vancouver and talked to individuals who were attempting to do organizing work i n r e l a t i o n to the East Indian community p a r t i c u l a r l y i n r e l a t i o n to the conditions of farm workers and j a n i t o r i a l workers. This research was very interesting although much of the information was general rather than s p e c i f i c . - 58 -I read the c l i p p i n g f i l e s at the Vancouver Public Library and some f i l e s that individuals had put together on the topic of the East Indian community. Both the UNESCO and Singh reports were informative with respect to providing background for the analysis of press material. (UNESCO 1975, Singh, 1975) Much of t h i s work has not been used i n t h i s work largely because of considerations of length. The police reports were the most interesting. I asked to look at them because I found i n my interviews with the police that some of the incidents that they used to i l l u s t r a t e their police work i n r e l a t i o n to the community seemed to be similar to the press reports. I found that many of the news reports were drawn from police reports. This led me to be interested i n the way i n which police reports were made and the way i n which they were important to the work that police o f f i c e r s did and the subsequent understand-ing that they had of the community. The police force were extremely h e l p f u l i n explaining i n d e t a i l how the reporting process worked and provided blank samples of reports to show me how they were structured. I have not done detailed analysis on th i s aspect of my work, but th i s research provided me with the f i r s t concrete examples of s o c i a l l y organized practices of factual reporting. The o f f i c e r s were very clear about how reporting was connected with their work and were helpful i n teaching me how to understand the process. This proved very valuable when I went back to s o c i a l service agencies to ask individuals to describe th e i r work, rather than the community as I had f i r s t done. I found that both i n the interviews with police o f f i c e r s and i n the examination of t h e i r work they were the most precise of a l l the professionals interviewed i n terms of thei r work practices and organization. They also were very i n s i s t e n t that for the most part they did not f i n d their work i n the - 59 -East Indian community very different from the work they did i n the regular community. This proved to be a very valuable perception for me, because i t challenged i n very d e f i n i t e and concrete ways the i n i t i a l d e f i n i t i o n of the East Indian community that I had made. Summary These, then were the sources of information through which I gained my knowledge of the East Indian community i n Vancouver. The various sources of information provides a d i v e r s i t y of perspective and information about the community. I t i s t h i s knowledge about the community that provides the base from which I w i l l work on the analysis. I have put together an overview description.which w i l l serve to introduce individuals reading t h i s work to the community which I studied. Overview of the Community East Indian immigrants i n Vancouver are known c o l l e c t i v e l y as the East Indian community. They are seen as an independent soci a l and c u l t u r a l community, ex i s t i n g within a modern i n d u s t r i a l i z e d urban setting. The community i s understood as a t y p i c a l 'ethnic phenomena' common to Canadian society. I t i s recognized by s o c i a l service agencies, schools, businesses, p o l i t i c a l parties and government departments, a l l of whom have developed p o l i c i e s , programs and business practices which take into account the existence of a c u l t u r a l l y d i s t i n c t ethnic community. When the community i s viewed from the location of government agencies, East Indian and Canadian businesses, schools and p o l i t i c a l organizations, the community appears l i k e a constituency. That i s i t i s d i s t i n c t i v e and di f f e r e n t from the community that surrounds i t . The difference becomes apparent when - 60 -the patterns of friendships,business transactions, membership i n organiza-tions, media and organizations of educational and s o c i a l services are examined i n r e l a t i o n to the community. In addition there also appears to be a number of c u l t u r a l characteristics which hold the community together. These involve common physical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , dress, food, language, tra d i t i o n s and r e l i g i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n . The community has however no s p e c i f i c geographic location, so that membership i n the community i s something which i s not i n some ways e a s i l y determined, or understood. Individuals who are counted as members of the community l i v e a l l over the lower mainland. There i s a concentration of East Indian immigrants l i v i n g i n Vancouver South and some parts of Richmond and Surrey. Wealthier members of the community are not l i k e l y to l i v e i n these areas, but are more often residents of Burnaby, Point Grey, North and West Vancouver and i n some cases, Shaughnessy. In many of my interviews, I began by asking what the community was or how i t was a community. Although responses were varied, with respect to the most s i g n i f i c a n t aspects of the community, a l l agreed that there was a community. Yes, there i s a community, but i t i s not an area. I t i s a common culture, people's backgrounds bring them together here. They re l a t e primarily to each other, are friends with East Indians, do business with East Indians, go out together, even choose.to to to banks for example that have East Indian s t a f f over ones that don't. When they come from India, they don't know about Canada, so they want to be with each other. Even after they learn what i t i s l i k e they keep the same patterns. I t i s a matter of preference. You see i t i s very d i f f e r e n t here and they want to r e t a i n some of their past t r a d i t i o n s . Also there i s a problem of adjustment. That i s something that some never get over. They always think that t h i s can be l i k e home. Other individuals agreed that there was a community,but had mixed feelings about the implications of the existence of the community. - 61 -The East Indian community has grown up recently. Before there were only a small number of Indians here and we were integrated into the mainstream. We had some of our own organizations and groups, o r i g i n a l l y , we brought with us I guess, but these changed here, they are r e a l l y more Canadian than Indian. Now with t h i s immigration and a l l the trouble there has been I f e e l things are not the same. There are so many Indians, they don't f i t i n , they are d i f f e r e n t from other Canadians, and they make themselves d i f f e r e n t . They don't want to learn or can't, I don't know, but i t makes i t hard. Naturally there are problems when such a large.group of people come to a country which i s so d i f f e r e n t . And these people prefer their own families. And they want to keep old ways. Another view i s that the new immigration, rather than being a problem for East Indians who have been here longer, i s r e a l l y a new means to gain po s i t i o n , prestige and wealth: The big immigration was t e r r i f i c for the East Indian businessmen and professionals. They now had a ready-made c l i e n t e l e . Look at the telephone book, of East Indians, that i s the i r l i v e l i h o o d and they think the people who come to them are peasants, r e a l l y and embarrassment to the i r sophisticated Western ways, but the r e a l i t y i s that the peasants are making them r i c h . Who else would? I think things l i k e the telephone book make people conspicuous, and i t i s done so that the community i s v i s i b l e for business. That i s what I think at least. When individuals talked about the community I began to see that they were tal k i n g about a framework or context within which they were able to t a l k about a s p e c i f i c group of people and their a c t i v i t i e s . Who those individuals were, varied depending on who you were talking to i n the community. The v a r i a t i o n i n response to the nature and value of the community led me to ask individuals about the histo r y of East Indian immigration to B.C. I did not do extensive h i s t o r i c a l research. Rather I asked older East Indian immigrants to t e l l me about their knowledge of East Indian immigration. The following account i s drawn, i n large part, from their stories and recollections of East Indian persons. - 62 -Hi s t o r i e s I Roots of The East Indian Community i n Vancouver East Indian immigration to Canada began i n the early part of the century. The largest group came i n 1807-08 ( L a i , 1976). However, immigra-ti o n was impeded by Canadian Immigration Law and regulations which prohibited immigration from India, except through d i r e c t passage from India. Since there was no dir e c t steamer from India to Canada, t h i s regulation e f f e c t i v e l y controlled immigration. The Kamagata Maru incident, recently characterized by Sharon Pollock i n her play by that name, i l l u s t r a t e s the firmness of the Canadian Government po l i c y with respect to Indian immigration. (Pollock, 1975) Immigrants began to t r i c k l e into B.C. inspite of the r e s t r i c t i o n s and increased as regulations were loosened informally. Immigrants were from Punjab province, many of whom were Sikhs and Hindus from other parts of. India. Punjabis, h i s t o r i c a l l y have been the largest immigration group from India, and are the largest group at present. Indians were referred to by the Canadians as "HINDUS". My grandfather came here early, I don't know exactly. But he went back to India. He worked with Chinese and Indians i n the forest industry. He said that they were a l l . paid, d i f f e r e n t rates. Hindus got the middle price. After he worked for a while he l e f t . One of the men who came stayed. They b u i l t a business here. (translated) In early immigration i t was common for men to come and return home after they had worked for a while. The census figures for the period indicated a large return migration for a number of immigration groups. ( L a i , 1976). Men who came found work i n logging camps and m i l l s , but few became permanent residents. East Indian immigrants who came i n the f i f t i e s established themselves i n B.C.and found work i n small non-union coastal and i n t e r i o r logging operations and m i l l s , working with other immigrants and Native Indian workers. East Indian workers led several organizing drives and were - 63 -successful i n extending unionization of the industry to smaller operations. After many jobs I found a,job at Gibson, i n a m i l l . This experience made.me a union man. I went to work as a trimmer and.found that I was working with ten to f i f t e e n whites, f i f t e e n Japanese, ten Portugese, a small number of Natives, I can't remember exactly and f i f t e e n East Indians. I l i v e d i n a bunkhouse with other East Indians, and.we had to pay the company. I got $1.40 an hour. Soon I found that everyone had di f f e r e n t rates. Whitesgot $1.90, Japanese and Portugese $1.65, Natives $1.50 and East Indians $1.40, l i k e I told you. Whites got the top rate. I asked the foreman about t h i s and he told me that whites l i v e d more expensive and thus they had to have more money. I t o l d him I could l i v e more expensive i f I had more money too. I decided that I would do something, so I ca l l e d up the union, and t o l d them to come down and sign us up. I had worked on one other union job before so I knew about t h i s . I took too long and people were frightened. The company heard about i t and they were very angry. Boy oh Boy! I managed to stay on and eventually we got the union. I got l a i d o f f three days la t e r so I came back to Vancouver. Several East Indian workers related s t o r i e s about thei r experiences i n the forest industry i n the late f i f t i e s and early s i x t i e s . I t seems that the larger operations did not at t h i s time hir e immigrant workers, or at least not East Indians, and many immigrants went to work i n small, some-what marginal sub-contracted logging operations. In these situations the pay was poor and there was not a single rate for the job. One man explained what happened: Some became union men, some saw that t h i s was a good deal and got into i t themselves. A small number of East Indian immigrants gradually established businesses i n the forest industry (small m i l l s and logging operations on contract to larger enterprises) and i n some related industries. Labour for these businesses was provided by East Indian immigrants. Owners of firms were able to sponsor immigrants under the ex i s t i n g Immigration laws. This meant that the employer could bring immigrants to Canada provided that they could supply jobs. The employers would often advance money for the t r i p to Canada and the - 64 -immigrant would repay the sum out of his earnings. (Immigrants who came i n th i s way were men.) Immigrants who came i n t h i s way were generally distant r e l a t i v e s and friends of the family of the employer i n India. I came to work for a distant r e l a t i v e . He paid my way and gave me a job. I was to pay him back out of my salary. I don't know how much I paid, but I worked for f i v e years at $1.91, and la t e r $2.14 an hour, when others were paying one to two doll a r s more. I didn't know about how deductions and a l l that worked so I took what he gave me. At f i r s t I was grat e f u l , but after f i v e years that wears think and I l e f t . He won't speak to me now and neither w i l l some of the people who work there. I t did give me a s t a r t , but, well that i s i t . (translated) Employers see t h i s s i t u a t i o n d i f f e r e n t l y than the workers: Look these people are happy for the jobs. I did them a favour, brought them out here. I don't do i t any more, i t doesn't pay, they leave.... Q. Do you think that they might stay i f they had working conditions similar to that i n the rest of the industry? A. What do you mean? We pay O.K. These people don't need as much money. They only send i t home. Anyway i n the past i t cost me a l o t to bring them. That i s what you are asking about, i s n ' t i t ? Well that was the way. Q. Why didn't you hire workers who were already here i f i t was so expensive? A. There weren't any. I t was boom time, not enough workers. Sponsorship provided the means for many immigrants to come to work i n Vancouver and the jobs meant that they could establish themselves i n Canada with less concern for job hunting and managing i n a strange place. Although their working conditions and wages were very different to those accorded to Canadian workers i n the industry, their i s o l a t i o n meant that the i r only means of comparison was their former s i t u a t i o n . In addition men who came i n this way intended to return home permanently after saving some funds which would be used to improve their standard of l i v i n g at home. - 65 -I came to make some money, but I found that I had to l i v e rough to do that. I didn't know anyone but East Indians for s i x years. I saw l i t t l e of my pay and I didn't know for a long time that anything was wrong. Some s t i l l don't, even i f I t e l l them. I t seemed good to me i n many ways. I was helping at home, and although I got very l i t t l e money, what was sent home meant a l o t . I t was worth a l o t more of course. Some of the union people helped.me out of that s i t u a t i o n . I f i t wasn't for them I would s t i l l be there I guess. But like.others probably told you, w e l l i t seems hard for people to understand. Also, you are a f r a i d that you won't have any friends. That i s what I f e l t . The immigration laws, employer practices, location i n Vancouver and future plans a l l contributed to determining the position of sponsored immigrants as cheap labour for employers: I didn't speak any English and didn't learn for a long time. I t was as i f the new country was the old one i n some ways, except, that I was lonely. I didn't know how I got here a c t u a l l y , l i k e I thought that my r e l a t i v e had done me a favour, and I guess he did. I didn't know I could have become a Canadian, for instance. I didn't know anything about Canada. Often immigrants did not return to India, nor did they f i n d t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n Vancouver improving. Their location i n a primarily East Indian.work force provided most of their friends and thus neither their s o c i a l l i f e nor work l i f e afforded them the contact with Canadians that would have been required to begin to learn English. This meant, of course, that the major source of information about Vancouver came through the employer. He interpreted t h e i r immigration status, job p o s s i b i l i t i e s , and quality of the i r working conditions to them. These, conditions tended to maintain East Indian workers i n dependent positions i n r e l a t i o n to t h e i r employers. I thought I could be kicked out i f I didn't have a job. I thought that the way that i t worked was that I would go home after I finished working. But I would have spent a l l the money I had saved to go home so that i t wouldn't have helped. So I sent the money and stayed. The way things work i n India i s that you have to know someone. I f you don't, that i s i t . I f you do, you have to be important. Here I thought i t was the same. So do other people. But I know how that i t i s a l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t . - 66 -In the late s i x t i e s , with the changes i n the Immigration laws, access to Canada became much easier. Immigrants who were formerly sponsored were able to bring the i r families to Canada and individuals were able to immi-grate without sponsorship. There followed an increase of immigration of East Indian people to Vancouver, as wel l as other parts of Canada. Men got jobs i n the forest industry and were not dependent on East Indian employers for jobs. When I got here i t was the s i x t i e s depression, and there was not very much work. Worked for East Indians at a do l l a r less than other places. But there was no choice. Later I got other work, but when I came back to Vancouver, I had to take a job i n one of the m i l l s . I got $2.11 an hour for a s k i l l e d job. I was supposed to work a l l week and Saturday work one day free. There was a union so I avoided Saturday work, saying I was busy u n t i l I passed the t h i r t y days and was i n the union. Then I t o l d him, no free work. There was a l o t of pressure to work and many suggested I quit i f I didn't want to work one day free. My house was close and one Saturday some of the men came by and took me with them to work. I worked twelve hours. I told my friends that that was a l l , no more free work. Monday I went to the regular job. The foreman t r i e d to push me around and make me qui t . I went to the union. Then they t r i e d to say that I was a poor worker, and sent me home to think about the job. This went on u n t i l the depression was over and I found another job. Present East Indian Community As the East Indian population grew the East Indian business community expanded into other areas, import/export business, stores s p e c i a l i z i n g i n Indian foods, restaurants, t r a v e l agencies able to make immigration arrange-ments, and investments i n r e a l estate and commercial buildings. East Indian businessmen also began to work i n r e a l estate and insurance businesses, where they had a ready made c l i e n t e l e i n the increasing numbers of East Indian families who were s e t t l i n g i n Vancouver. In addition there has been an increase i n the numbers of East Indian professionals, lawyers, doctors and graduates of business schools who serve the varying needs of the business - 67 -schools who serve the varying needs of the business sector and fami l i e s , as w e l l as other professionals, such as public school teachers, teachers of special language programs, s o c i a l workers, and health care workers, who work i n the school system and i n government agencies, usually d i r e c t l y associated with the East Indian population. In addition, East Indian people have been hired i n Vancouver businesses as c l e r k s , bank t e l l e r s , and loan o f f i c e r s i n order to serve the special needs of East Indians who cannot speak English and whom they could not have as customers i f they did not provide their service i n Pubjabi. People who are employed i n these ways .... .. are either immigrants who have come with university educations or are sons and daughters of immigrants who have been educated i n Canada. I think that i t f i r s t became a community i n the r e a l sense with the l a s t immigration i n the seventies. I mean from the s i x t i e s to the mid-seventies. Something changed i n that time I think. I'm not sure what i t was. Certainly the businesses developed to serve the immigrants, s e l l them houses, food, clothing, do the le g a l work, none of t h i s r e a l l y existed i n any major way before. I wonder about i t though. I'm not sure that i t i s only that there are more people. Before I'm not e n t i r e l y sure how people managed, but noone did these things for them. They spoke l i t t l e English but they managed. I think that East Indians don't 'need' the community as i s always suggested. But I can a c t u a l l y see how they come to do things t h i s way. The community i s r e a l l y the businessmen and others providing service to the new immigrants. P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n organizations and so-called c u l t u r a l events i s small, you know. This c u l t u r a l community I wonder about. The community has d i v e r s i f i e d as immigration has increased. Individuals have emmigrated from other parts of India and have dif f e r e n t r e l i g i o u s and family backgrounds. There i s as a r e s u l t a small Hindu part of the community, which has a temple and separate organizations from the Punjabi part of the community. Immigrants whose country of o r i g i n was India at one time but who had immigrated to Uganda, F i j i , and the Philippines have also immigrated to Canada during the l a s t ten years. Some of these groups have - 68 -integrated into the community as i n the case of Ugandan businessmen, but for the most part F i j i a n s , and Philippinos have a separate community and are not part of the community which we are investigating. At the l e v e l of the street t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s often not made, so that a l l persons who have the physical characteristics of East Indians tend to be treated i n the same way. Canadians think that everyone who looks l i k e an East Indian i s an East Indian and i s part of the community. In fact that i s not so. F i j i a n s for example have their own community. I t i s n ' t as large as the community that East Indians have, but i t i s separate. The same with P h i l l i p i n o s . The Ugandans i n some respects have become part of the community. People who have come from Uganda have been shocked at the treatment that they have received here. They are used to being treated d i f f e r e n t l y . To treating others as we are treated here I think. Canadians treat everyone who looks l i k e us the same. And that i s a r e a l shock for some. Also i t i s not true, i f you see what I mean. Hindu and Ugandan immigrants have come to Canada with educations, professional t r a i n i n g and often i n the case of Ugandans, have some c a p i t a l . However the majority of Indian immigrants s t i l l come to B.C. from the Punjab,,have r u r a l backgrounds, low levels of formal education, l i t t l e or no job tra i n i n g or work experience which i s relevant to an i n d u s t r i a l i z e d work force and speak no or very l i t t l e English. A few of the men have had some work experience i n i n d u s t r i a l i z e d settings i n India,but t h i s i s unusual. As the number of Punjabi immigrants has grown, s o c i a l , business and c u l t u r a l organizations have developed and expanded. A second Sikh temple was b u i l t i n the early seventies as a resu l t of a series of p o l i t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s disputes among the members of the community which centered around orthodoxy i n dress and behaviour versus the concern to integrate into western business and c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g . The leadership of the new temple began to be involved i n p o l i t i c s within the community and began to be recognized by B.C. and Vancouver p o l i t i c a l leaders as the leadership of - 69 -a community. The two temples arose because of a struggle over integration into Canadian society. The more orthodox members wanted to maintain the t r a d i t i o n s , about h a i r , dress and so on. Other members wanted to f i t i n better so they wanted western dress, hair cuts, etc. This was purely connected with business I think. The resul t was that one group walked out. That i s how Ross Street started. People were told that i t would be nicer, a community center, a better place. And i t was the ordinary people who paid for i t i n the main. They gave through their work, and thought that i t was important to have a new, beautiful temple that would make people respect them. Whether that has happened i s a matter of opinion I guess, but a l o t of money was spent for very l i t t l e change i f that was the main reason. The East Indian community came to the attention of the police i n the early seventies, when they began to answer an increasing number of calls.from East Indian families and Canadian families involving family disputes, quarrels with Canadian neighbours,vandalism of homes of East Indians, and verbal abuse and assaults on East Indian men, women and children. Many of these events were reported i n the press. The leadership of the temple was able to c a l l East Indian immigrants together to discuss problems, explain the si t u a t i o n to immigrants and also represent the community to the pol i c e , c i t y government and the press. These events were broadly reported i n the press. Thus i n th i s way the events brought to the attention of the public, i n an o f f i c i a l way the existence of the East Indian community. When the trouble started the leadership began to come out i n f u l l force and the divisions i n the community began to appear. The leaders b a s i c a l l y said that the problem was with the new immigrants who were not f i t t i n g into the setting properly. Others began to c a l l the attacks racism. They didn't l i k e that. They didn't think that t h i s had anything to do with East Indians as a group, c e r t a i n l y not with them. To have agreed with i t as racism would have meant that they might be implicated. There have been a l o t of court cases over those days and a l o t of family quarrels. But i t was important, the f i r s t cracks i n the old guard have begun to appear. That I think means there may be positive things happening with people themselves. As the economic s i t u a t i o n has worsened i n Vancouver, East Indian men 7 0 -cannot e a s i l y find work i n areas that were formerly open to them. Many East Indians (along with other workers) have lost their jobs i n the forest industry and i n other labouring areas as a resul t of la y o f f s . Many immigrants have been forced to take jobs which are low paying and insecure. Some of these jobs are provided within the community i t s e l f , others are i n the service sector as gas station attendants, parking l o t attendants, assistants i n fast food restaurants, dishwashers and j a n i t o r i a l workers. Often jobs which are available are part-time jobs which then require men to do more than one job to provide s u f f i c i e n t money for the family. Increasingly women are being forced into the work force i n order to contribute to the family income. I got l a i d o f f three months ago. But I had to find another job, we have three children, a house and i t i s not possible to l i v e on U2C. I had trouble finding work, so my wife got a job, washing dishes i n a restaurant, and I am doing three jobs. I t i s hard, but I hope i t won't be for long, I mean maybe we w i l l get hired on again. I think the layoff i s temporary. I hope so because my wife does not l i k e working, she complains about i t . I t e l l her i t i s only for a while, but I r e a l l y don't know. But t h i s means our house i s upsidedown. What a problem. Dinner not ready, house not clean, you know when everyone i s working, , things change. The f i n a n c i a l pressure and increased economic insecurity are seriously affecting the a b i l i t y of families i n these positions to meet their f i n a n c i a l commitments to th e i r families i n Canada and i n India. Families are finding that th e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to recent immigrants are hard to meet. Recent immigrants are having problems become.self-supporting and their dependance on their families i s greater than.they expected.;.Working.women are finding that they are not able to meet their household r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n the same way as i n the past. Family relationships are changing. A l l these s i t u a -tions contribute to family quarrels, d i f f i c u l t i e s i n relationships between husbands and wives and i n relationships between recent immigrants and families which are supporting them. Many of these problems end up with c a l l s - 71 -to the police or requests to s o c i a l agencies. I went to get help, because I couldn't stand i t any longer. The house was f u l l of people and I had to do a l l the work. Others helped, but they did not do the cleaning, washing, ironing, mending and so on. They thought i t was enough to make a meal and leave the dishes or do the shopping. I have two small children and I work. My husband's r e l a t i v e s were always c r i t i c i z i n g me for the state of the house and how the children were. My husband said I was lazy and not a good wife. I t was just too much. They (agency) didn't help much r e a l l y , but I don't think they can, but at least the family saw there was a problem. In response to the problems i n the early seventies, a number of programs and agencies were set up to provide services to East Indian immigrants. The services were intended to bridge the gap i n government services to East Indian immigrants and to . decriminalize many of the complaints the police were called on but which were considered by the police as matters that could be better solved by follow-up, counselling and other services, which they were not .equipped to handle. The Vancouver Police Force were s i g n i f i c a n t i n influencing governments i n the creation of at least one of the s o c i a l service agencies set up to serve the East Indian community. Many of the c a l l s we answered were beyond our scope. Trouble with neighbours, family disputes and so on. They aren't di f f e r e n t from other c a l l s that we get r e a l l y , but you know when the language i s different and you r e a l l l y don't know what i s going on. We went to the temple to ta l k to the people about i t and eventually ca l l e d a meeting of the three levels of government to get them to provide more service. We can't do any follow-up. Of course the si t u a t i o n does not end when the police come. A l l we can do i s see i f anyone wants to lay a complaint and take a report on the problem. We made some changes as w e l l . I think the Team P o l i c i n g i s much better, the o f f i c e r s get to know the neighbourhood and know what i s happening. Also we have hired some o f f i c e r s for the community. But that i s n ' t necessary any longer. The o f f i c e r s didn't l i k e the special assignment and you can't blame them. Having a service to refer people to has helped a l o t . We meet with the s o c i a l service people and try to coordinate our work. I think the problem has been solved. There w i l l always be problems, i t happens everywhere, no more often with the East Indians, i t i s pretty w e l l - 72 -the same I think throughout the population. The services now available do both r e f e r r a l as wel l as dir e c t service, which takes the form of tran s l a t i o n , counselling assistance with relations with government agencies and schools. The services are set up within agencies or are provided through f i e l d workers hired by departments or with grants who often work through volunteer organizations i n the community. Agencies vary i n their way of working, but for the most part they do r e f e r r a l work. That i s a family or indiv i d u a l i s referred from the school, police or other agency, and received counselling,' support of assistance i n working with the other s o c i a l service agencies. There are fi v e programs which deal s p e c i f i c a l l y with the community. Some of the programs are located with the regular l i n e services of government, others are programs set up through grants and private s o c i i e t i e s . In one case outreach workers are funded to work i n the community. The problems that are dealt with by the agency depend upon the s p e c i f i c agency and upon the location of the agency on the ove r a l l organization of s o c i a l services. Beginning with t h i s overview of the community we w i l l now hope to look at several aspects of the community i n some depth. The next chapter w i l l begin to examine the s o c i a l services available to East Indian Immigrants and the relations of individuals to the s o c i a l service agencies. Subsequent chapters are concerned with other aspects of the East Indian Community. CHAPTER I I I SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS Introduction The naming of an individual as an East Indian Immigrant names a s o c i a l r e l a t i o n which i s , i n i t s e l f a series of actual a c t i v i t i e s , a set of practices. These practices originate the naming, not, as we might imagine or might be led to believe i n the personal i d e n t i t i e s of East Indian individuals ( i n their heads) or i n their a c t i v i t i e s . These practices originate i n the immigration and cit i z e n s h i p laws of Canada, which are made by actual individuals i n Parliament and are administered by actual individuals i n the Departments of Manpower and Immigration and i n the Citizenship Branch of the Department of the Secretary of State. These practices are ones which organize individuals as di f f e r e n t , as immigrants, and locates that difference i n r e l a t i o n to the country of o r i g i n . 'Aspects of individual's biography are attributed to them as part of their legal status, i n this case then an East Indian immigrant. In r e l a t i o n to s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i n Canada individuals' ( s o c i a l l y organized) legal status as East Indian immigrants already establishes them as different from Canadian born c i t i z e n s . This s o c i a l l y organized difference provides the basis on which individuals must be treated as d i f f e r e n t l y (as a matter of law and regulation) within the practices of the s o c i a l i n s t i t u -tions themselves. Part of organizing East Indian immigrants as different from Canadian born c i t i z e n s within the practices of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i s to treat i n d i v i -duals as persons who are East Indian immigrants—that i s their status as East Indian immigrants becomes a s o c i a l i d e n t i t y . Accomplishing t h i s i s an - 74 -active process with the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . Part of what i s drawn upon i n accomplishing t h i s work are the v i s i b l e differences between the majority of Canadian born c i t i z e n s and East Indian immigrants, skin colour, dress and language differences, which have already been s o c i a l l y organized as differences, prior to i n some senses their being immigrants (that i s these differences between persons born i n India and persons born i n Canada are s o c i a l l y organized h i s t o r i c a l l y and have come to be treated as personal characteristics of individuals i n the present). I t i s these differences which f i r s t become available as the relevant factors i n establishing 'East Indian immigrant' as a s o c i a l l y organized (ethnic) i d e n t i t y . Thus when certain individuals i n th i s society come into contact with the l i n e workers i n s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s (police o f f i c e r s , teachers, s o c i a l workers, community workers), they are already organized and understood within the i n s t i t u t i o n ' s practices ( i n law and regulation) as d i f f e r e n t ; and s p e c i f i c a l l y d ifferent as East Indian immigrants, with colour, dress and language as s o c i a l descriptors of their s o c i a l i d e n t i t y i n place. At th i s point however, their f u l l s o c i a l i d e n t i t y , as individuals with an ethnic i d e n t i t y and belonging to an ethnic community i s not f u l l y r e a l i z e d . (I remind you that t h i s i s so i n order to bring to your attention that I am describing a process and i n doing that, steps which are l o g i c a l l y prior are not necessarily prior i n practice.) The practices of l i n e workers i n the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i n organizing East Indians i n special ways, providing special programs, giving special grants, developing special procedures and agencies, excluding them from other programs: that i s , the practice of treating them d i f f e r e n t l y — o r g a n i z e s e t h n i c i t y and the ethnic community as s o c i a l phenomena. These practices are ideological practices, which organize East Indian - 75 -immigrants as dif f e r e n t from other individuals i n the society, and d i f f e r e n -t i a t e i n the treatment of East Indian immigrants i n r e l a t i o n to one another. This d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i s part of organizing the class r e l a t i o n within the "East Indian community". These practices which produce the ideological organization, the ethnic community, conceal the class r e l a t i o n which originates i n the s o c i a l organization of the labour force. This class r e l a t i o n i s not only present i n the community, but i s i n part organized and extended i n the community by these ideological practices. I want to draw your attention to a point that I have stated, but not accounted f o r ; the differences i n treatment of i n -dividuals who are East Indian immigrants, within the s o c i a l l y organized practices of the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . That i s to say, a class analysis i s not yet f u l l y present i n my analysis. This aspect of the r e l a t i o n between individuals who are East Indian immigrants and the s o c i a l l y organized practices of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s w i l l be described i n the chapters on the family and the East Indian business community and community organizations. This i s i n part because the class nature of these relations (the rel a t i o n s between East Indian immigrants and the s o c i a l l y organized practices of the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s ) are only f u l l y r e alized i n the family and i n the r e l a -t i o n between the East Indian business community together with the community organizations and thei r market, East Indian working class immigrants. In t h i s chapter then I want to examine the s o c i a l agencies, school and police and the rel a t i o n s between each of these organizations i n Vancouver as they are relevant to East Indian immigrants. I have provided some examples of the s o c i a l l y organized practices of s o c i a l service agencies. Neither the time nor the data has been available to explicate a l l the s o c i a l l y - 76 -organized practices of these agencies, which are part of the composite of the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . However I have provided a f u l l account i n the example that I have done so that the procedure for explication i s clear and i t can be seen at least how t h i s would be done with the other descriptions I have provided. SOCIAL AGENCIES There i s a d i s t i n c t separation among the approaches of the s o c i a l service agencies, whose practices are part of organizing the East Indian community. The services which are d i r e c t l y part of an o f f i c i a l government department, or are staffed by several government departments which hire and second s t a f f to work together i n an agency, focus their work to a s s i s t i n g East Indian families accomodate themselves to the p o l i c i e s and procedures of the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s to which the families r e l a t e as part of their d a i l y l i v e s . Other agencies, funded through government grants of a variety of types but which do not have professional s t a f f or permanent funding, attempt i n part to act as advocates for individuals who come to them for assistance. Since these agencies do not provide services d i r e c t l y , (with the exception of translation services) individuals i n these advocacy agencies must contact the appropriate s o c i a l agency,'government department or commission i n t h e i r attempt to resolve the d i f f i c u l t y for the East Indian immigrant who has come to them. This places the individuals working i n these agencies i n a d i f f i c u l t p o sition i n r e l a t i o n both to those for whom they are acting as advocates, and the agencies from whom they are asking assistance. I w i l l begin by describing and explicating some of the practices of the l i n e s o c i a l service service agencies and then describe the s o c i a l agencies which do advocacy work. The s o c i a l agencies which do advocacy work however to interpret - 77 -the material conditions, which I w i l l now describe i n the same way as the l i n e s o c i a l service agencies. THE LIVED RELATION I want to begin by drawing attention to the material conditions under which East Indians immigrate to Canada and some of the attendant material obligations, and i n addition to some of the material conditions of East Indian immigrants i n Vancouver which provide for and i n part give form to the s o c i a l relations which I w i l l i d e n t i f y and explicate i n the s o c i a l l y organized practices of s o c i a l agencies. A. Men Immigrate to Canada Alone i n the Case of the Working Class Men immigrate to Canada alone, i n one of three circumstances; their family i n India pays their fare and the immigrant comes to r e l a t i v e s or friends i n Canada, r e l a t i v e s i n Canada pay their fare the immigrant comes to l i v e with the r e l a t i v e s , or employers sponsor immigrants (distant members of their family and acquaintances frmm their v i l l a g e s ) who come to work i n their business and normally l i v e with friends or distant r e l a t i v e s at least. The l a t t e r instance i s not common at present; the other two examples are the general pattern for immigrants who are from r u r a l or newly urban families, i n India.* * My concern here i s to give a general understanding of the s i t u a t i o n from which immigrants come. The bibliography has references which give more complete descriptions of the process. This description i s i n part drawn from my f i e l d work although i t i s not i n every aspect grounded i n my f i e l d work. For purposes of brevity I have not included extensive f i e l d notes i n t h i s section. The points are supported how-ever i n accounts that individuals gave me which are quoted from at length i n other parts of this work. Part of t h i s description i s also drawn from informa-t i o n gathered from interviews with immigration o f f i c i a l s and u n o f f i c i a l immigra-ti o n reports which I w i l l not quote for reasons of condidentiality and anoni-n i t y , which I assured informants of i n my interviews with them. - 78 -The family makes the investment i n the son on the understanding that he w i l l improve the standard of l i v i n g of the family i n India, with part of his income from Canada and/or w i l l bring other members of the family to Canada as he i s able. When the immigrant arrives i n Canada he i s supported by his r e l a t i v e s or friends u n t i l he i s s e t t l e d . This i s both a legal obligation i f they have sponsored him under the Immigration Laws and a f i n a n c i a l necessity as a r e s u l t of the family's f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n ( i n India) and the Indian Immigration Laws which r e s t r i c t the amount of money that can be taken out of the country. The immigrant then comes with a set of material obligation to his family, and i n i t i a l l y r e l i e s upon r e l a t i v e s who are committed to support him. When the new immigrant joins his r e l a t i v e s i n Canada, he i s taken care of as a male member of the family, which means that he i s not responsible for any housekeeping, cleaning, cooking or care of h i s clothes. The male member(s) of the family help him find a job and introduce him to other East Indians i n Vancouver. As w e l l male members of the family and male friends whom he has met, help him to learn to get around, teach him to drive, and teach some English and support him i n situations where he has not learned enough English to get by. The man may l i v e with the family u n t i l he marries or more recently may move into a rented house or apartment with other men i n si m i l a r situations to himself, once he has a job and friends. While he i s l i v i n g with his r e l a t i v e s he i s not obligated to contribute to the family income. At his job and on the street he learns that "East Indians s t i c k together". These are three examples,from my f i e l d notes, of how t h i s i s expressed: I work i n a gas sta t i o n . Sometimes I work with one other person and we get along O.K. We're not friends. He says he doesn't l i k e East Indians but he l i k e s me. I don't see him outside of work. The people who come (to buy gas) are O.K. but you don't get to know them. Some make remarks but I just don't l i s t e n . They think I'm not asgood as them. - 79 -We stick together at work. We eat together and don't both the rest of them. I've been told about fights but I haven't seen any. The other workers keep to themselves, they sometimes joke about 'Hindus' and stuff, but, wel l , I need my job. I f i r s t came up against racism when my cousin's neighbour broke some windows in our house. We couldn't prove i t was him but I know i t was. His kid was always beating up on my cousin's son. We caught him once. I get yelled at by white, you know, at night, in pubs here and there. A new immigrant's friends are other East Indian men in material situations similar to his and his family's and their fr iends' . I n i t i a l l y he meets friends through the family and at one of the temples, normally one of the Sikh temples. When I f i r s t came I l ived with my uncle. He took me to the temple and introduced me to people. People who could help me get a job and also I met other friends. After I had friends I didn't go there anymore except on special occasions. My friends and I l ive together, i t is better than with my uncle because we used to have some problems. Now I go there to eat, v i s i t , i t ' s better. As young men begin to have friends, a job and participation in social act iv i t ies they begin to change. They may date women, drink and 'westernize' in other ways, (clothes, hair , etc.) As they get jobs and establish them-selves f inancial ly they usually decide to get married. B. Women come to Canada as Wives Although East Indian immigrant men, in many of their practices have 'westernized', they usually marry women who are from India. The marriage is arranged in one of two ways; the man may go home to v i s i t and meet women - 80 -h i s parents have chosen for him, marry i n India, and bring his wife to Canada, or he w i l l ask his family to choose a wife, pay her a i r fare to Canada, and they w i l l marry here. In either s i t u a t i o n women are dependent on their husbands for t h e i r support and for introducing them to their new home. Women who immigrate as wives do not enter their marriages i n the same way they would at home. Their families do not come with them and they are thus separated from family, friends and from situations with which they are f a m i l i a r . I didn't know what to expect. I cer t a i n l y didn't think i t would be l i k e i t i s . I knew nothing when I came. Everything was new and d i f f e r e n t . (translated) When wives arrive the couple may l i v e with the husband's r e l a t i v e s for a short period of time u n t i l they arrange the i r own housing. New wives f i t into the pattern of the household. I t i s often a s t r a i n , both for the family and for the woman. The new wife i s not able to contribute to the housework i n the way that she would i n a similar s i t u a t i o n at home. In these situations the new man i s i n the lowest position i n the family. She i s subject to her husband who she does know very we l l and do the other women i n the house. The work for the woman i n the household i s increased and i n addition the family i s not always able to meet the extra f i n a n c i a l costs. Quarrels and disagreements a r i s e . Women are often seen to cause the problems: We l i v e i n our own house now and i t i s better. The women didn't get along that w e l l . You know how women are.... we l l my brother-in-law and I got along f i n e , but the women couldn't work i t out. When the couple moves into their own house or apartment other problems ar i s e . Any supports i n learning how to manage a household, which were present formerly, are outside the immediate s i t u a t i o n . They people she does know may not l i v e close to her, but even i f they l i v e i n the neighbourhood, she may not want to appear incompetent to manage her job. The house or apartment that she - 81 -moves into i s not familiar and she has l i t t l e control over how i t w i l l be physi c a l l y constructed. Outside her home she encounters problems shopping, taking buses, even walking on the street. These are two examples of how women talked about t h i s : Taking busses? not very often. I would get l o s t . I don't speak English and I am a f r a i d . I don't need to because my husband goes with me. Or my f r i e n d , she drives, we work together, she got me my job and we go to work together. My husband did not want to go shopping with me after the f i r s t times, but I wanted him to. I can't get the money right and i t i s a long way to go. I can't drive the car and i t i s too f a r . (translated) I n i t i a l problems arise i n the relationship when the wife i s not able to do the housework and cooking properly. Men have trouble understanding why t h i s i s the case. Sure i t i s d i f f e r e n t . But i t i s a l o t better than at home. Much easier, faster, you don't have to spend so much time. There i s less work. Q. How do—you.know? , Well there i s . She doesn't have anything to do compared to India. I shop with her, we do the washing at the laundromat. I t i s only s i x blocks but she won't go alone. That's O.K. But what have I got a wife f o r . To look after the house. I f she can't do that, what good i s she? Q. Can you cook, clean? Sure anyone can. Well I see what you mean, I haven't done i t but I know I could. You're on the side of her I can t e l l . Men for the most part have not ever been required to cook, clean, or care for the organization of the house. I t i s regarded as something women can do. He takes for granted that she can do that here as well as i n India. He sees that there are differences but those differences are seen only as that " I t i s better here." Some of the differences are obvious to him: stoves, f l o o r s , refrigerators and so on. But the significance of t h i s i n terms of the organization of the work of the home i s not apparent to him. He does not - 82 -have to decide how much detergent to use, what heat to have the burner on, how to make food with e n t i r e l y different utensils with ingredients packaged and prepared d i f f e r e n t l y . Thus although the husband comes from the same setting as his wife he does not see what the problem i s . He takes for granted the a c t i v i t i e s of managing of a house, i n a similar way that a Canadian man would. He sees that the woman i s incompetent, can't do her job. She i s sometimes considered lazy, or stupid; she w i l l not go out to do things which involve providing fo the management of the home outside the house without him. This means that he must do more work than he used to. In part i t seems O.K. At the same time he feels that she does not f i t i n very w e l l . Quarrels often arise over the housework. Gradually they s e t t l e into a pattern of doing some things involv-ing the managing of the household together. The resul t of course i s that women then take for granted that their husbands w i l l shop with them, w i l l pay the b i l l s , go to the laundromat with them, take them to the doctor when necessary and manage the money. Thus wives i n i t i a l l y at least are never i n a sit u a t i o n where i t i s necessary for them to learn even " s u r v i v a l " English. In her home s i t u a t i o n , a l l conversation is i n Fubjabi and even as the stores and laundromat become more familiar she i s not necessarily w i l l i n g or able to go alone. She does not as i n the case of men, have women to 'orient' her, and support her i n learning some basic English. Her dependence on her husband to help her accom-p l i s h her work then becomes a common feature of their l i v e s . In time she cases to be seen as incompetent, she learns how to manage inside her home perfectly w e l l . However, she depends on her husband to bring into the home the things she needs to work with i n i t . - 83 -As a f i n a l note, I want to point out that the East Indian women's fear of going out alone i s not ungrounded. Incidents of being accosted or disturbed on the street were frequently reported. The distance from shoping combined with not driving i s a r e a l barrier to her independent functioning i n her household. Thus her dependence i s one which i s d i r e c t l y related to the material conditions i n which she finds herself. As she doesn't use money for example she doesn't learn how to handle i t . Her dependence i n these ways determines her lack of independence i n r e l a t i o n to her husband. i Husbands Have Two Standards Men carry on two l i v e s , once they have married. They r e t a i n their single friends and go out with them; they have their r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to thei r wives. Their s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s are divided between their single friends and their r e l a t i v e s and married friends. Women do not have friends of their own ( i n the beginning at least) and are dependent on their husbands to introduce them to friends. The recent immigrant wife finds herself alone a good deal, both during the time when her husband i s working and when he i s out with his single friends. Her s i t u a t i o n gives her very l i t t l e means with which to influence t h i s s i t u a -t i o n . She cannot find him i f she wants to reach him. She probably doesn't know where he might be. I f she does and could telephone she might appear as a bad wife, checking up on her husband; more l i k e l y she does not know where he i s and can't use the telephone. I f she raises t h i s with him she probably does not get a positive response. She i s not seen as having the right to t e l l her husband what to do, or the rig h t even to request that she be - 84 -informed of hi s plans and a c t i v i t i e s . She has few people to talk to about t h i s . Normally she does not complain to her husband's family or friends, she would be seen as d i s l o y a l . Her own family are not here to help sort out the s i t u a t i o n . He own i s o l a t i o n i n the home means that she cannot go out herself. The East Indian immigrant woman enters the marriage on a much different basis than she would i f she were i n India. Although dowery arrange-ments are not as formal or as s i g n i f i c a n t i n the case of poor people as they are i n the case of wealthier families, nevertheless her family would have esta-blished their daughter's contribution to the marriage. This would have been done i n material contributions which would only be s i g n i f i c a n t i n the p a r t i -cular s e t t i n g , and are not convertible into cash. This material basis however small i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n India i n establishing the place of a wife i n her home. In addition her r e l a t i o n to her husband would have also been related to her own family i n terms of the history of both their family's association, how they worked, what their position was i n the community and so on. A l l these r e l a -t ions are altered i n her new setting. Her family cannot act as a support to her i n her 'adjustment' to her marriage. The family i s not present to act as a control on the husband i n h i s treatment of hi s wife, to explain her, to help i n marital disputes and to provide help i n organizing their r e l a t i o n to each other. At the same time i n Canada relations between men and women are constituted i n a more legal and abstract way (through s o c i a l l y organized practices), so the relations i n Canada do not ' f i l l i n ' any of the missing l i n k s about how to reorganize the r e l a t i o n s . Rather her reaction to her husband i s organized for her, by the s o c i a l relations which are the s o c i a l l y organized practices of organizing her as an "East Indian immigrant women; and as a member of the "East Indian Community" the material conditions of her l i f e determine her r e l a t i o n to her husband. - 85 -S o c i a l l y Organized Practices of Social Services Agencies Line workers i n so c i a l service agencies responsible for the delivery of s o c i a l services to East Indian immigrants, have d i f f i c u l t y i n providing assistance to East Indian immigrant families who are referred to them for assistance by one or other of the l i n e workers i n other s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s (police o f f i c e r s , teachers, school councellors or other s o c i a l workers), or by individuals acting as advocates for immigrants i n part i c u l a r d i f f i c u l t i e s . This i s a serious d i f f i c u l t y , when East Indian immigrants, as immigrants, are •it not e l i g i b l e for the majority of the statutory services, which include direct f i n a n c i a l assistance of a variety of kinds and i n varying amounts, depending on the particular circumstances of the individual or family, and services to the family or individuals i n the family which are paid for by the government department, which include homemakers (women who go into a home and a s s i s t a woman with housework and teach her how to do i t ) , day care allowances, special individual tutoring for children with special learning problems, etc. t e c h n i c a l l y , by the way, under the present law, immigrants, i f they meet the f i n a n c i a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , are e l i g i b l e for f i n a n c i a l assistance at least, but actually accomplishing t h i s for an individual requires a s o c i a l worker to enforce the law, i n contradiction to the informal p o l i c y , i n the department of Human Resources i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The B r i t i s h Columbia statutes read to the effect (I paraphrase here) that a l l persons, who meet the f i n a n c i a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s are e l i g i b l e . The cost sharing arrangements, between the Federal Government and the Provincial Government do not allow f i n a n c i a l assistance for persons who are immigrants to be cost shared with the Federal Government. I t i s t h i s regulation of the cost sharing arrange-ments for f i n a n c i a l assistance, which i s used as the basis for the informal po l i c y . The di r e c t i v e to supervisors of s o c i a l works i n th i s matter simply  informs supervisors of th i s consideration i n extending f i n a n c i a l assistance benefits to immigrants. - 86 -Yet, these are precisely the material services which immigrants cannot afford and i n some cases as w i l l be demonstrated i n the chapter on family r e l a t i o n s , the f i n a n c i a l assistance, which women or the family needs to change their material conditions. However the workers i n s o c i a l service agencies have been hired, i n point of fact, to develop non-statutory services for immigrants to 'bridge the gap' i n services for East Indian immigrants. (This applies both to workers i n 'special l i n e agencies' and to workers within regular l i n e agencies hired to serve the East Indian community.) Thus workers i n s o c i a l service agencies are required to treat East Indian immigrants as different from Canadian c i t i z e n s , at the same time deliver services to them. How th i s i s accomplished now becomes the subject of our inquiry. A.. Social Service Agencies,.A. General Account I want to begin by providing a general account of the practices of so c i a l service agencies. The particular problem faced by agencies i s that they must treat immigrants d i f f e r e n t l y and at the same time deliver services to them. This problem w i l l be taken up s p e c i f i c a l l y after we examine the general case. I am using the model that Smith used for mental i l l n e s s i n providing t h i s account, (see Chapter I I pp 31 and Smith, 1975) However, the informa-ti o n for the account comes from my f i e l d work and my own knowledge of s o c i a l services. I w i l l do th i s b r i e f l y , i n order to locate the s p e c i f i c practices of the agencies i n question. In the f i r s t place the s o c i a l service agency i s part of an ove r a l l system of s o c i a l services which i s connected to both the pr o v i n c i a l depart-ment of Human Resources and to the Department of Health and Welfare of the Government of Canada. The agencies are often d i r e c t l y connected to the - 87 -p r o v i n c i a l department or i n the case of Vancouver at present are part of a city-wide s o c i a l service delivery system which operates d i r e c t l y under the l e g i s l a t i o n of the p r o v i n c i a l government. The p r o v i n c i a l and federal governments are connected through cost-sharing agreements for the payment of s o c i a l services. As part of t h i s the Government of Canada places guidelines on the type and quantity of services which w i l l be paid for by the government at t h i s l e v e l . This has an influence upon the delivery of services at the p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l as we have already seen. I t influences s p e c i f i c a l l y the services that the province w i l l provide and i n doing so influences the categories and organization of services i n such a way that the delivery of services w i l l ' f i t ' t h e federal guidelines. The p r o v i n c i a l government sets the regulations and p o l i c i e s for the delivery of s o c i a l services i n the agencies. These regulations and p o l i c i e s become the working practice of s o c i a l workers and other s o c i a l service workers i n their d a i l y work. These practices include s p e c i f i c procedures for deter-mining the e l i g i b i l i t y of potential recipients of services, record-keeping procedures to recode the relevant information with respect to r e c i p i e n t s , information about the programs that have been given the recipient and what problems the individuals had which warranted these programs. There are f i l e s kept on individuals which record the work of s o c i a l workers and other s o c i a l service personnel as i t relates to ' c l i e n t s ' . These f i l e s represent the work of the s o c i a l service workers as well as develop a set of records through which the work and the services can be evaluated i n terms of 'cost e f f e c t i v e -ness' and 'usage' by government departments. In addition an important part of a s o c i a l service agency i s the finan-c i a l or accounts branch which i s normally located outside the agency i t s e l f , - 88 -i n a central o f f i c e which services a l l agencies. The accounts branch pre-pares the f i n a n c i a l assistance cheques for s o c i a l service recipients and the salary cheques for employees as wel l as i s i n charge of other expendi-tures with respect to the operation of the service. The f i n a n c i a l and account-ing part of the s o c i a l service delivery system i s organized so that i t can give a review of expenditures on request and at s p e c i f i c times during the year. In order for money to be issued for any purpose a set of procedures must be f u l -f i l l e d which are part of the work procedures of a l l s o c i a l service workers and fi n a n c i a l workers as well as accountants and other f i n a n c i a l o f f i c e r s . These procedures a r t i c u l a t e the polic y and regulations as well as the l e g i s l a t i o n to the budget and f i n a n c i a l expenditures. Social service workers a l l receive t r a i n i n g . Some tra i n i n g i s done i n the o f f i c e i t s e l f and other trai n i n g i s the professional tr a i n i n g received by qu a l i f i e d s o c i a l workers. This trai n i n g prepares s o c i a l workers for their day-to-day work i n agency o f f i c e s . I t teaches workers to re l a t e to individuals as ' c l i e n t s ' on the settings of of f i c e s and homes of c l i e n t s when necessary. I t teaches workers the assessment procedures for understanding the problems of individuals i n terms of the l e g i s l a t i o n and i n terms of the work of a s o c i a l service agency. As we l l the tr a i n i n g helps workers develop the professional termino-logy which i s part of the way i n which c l i e n t s are assessed and related to. This professional terminology i s not unimportant to the conduct of the work. I t i s general and abstract and hence, as Smith points out, "independent of the p a r t i c u l a r , the i n d i v i d u a l , the idiosyncratic and the l o c a l . " (Smith, 1975) This i s part of the process where 'cases' are worked up, t y p i f i e d and ci t e d i n journals and textbooks as to 'handle' and understand the problems of c l i e n t s . This i s a continual process which i s part of the work of the - 89 -profession i t s e l f . It develops and maintains standards for professional practice. In the agencies this training and the procedures in the office i t s e l f come together to articulate the general abstract pol icy, procedure and social service theory to the individual c l i ent . The problems that the c l ient is seen to have by the agency which refers them or that they themselves are seek-assistance with are worked up to f i t the categories and work procedures them-selves. When the problem cannot be categorized into the existing programs and procedures available, the 'case' becomes inactionable. Over time new categories and programs may be developed when the problem can be worked up and understood within the work and policy frame. This work is done by social service workers and evaluation experts who look at the operation of the agency. As well this work is done more generally by members of the departmental staff and by academics who study the society and conceptualize social phenomenon in such a way that they become actionable within the context of the categories . and working practices of the state. B. East Indian Immigrants Become Inactionable East Indian immigrants have a series of d i f f i cu l t i e s in functioning in this society. These d i f f i cu l t i e s come to the attention of social service agencies in a variety of ways. When the members of an immigrant family come into contact with one of the social institutions i t is probable that the work-ing procedures of the inst i tut ion are not equipped to deal with East Indian individuals who may not know how to relate to the inst i tut ional practices. This i s common in terms of schools and in relat ion to the police in part icu-l a r , but is also true in relat ion to Unemployment Insurance, The Workers' - 9 0 -Compensation Board and other agencies. I t i s common that these agencies r e f e r i n d i v i d u a l s who have d i f f i c u l t y r e l a t i n g to t h e i r work pr a c t i c e s to a s o c i a l service agency. This a r i s e s for a number of reasons. In cases of the p o l i c e , they are not equipped nor do they have the authority to deal with many of the c a l l s that they receive with respect to East Indian f a m i l i e s . They have a p o l i c y that i n family disputes they t r y to get help i n the form of counselling at l e a s t , for f a m i l i e s i n d i f f i c u l t y . In some cases, although according to the records of s o c i a l service agencies these are very few, i n d i v i d u a l s come to s o c i a l s e r v i c e agencies with problems that they themselves have i d e n t i f i e d and are seeking assistance. Thus through numerous r e l a t i o n s h i p s with aspects of Canadian society, i n d i v i -duals are r e f e r r e d to or go to s o c i a l service agencies. As I have suggested e a r l i e r , as a r e s u l t o f problems that regular agencies had i n dealing with the i n d i v i d u a l s who were East Indian some s p e c i a l services have been set up. The l i v e d r e a l i t y , that i s the material d i f f i c u l t i e s of East Indian immigrants which a r i s e d i r e c t l y out of t h e i r l o c a t i o n i n Canadian s o c i e t y i s the problem that i n d i v i d u a l s bring to s o c i a l service agencies. As I have already demonstrated, the statutory s e r v i c e s , a v a i l a b l e to Canadian c i t i z e n s are not a v a i l a b l e to immigrants. The problems then that are brought and could be met i n some respects at least! by statutory services are transformed through the p r a c t i c e s of s o c i a l service agencies themselves into something e l s e . The material d i f f i c u l t i e s are transformed into problems of s o c i a l ad-justment caused by the d i f f e r e n t backgrounds, c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l values and t r a d i t i o n s of East Indian immigrants as i n d i v i d u a l s . Here i s an example of how the material d i f f i c u l t i e s , described e a r l i e r are described by a s o c i a l s e rvice agency: - 91 -The major problems are family problems,relations with husbands' r e l a t i v e s , which can be a r e a l problem, r e a l l y s o c i a l adjustment problems I guess. There are di f f e r e n t s o c i a l values, di f f e r e n t backgrounds, younger children for example are a rea l problem for parents. The parents have trouble understanding that they are growing up i n a diff e r e n t society. In naming the family problems as problems of 'social adjustment' the worker i s naming the r e l a t i o n between the state and East Indian working class families which i s brought into being and exists i n the s o c i a l l y organized practices of the agency i t s e l f as i t organizes t h i s s o c i a l r e l a t i o n as a p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y . Although none of my informants stated i t e x p l i c i t l y , they were talking about East Indian working class families. This becomes clear i n r e l a t i o n to the descriptions I have given and also i n some of the elaboration provided i n response to questions: Yes, there are different situations i n the community, but the ones we know are those with problems. Other families don't have the problems I guess. You know i t i s hard to generalize. People are not a l l i n the same s i t u a t i o n , but immigrants from the r u r a l Punjab are those who have the most problems. Women i n particular are described by s o c i a l service agencies as having the most problems. They are seen by s o c i a l service agencies as having serious s o c i a l problems as immigrants. These problems arise according to the s o c i a l service agency, as a res u l t of a c o n f l i c t of s o c i a l values and of a t r a d i -t i o n a l understanding of relationships: Women have been brought up i n the culture to depend completely on their husbands and father. When a g i r l i s growing up she i s taken care of by her father u n t i l she marries. She i s taught a l l her l i f e that she w i l l have her husband to take care of her, she expects i t . When she comes here and finds that t h i s i s not the case, there are always problems. Her husband has been here before her and has become westernized. He drinks, has cut his hair and continues to go out with h i s single friends after he has married. Men have two standards, one for their wives and another for themselves. They think that they should be able to do whatever they wish and that their wives should stay home to look after the house and wait for them to come home. As well they expect women to work. The woman w i l l not expect to work outside the home. She often does not want to. She wants to do as she expected she would; look after the house and be looked after by her husband. When t h i s does not - 92 -happen she feels that she i s not being treated w e l l , but there i s not much for her to do about i t . In a t r a d i t i o n a l marriage women are very dependent on their husbands. I t comes from how they are brought up. Here i s another account that a s o c i a l worker gave: Well East Indian women are very t r a d i t i o n a l , they r e a l l y don't know what the country i s a l l about. They tend to be quite iso l a t e d , they don't learn to speak English and they don't know their rights i n this country. I t i s very d i f f i c u l t for them. Their husbands have two standards, one for their wives and one for themselves. This creates many family problems. Wives can't help the i r children at school and can't understand the changes i n their children. I t i s hard for the children as w e l l . They grow up i n two worlds, one which i s the one of their parents, the other the school, where the other kids are different and they want to be l i k e them. There are r e a l l y a l o t of family problems which no one wants to recognize. People i n the community think of families as close and supportive, th i s i s just not so. Let us contrast t h i s with a woman's account of her own s i t u a t i o n : I had to learn everything when I came and that was not easy. We l i v e d with my husband's r e l a t i v e s and i t was hard because they a l l thought I was lazy, and did not want to learn. I was so ashamed that I didn't know anything. As we got money we moved into an apartment. Then i t became r e a l l y bad. My husband went out at night and I didn't even know when he would be back. He sometimes didn't come home. One day he said that I should work. I did babysitting for a while, then I worked for a r e l a t i v e cleaning. I was a f r a i d to go on buses, because once I got l o s t . So I walked two miles. My husband began to come home drunk and beat me. I was so sad. I wondered what would happen to me. Sometimes I would stay i n bed and cry a l l day. But there was no one to t e l l and nothing to do. I couldn't go home, my brothers were not here to help me so I just learned. My husband always goes shopping with me because I can't go alone. I can't get a l l the groceries home and i n the beginning I couldn't count the money. I got a better job, washing dishes, but i t was at night and I always had to ask my husband to pick me up, and he said that I was trying to keep him from going out. Then I got a job i n the factory. I t i s much better, there are people to tal k to and I am getting to know people. I wouldn't want my husband to know, but I l i k e some of them a l o t and they have taught me a l o t of things. I l i k e them better than my husband's r e l a t i v e s . We have two children now and they stay with the r e l a t i v e s during - 93 -the day. I t i s a l o t of work so I am t i l e d . But I am going to try to take a language course, maybe i n a year, so I can ta l k English. My husband beat me the l a s t time I t o l d him about i t , but I'm going to find a way, sometime soon. I t i s just that I am always so t i r e d . He says that I am lazy, won't work, but well I f e e l that I have learned a l o t . But since I don't speak well and don't drive or have my own money, i t i s hard to do many things. (translated) Prom the accounts of the s o c i a l service workers, we see that East. Indian women are characterized as t r a d i t i o n a l , dependent and i n some sense backward. This dependency i s attributed to her as a result of her background, her c u l t u r a l background i n this case. In the account the woman gives of her s i t u a t i o n , she describes the p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s that her husband must help her with i f she i s going to get them done. Her material circumstances as she has described them leave l i t t l e time or opportunity for her to learn how to do these tasks. The combination of working, keeping her house and looking after her children takes up a l l her time. As w e l l her husband c l e a r l y objects to her beginning to learn these things. However, th i s material r e a l i t y i s not accounted for i n the descriptions of s o c i a l workers as a material d i f f i c u l t y a r i s i n g out of her location i n Canadian society, rather i t i s accounted for i n her c u l t u r a l upbringing. Thus aspects of a woman's material setting are attributed to her as an aspect of her character as a person. They are however f i r s t conceptualized as c u l t u r a l background and attributed to her immigrant status, then seen as part of the tr a d i t i o n a l way i n which East Indian immigrant women behave. Her problem i s then seen as insoluable: Women are t r a d i t i o n a l , but they are often badly abused by their husbands. The police are concerned, we are concerned, but there i s not much to be done. The women can't leave home, they cannot manage. On occasions the police have got a woman to sign a com-pl a i n t and have booked the husband. This i s just not reasonable. We cannot r e a l l y get help for these women. - 94 -If they q u a l i f y for programs, we can get them i n sometimes, but as immigrants they qualify for very l i t t l e . The husbands have so much control and women do not know their r i g h t s , and i f they do, do not exercise their r i g h t s , so that the s i t u a t i o n continues. Women jus.6 have to become more Canadian before we can help. We do a l o t of counselling. But given the s i t u a t i o n we t r y to get the man to see the differences and how hard i t i s for h i s wife. We try to get him to see her s i t u a t i o n . We also t e l l him that he i s not allowed to beat his wife here, i t i s the law and the law here i s different from India. They shrug most of the time and say i t i s his house. Probably the wife i s beaten for coming to us. We counsel women mostly. We t r y to t e l l them their rights and to help them adjust. As she i s better i n the house and understands more, usually her s i t u a t i o n improves. In this we can see that the agency i n finding the problem insoluble supports the husband i n h i s control over his wife. There i s no administrative way i n which they can enforce any change i n his relations to his wife, thus they see the problem as insoluble. The wife i s counselled to accomodate herself to her husband. There i s no attempt to take her out of the s i t u a t i o n . The i m p l i c i t p o l i c y of the government department which i s to keep families together, and to keep men i n a position where he supports h i s wife i s followed. I f she i s on welfare she i s a burden on the state. She may very w e l l q u a l i f y for welfare, but t h i s i s often not explored, except i n desperate situations. In numerous situations, of course, women are t o l d by the courts that they must go home to give their husbands another chance, when they make custody applications through the courts for custody of their children. We find that 'social values^' and different 'backgrounds' are the terms that describe, the actual ways i n which s o c i a l workers transform material problems into problems which are inactionable within the s o c i a l service agency. The a c t i v i t i e s however are not f u l l y present i n the a c t i v i t i e s of so c i a l workers i n their day-to-day practices,but are part of their t r a i n i n g and the development of conceptualizations by academics, which draw relations - 95 -between individuals and their 'backgrounds and cultures'. These r e l a t i o n -ships have already been drawn out i n work previously done and are r e a d i l y available for use by s o c i a l workers. I f we return to the naming of material a c t i v i t i e s as s o c i a l adjustment problems we can see that t h i s i s a s o c i a l l y constructed image, which put into practice i n a s o c i a l service agency becomes the construction of a problem as insoluble and inactionable. Let us begin with some accounts of women learning to do practical things: When I f i r s t came, I was very lonely and f e l t very strange. I didn't know my husband's family and did not know how to f i t i n . In my country i t would be d i f f e r e n t . I would know the family a l i t t l e and my family would be there, I knew how to work. Here I didn't know anything. We moved into the home of his r e l a t i v e s . I couldn't do what I was to l d . I didn't know how to cook or clean or do anything. I t ' s not that I didn't know but wel l I didn't know here. Stoves were not the same, the food was different....not different but making i t was d i f f e r e n t . . . . When we went to the store I didn't know most of the things i n i t , and when we found the things we wanted to buy, they were, oh, I don't know. I think everyone thought I was no good, you know not a good wife, lazy. I would s i t and wonder what to do, I would do i t wrong. One day I washed the fl o o r , I used a l o t of Spic and Span. I'd seen my aunt do i t . When i t dried we couldn't l i f t our feet o f f the f l o o r . Everyone laughed, me too, but for me i t wasn't funny. I couldn't even wash f l o o r s ! The family was good, but we used to f i g h t , over things around the house, or other things. I t i s better now that we l i v e i n our own house. I was walking down the street and some boys started to follow me, c a l l at me. They were laughing and I didn't know what they were saying. I couldn't remember where I was going or what I was doing. My sister-in-law told me that men were bad here and I didn't know what would happen to me. I wanted to go home. I lo s t my place. No one could understand me or help me. After that I didn't go out alone. At f i r s t I did go to a store near my house, but now my husband and I go shopping together to supermarkets. The 'social adjustment problem' arises i n the r e l a t i o n between a woman who has the status of an immigrant and an agency who has the job of - 96 -accomodating her to the society i n which she i s now located. She must be accomodated however i n a very special way. She must not receive the same assistance that Canadian c i t i z e n s receive, but she must be given services. What follows then i s what we have discussed already. The kind of assistance given women and men i s counselling. Social service workers go to the homes of individuals and v i s i t neighbours of East Indian families to attempt to 'adjust' individuals who are East Indian to the society and to explain East Indian persons to people that they come into con-tact with and encounter d i f f i c u l t y i n r e l a t i n g to. The assessment that i s given i s as I have outlined i t . Social service agencies try to get East Indian individuals to change and accomodate themselves to the schools and police , the laws and the practices of other agencies. In doing t h i s they find themselves i n c o n f l i c t with some of the practices of the established leadership and the established communications system i n the community. Thus agencies often f e e l that they must struggle with the ' t r a d i t i o n a l patterns of the community' which mean that East Indian immigrants may be suspicious of agencies. The agency feels that this suspicion i s related to the lack of experience that individuals have with modern s o c i a l services. This explanation i s one which i s d i f f i c u l t to f u l l y assess on the basis of my data. However individuals did report that they f e l t that agencies betrayed them on occasions and that they (the agencies) were not r e a l l y interested i n the problems. Examples of th i s included occasions when i n d i v i -duals went to inquire about matters r e l a t i n g to immigration status. They did not want to go d i r e c t l y to immigration, because they were concerned that they might have d i f f i c u l t y or might have broken some of the rules. When they went to the s o c i a l service agency they found that they were seen immediately by an immigration o f f i c e r who was part of the agency. Other examples included - 9 7 -lack of assistance of any kind when they went for help and r e f e r r a l to several agencies for assistance which took them out of their areas of competence i n terms of language and knowledge of situatio n s . Agencies did express concern that individuals were not integrating w e l l into Canadian society. They did see that aspects of their own work had some part i n preventing t h i s integration. However, they saw the i s o l a t i o n of East Indian individuals into an ethnic community as a matter of personal pre-ference. In general they accounted for t h i s preference as the problems of adjustment between two cultures: People have trouble adjusting to Canada, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f they are poor and have come from poor backgrounds. But many of them don't want to change and choose to have only friends from their own groups. Often i t i s from the former l i n k s i n India. Women i n these situations do not have family and they must get along with the husband's family. In terms of the work that they do often they have trouble learning i t . I t i s so diff e r e n t here. With neighbours, we t r y to get people to cooperate. Like we go and ta l k to a l l concerned. We t e l l East Indians that they ought to conform to standards of Canadian yards, etc. So that they should mow their lawns and not throw garbage i n their back yards. People'do cooperate. Education, the ways i n which men and women have been taught to l i v e and conduct their a c t i v i t i e s are different i n India. I t i s seen that immi-grants do not have the same experiences as individuals brought up i n Canada. The di f f e r e n t education and experience are then seen as problems of back-ground, which cause the i n a b i l i t y to manage p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s i n Canada. I t i s true of course that individuals do not know how to do things i n Canada. I t i s also true that their t r a i n i n g f i t s them to function i n another setting. However, the fact remains that women do not know how to use an e l e c t r i c stove because they do not know how, they have never been taught. I t i s not because of her background. Background, meaning her past experience i s attributed to her as a part of her personality, part of her ' s e l f , which - 98 -prevents her from being s o c i a l l y adjusted. Thus, agencies f e e l that the community remains very much intact and homogenous as a res u l t of the preferences of individuals. The problems arise out of the differences i n circumstances and the traditions which East Indians are trying to hang onto i n this country. People would be better o f f i f they were part of Canada l i k e other Canadians. Their c u l t u r a l traditions are not a problem then. But with the community, they don't learn anything, so they depend on gossip and rumour, never find out what the case i s . For a long time people thought that they were not e n t i t l e d to UIC or Welfare, or that i t was a disgrace to take t h i s . Gradually information i s f i l t e r i n g i n and we have more families receiving help who need i t . But there are l o t s of families who r e a l l y need help and are a f r a i d to ask. This i s t r a d i t i o n a l and a direct r e s u l t of the closeness of the community. Leaders i n the past have been misinformed and advised people badly i n some cases. Not deliberately I don't think, but just because they didn't know either. That i s changing, but i t has been r e a l l y hard. Much of the discussion of the leadership and organizations of the community by agency personnel suggests that there i s a competitive r e l a t i o n between the leadership and the agencies. The leadership has been the people who provided information to many individuals i n the community over a long per-iod of time. The agencies are attempting i n some respects to take over some of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s that the 1 adership had i n the past. Although t h i s i s not an open c o n f l i c t as far as I could determine, i t was clear that the agencies were trying to make the information available to the members of the community i n a more o f f i c i a l and authorized way than the leadership. The agencies were not challenging the leadership i n terms of their p o l i t i c a l r o l e , or their role i n representing the community. However agencies did think that the leadership ought to understand the problems more and to see how the agencies worked to help people. The community i s i n t r a n s i t i o n I think. There are many areas where the old organizations and ways of doing things are just not appropriate any longer. We are trying to get people to see the problems and not - 99 -say that there are none. Not a l l families have problems, but many do. This cannot be ignored nor treated as incidental because their l i v e s are so much better here than i n India. When the leadership talks to government I think often they are out of touch. Not so much that they are wrong, but that they do not see the problems as they are. Some of the problems that the agencies were concerned about i n addition to the family situations were employment. The agencies were dealing with a number of cases with the Workers' Compensation Board and with particular employers. They described how they worked. W e l l the Compensation Board thinks that Indians have a higher accident rate than other workers. This may be true. They are not used to working with machinery, but also they have hard jobs. We t r y to explain both sides and go with people to the Board. That way at least people can t r y to understand each other. In employer disputes, when there i s no union, we t r y to make each side understand one another. This i s the key. Usually things can be worked out. You see we get r e f e r r a l s from the schools, UIC, Workers' Compensation, VRB, and the Community Police Team. Most of our work i s l i k e that. We have to deal with t h i s case by case and t r y to solve problems as they come. The agencies were a l l concerned about the s i t u a t i o n with women who were farm workers: Yes women do work, but you probably know the situations i n which they work. But they don't think i t i s so bad. They say that i t i s the money which i s a help i n the home and besides the work i s not as bad as the conditions i n India. When i t i s pointed out that t h i s i s Canada and things are d i f f e r e n t , they just shrug. You see I don't think that they w i l l be able to improve their condition u n t i l they speak English. And learning that i s a r e a l problem. They think they don't have to know i t , that they get along f i n e , i f their children learn that i s a l l that i s important. With that kind of atti t u d e , i t i s hard to convince them that i t would be important to them. Other problems were also described: Work situations are also a problem, also tenant r e l a t i o n s , neighbours, a l l those sorts of things. I t i s r e a l l y the language problem that i s the root cause I think, because people don't know anything about the society and can't learn. They depend on rumour, on other people's - 100 -s t o r i e s , on people who they respect, but who don't know what i s going on, besides often the people that they ask don't want to t e l l them the r i g h t information, even i f they knew i t . Q. What are the work problems that you deal with? I guess the major problem i s discrimination. But i t i s hard to know what i s going on sometimes. Like when individuals have been discriminated against, they come to see everything from that point of view, and they react to l i t t l e things which makes i t d i f f i c u l t for them, I think. But there are a l o t of r e a l problems too. People exploit on work permits, individuals who do not get their pay, employers who threaten to have people deported, which usually they can't, but people don't know. I think that East Indians are also a problem on the job often. Like they do favours for the boss so that they w i l l get along and things l i k e that, those a l l cause problems. I t i s a matter that things are not done here the same and people don't understand. However, although there was considerable concern and consciousness about the s i t u a t i o n of East Indians, and a l o t of knowledge about the community, and the l i v e s of individuals, the agencies were not able to deal with these r e a l i t i e s within their work practices. Advocacy Agencies These agencies run on grants; the s t a f f may i n some cases have pro-fessional t r a i n i n g , but for the most part the programs are staffed by i n d i v i -duals who have begun their work as 'concerned c i t i z e n s ' , sometimes with univer-s i t y education, but no professional t r a i n i n g . The s t a f f i s not we l l paid. They are paid salaries which the grant allows. The services performed by these agencies are often termed access services. The agencies attempt to provide individuals assistance with other agencies. They w i l l f i l l i n UIC forms, go to job interviews with c l i e n t s i f they have time, help with immigra-t i o n problems, t r y to relate them to the appropriate agency. The agency has a mixed r o l e , i n part they are advocates for c l i e n t s , i n part they interpret p o l i c y of agencies to c l i e n t s and help the c l i e n t accomodate to the service. - 101 -The advocacy r o l e invariably gets s t a f f and the program into trouble with other agencies. I went with one woman to the VRB o f f i c e s to see about family court and getting welfare. I was not permitted into the interview because I was not a professional s o c i a l worker. The worker persuaded the woman to go home and t r y again. After that there was nothing I could do, r e a l l y . I asked the worker i f the woman q u a l i f i e d for welfare and I was to l d that i t was a confidential matter, I was not authorized to handle that information. We just can't deal with these people. The amount of time i t took me to be to l d that I was no help, or was not qu a l i f i e d to help, made the sit u a t i o n impossible. Everyone w i l l t e l l you that East Indians do not want welfare, i t i s a disgrace within the community, not many people are on welfare, a l l that. Well I think l o t s of people need i t and they aren't given i t . Workers t a l k women out of leaving th e i r husbands, t a l k them out of applying. I t i s always implied that because they are immigrants they don't q u a l i f y . That i s n ' t so, you know, but i t i s senseless to send people i f they are just going to get the run around. As you can see we have trouble with some of the agencies. The view of the formal agencies i s d i f f e r e n t : The people who work on grants are we l l meaning and are good at some things, but they are not q u a l i f i e d to do professional counselling. They don't have the tr a i n i n g , they get too involved i n the cases, too emotionally involved, they can't be objective. I think that they should do translation and r e f e r r a l , but often they come down here and want to t e l l us what c l i e n t s need. That i s our job. Also, they don't see the o v e r a l l implications of things, women for example, can't e x i s t without the i r husbands, not East Indian women at least. The grants programs run into problems with UIC, Immigration, a l l kinds of agencies that they deal with on behalf of their c l i e n t s : UIC, that i s another problem. They are so o f f i c i o u s . They make a l l kinds of mistakes, they don't care. They won't want to know about people's problems. On the other hand the grants programs also get people to accomodate themselves to the agencies that they have to deal with. An aspect of th i s i s that the grant renewal often depends on evaluations from other agencies as well as community leaders. So that i f agencies begin to complain about the operations that can be very serious i n terms of grant renewal. However, these groups do accomodate agencies as w e l l . They redirect - 102 -c l i e n t s i f they know the polic y w i l l not be able to help them. They t e l l c l i e n t s when there i s no help for them. In t h i s way they support the existing patterns. The professional agency does mostly r e f e r r a l and community work. There i s a multi-professional team, which works with schools, agencies and the polic e . Their work i s professional and they interpret the community to the agencies and sort out problems with the schools, i n families and with neighbours. The view of the agencies about the community i s one that we have seen before. The community i s very t r a d i t i o n a l . People s t i l l have t h e i r old ways. I want to look at how the actual conditions that we talked about i n the f i r s t sections are seen by agencies. In these descriptions, the agencies demonstrate both how they under-stand the material problems and how they deal with them i n the face of no material services being available to East Indian immigrants. The d i f f i c u l t i e s that they i d e n t i f y are also completely beyond their authority to a s s i s t with. Thus the problems are accounted for i n other ways and are seen to be problems associated with individuals themselves. What i s missing from their account i s the relations the actual practices which bring these problems into being, as problems. Summary As East Indian immigrants relate to the s o c i a l service agencies, police and schools, the practices of treating them d i f f e r e n t l y are developed within the work procedures of the agencies, police and schools. These procedures depend upon both the day-to-day implementation, but as wel l on the train i n g of the individuals who implement the procedures. That i s i n the job of - 103 -a r t i c u l a t i n g the general pol i c y and procedure to the p a r t i c u l a r s e t t i n g , i n t h i s case the East Indian community i n Vancouver, the training of s o c i a l workers and the work of i n t e l l e c t u a l s i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n developing and providing conceptualization of problems or situations which f i t them into the administrative bureaucratic framework. CHAPTER IV FAMILY RELATIONS IN THE EAST INDIAN COMMUNITY Introduction The practices of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and government departments create the s o c i a l construction of East Indian immigrants, as different from other individuals i n the society. Their practices with respect to administering programs to East Indian immigrants are part of how the a c t i v i t i e s of East Indian immigrants are brought into being as an ethnic community. When you examine the community from the location of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and govern-ment agencies you understand and see the community as homogenous and united by virtue of the backgrounds and preferences of indi v i d u a l s , you see that certain individuals i n the community have problems f i t t i n g into the broader society as a resul t of their backgrounds and personal preferences, which both create the community and bring them into c o n f l i c t with the individuals i n the society and i n the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . They have these problems of "members" of the community are seen as a r i s i n g from the fact that they do not follow the s o c i a l l y accepted practices of the society. From th i s perspective the community does indeed appear i n th i s way. However, understanding the community i n th i s way, arises as we have seen, out of s o c i a l l y organized practices which bring this into being. At the same time these practices create a v e i l over the class d i v i s i o n i n the community i t s e l f . That i s these practices conceal the internal organization of the - 104 -- 105 -community by concentrating on new "members" are differentiated from the rest of society, that i s on their e t h n i c i t y and their c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t y to each other which arises out of their country of o r i g i n . When you begin to focus not on the ethnic community as different from the rest of the society and not on the c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s of individuals within the community, but on the difference between individuals within the community, a class d i v i s i o n becomes v i s i b l e . I am going to look at the differences i n families' material circumstances and family relations to make this v i s i b l e to you. This material difference arises out of the different r e l a t i o n of East Indian families to the labour market. The material d i f f e r -ence i s I argue consequential to the material security of the family and the family relations themselves. The class d i v i s i o n also becomes v i s i b l e i n the relations between men and women and i n the r e l a t i o n of parents to their children. The difference in these relations arise out of the different r e l a t i o n to the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , including the school, s o c i a l agencies, the police and government departments. The difference i n these relations i s consequential for women i n their location i n r e l a t i o n to and subject to men i n the family. The differences i n the relations between the family and the s o c i a l insditutions i s consequential for children i n r e l a t i o n to their parents as wel l as for the organization of the home i t s e l f . Family Relations In The East Indian Community East Indian families are very, very close. They are r e a l l y the core of the community. The family i s the most, important part of the l i v e s of individuals. They love their children, men are very caring about their wives and they care for parents with concern and love. Really the families are not transient as i n the case of Canadian families. They r e a l l y hold together. We are increasingly concerned about East Indian families. We f e e l there i s increasing family violence p a r t i c u l a r l y toward wives. - 106 -Children are a constant disappointment to their families and are often ashamed of their uneducated parents. Men often have two standards which i s r e a l l y a problem with wives who are new here. Men are often discouraged and demoralized as a resul t of thei r work s i t u a t i o n and take i t out on their families. The worst part of th i s s i t u a t i o n i s that people don't want to admit t h i s i s a problem. (Drawn from interviews with Social Service workers) There are two d i s t i n c t sets of family relationships i n the East Indian community; those of business and professional families and those of families where men and women work i n service and labouring jobs. In t h i s description I want to draw out the differences and expand i n some d e t a i l on the families where men and women have working class jobs. Thus I w i l l describe four family situations. Three situations are families i n the working class, where men work i n in d u s t r i a l and services jobs and where i n two cases women work outside the home. The fourth family s i t u a t i o n i s drawn from families who are not i n the working c l a s s , but who gain their income from professional jobs or as owners of businesses. The fourth family s i t u a t i o n provides a contrast to the other three. The contrast points out how the descriptions given me by many informants were descriptions of working class families, although i n no case did informants make t h i s e x p l i c i t i n the interview i t s e l f . When I f i r s t interviewed a pro-fessional family, after I had completed the working class interviews, I was struck by the enormous differences between the two family situations. These differences included the physical surroundings, the family relationships, and the relationships that the family had with the school, community organiza-t i o n s , government agencies, and business. This d i r e c t l y observable difference became a matter for considerable investigation. At f i r s t I named i t simply a class difference, but as I worked on the problem I began to see i t s implica-tions i n a way I had not before understood. I began to see class not as a - 107 -ca tegory , but as an o rgan ized s o c i a l r e l a t i o n as I have desc r ibed e a r l i e r . (Chapter 11 , pp 3 7 ) . I n each o f the f a m i l y s i t u a t i o n s I have focussed on the p o s i t i o n o f women i n the f a m i l y and how the r e l a t i o n s between her husband, her c h i l d r e n and h e r s e l f are a r ranged. Jobs , s c h o o l s , r e l i g i o n and s o c i a l l i f e are a l l background to the f a m i l y . These d e s c r i p t i o n s are in tended as a base from which we can proceed to examine how these r e l a t i o n s a r i s e . F a m i l i e s Where Women Do Not Work Outs ide the Home In f a m i l i e s where the husband's job i s more or l e s s permanent by v i r t u e o f s e n i o r i t y and other job p r o t e c t i o n , and where the wage i s s u f f i c i e n t to pay for the f a m i l y ' s needs, women i n the work ing c l a s s do not work ou t s i de the home. East I nd i an men no rma l ly have jobs i n the f o r e s t i n d u s t r y i n t h i s ca se . F a m i l i e s i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n n o r m a l l y have been i n Canada more than ten years and have c h i l d r e n i n the upper grades a t s c h o o l . The man speaks E n g l i s h w e l l enough to manage a t work and to handle h i s f i n a n c i a l a f f a i r s i n E n g l i s h . He i s not n e c e s s a r i l y f l u e n t but for o r d i n a r y purposes o f h i s d a i l y l i f e he i s l i t e r a t e i n E n g l i s h . H i s w i f e w i l l speak l i t t l e or no E n g l i s h . E n g l i s h i s taught i n Ind i an schoo l s o n l y a f t e r the f i f t h grade, so i n many cases people who come from the Punjab have no or v e r y l i t t l e E n g l i s h i n t h e i r e d u c a t i o n . They w i l l own t h e i r own home, no rma l ly an o l d e r home i n south east Vancouver and w i l l have some s a v i n g s . We came to Canada i n the f i f t i e s , and my husband came f i r s t and I fo l lowed a f t e r he had made a s t a r t . I t was v e r y d i f f i c u l t a t f i r s t because there was a l o t o f unemployment and my husband was out o f work a l o t . I haven ' t l ea rned to speak E n g l i s h , there j u s t was no t ime nor o p p o r t u n i t y , nor reason r e a l l y I guess. I look a f t e r the house and I d o n ' t work. I d i d a w h i l e ago, but i t was hard and my husband s a i d we d i d n ' t need the money r e a l l y so I d i d n ' t do i t anymore. (Trans l a t ed ) - 108 -The family unit consists of the wife, husband and children. In some cases one or other parents l i v e with them permanently, but more often both the husband and wife have parents for lengthy v i s i t s ( s i x months or a year), .which they finance. Frequently the family i s responsible for r e l a t i v e s , who are recent immigrants, but again t h i s i s normally for only a year or perhaps two years at any one time. Thus the size of the family unit and the number of individuals supported on the wage varies from year to year. We have been able to bring both our parents here on v i s i t s and we have been back once. Neither of our parents came here permanently. I think I would l i k e i t but i t i s hard for them and also sending money home makes more sense i n many ways. I t goes farther and our parents can l i v e comfortably with other parts of the family. My nephew came here and now i s married and several of my husband's re l a t i v e s have come. They have l i v e d with us from time to time. I am happy that we have been able to help others get settled here, but i t has been a l o t of work for me and my husband, (translated) Wives manage the house, cooking, cleaning and caring for everyone who i s i n the home. I f other women are i n the home they are expected to work i n the home under the dir e c t i o n of the wife unless i t i s either of their mothers or her husband's older s i s t e r . In most instances of immigrant r e l a t i v e s , they are men so that the work for the most part f a l l s on the 'woman of the house'. Women do a l l the laundry, mending and sew their own clothes and often some clothes for the children. In cases where there i s a young immigrant woman i n the house (usually for very short periods of time) she i s also responsible for orienting her i n new ways of managing the house. The work I do? Well you must know. Cleaning, cooking,sewing and a l l that. No. My husband does not help. The house i s my job. He does shop with me and we buy most of the things together. But I do the housework, he earns money. Q. Is i t hard being i n the house a l l the time and not going out? Well, yes sometimes, but I found that i t was harder to go out. I didn't l i k e i t . I mean I don't speak English and that i s d i f f i c u l t when others don't speak Pubjabi. But I do go out with my husband - 109 -to v i s i t friends, sometimes to celebrations for weddings, those things. And I always go out for shopping. (Translated) The house has a washing machine and dryer, e l ec tr ica l appliances so that the wife is not required to go out to do the washing and has a convenient kitchen. The house is modestly furnished, often with furniture bought when the house was f i r s t set up. If there are carpets, they are inexpensive and there is not a great deal of decoration in the form of ornaments or paint-ings in the house. The house is as i t was b u i l t , with few renovations. The yard i s t idy, well kept, but not elaborate in terms of landscaping or gardens. Women in these situations do not drive cars nor do they manage the money for the house or the family. Shopping is done with the husband. She w i l l rarely go out alone, except i f she has friends who l ive very close to her. For the most part, she only leaves the house with her husband, and has no friends whom her husband does not also know. She has no Canadian friends. No, I don't have Canadian friends. It i s not possible. I'm not sure that I want to. I do sometimes think that I would have l iked to be in India, maybe we w i l l go back for our old age, I don't know. Here there are other things. But i t is not the same. Q. Can I ask who handles the money? My husband. He is better at i t than I am. Q. What would have happened in India? It would be different. But everything i s different. The husband has friends whom he has met at work. They are almost exclusively East Indian. He may be active in his union, in which case he knows some non-East Indian workers in this context. Occasionally he and his family may attend a union function which is. also attended by non-East Indian workers and their families,but this w i l l probably be the l imit to his connection socia l ly with non-East Indians. Men usually have other members of their family in Vancouver. These are brothers, cousins or uncles, who - 110 -also have families who are also the personal friends of the family. Beyond this there are personal friends from work and this is usually the l imit of both the husband and wife's social l i f e . It is not usually that the wife has permanent family here except i f her parents are here. Our friends? Well my husband's relat ives , and some people he has worked with for a long time. That is a l l . We have friends at home too, but we of course don't see them. We do i f we v i s i t . Q. Do you have friends of your own? Yes, these people are my friends, but you mean different, no, not rea l ly , one woman lives close and I v i s i t her sometimes during the day. But her husband knows us too and we v i s i t together. There is a lot to do in the house and I usually go out with my husband. We have family dinners, and that sort of thing. (Translated) Participation in East Indian community organizations is infrequent. The family participated in and holds ac t iv i t i es at one of the Sikh temples on special occasions, weddings, family events, e t ® . They however do not p a r t i -cipate in the leadership of the temple except in infrequent cases where they are very orthodox in their religious practices, in which cases they may participate in the more ' tradi t ional ' temple. I know that lots of people say that the 11th Avenue Temple involves more working class people. It is supported by some p o l i t i c a l elements that think that is so, and in some respects I guess this is true, or used to be. But rea l ly I think i t is a figment of people's imagination. That temple is the same as the other, jusd the issues are different, and they keep some of the tradit ions, that others are embarrassed by, because they think that they are not in keeping with Canada. The other temple is different, but i t is po l i t i c s too. There are kingmakers behind the leaders and those people are bought by the big people. Bought in one way or another, with friendships, jobs, a l l sorts of things. (Translated) There are other organizations in the community, l i t erary clubs, women's groups, and business clubs, but i t is unusual for men or women in these situations to participate. At the same time men and women do not organize - I l l -their own formal social or cultural organizations. Some of the organizations I have jus learned about from you. I don't belong to any of them and neither do any of the people I know. They are not organizations for us. They are for people who have time and money to do that sort of thing. I don't know what they are for. I think that those people need something to do, they don't work and so they have to find other things. That is the way I see i t anyway. (Translated) Some members of organizations reported that they wanted to broaden and increase their membership. We real ly want to get more women involved in our group. But i t is d i f f i c u l t because their husband's don't want them to do any-thing that distracts from their work. In one case a woman who I have been trying to encourage to jo in asked her husband and he said that she didn't have time. She had to learn English and get a job, after that she could think about other things. That is the case in many situations. In others, the women just don't think they can go out by themselves. I mean without their husbands. English is not spoken in the home except in the case of an English speaking v i s i t o r , such a v i s i tor speaks to the man. The woman is not present except to serve tea or a meal. Children do not learn English u n t i l they go to school, and are often in special classes or held back i n their grades as a result of the school being conducted in English. The relation between the children and their mother and father is altered as a result of the chi ld's participation at school. The children have trouble at school. At f i r s t I didn't know about i t , but when the teacher came I d id . The children are not good at school. I don't know what to do, the teachers say that i t is because of our home. I don't know. I think i f they learn English and other things to get a job that is enough. They don't l ike school and don't want to go. It is hard to get them to go. Sometimes I just let them stay home. The school takes for granted that children w i l l come with certain s k i l l s and knowledge of how to behave and certain understandings of the place in which they l i v e . - 112 -Children from East Indian families have d i f f i c u l t y adjusting. Thus they do not develop s k i l l s as quickly as other children. This places them at a disadvantage as you know. The c h i l d i s l i k e l y to have d i f f i c u l t y at school not only as a result of the language problem, but as a result of relations with other students and i n a b i l i t y to meet the expectations of teachers. East Indian children do not f i t these expectations. As children learn to f i t into the school, they f i t less well into the family. They often are ashamed of their parents, seeing them as d i f f e r e n t . Their mother cannot relate to the school at a l l unless there i s a teacher or community l i a i s o n worker who speaks Punjabi. The ch i l d ' s r e l a t i o n to her mother i s altered i n that they no longer share the same world and the world of the c h i l d i s very much different than her mother's. Children w i l l often not l i s t e n to their mothers, thinking that they are strange, an embarrassment or an ignorant person. I think that schools here are wrong. They want the children to do a l l things at school. I f they do that what can they do at home? My children were good before they went to school, now they are d i f f e r e n t . I don't l i k e the school. I w i l l be glad when they are finished, when they can work and not bother with that. Look, my parents are immigrants. Now I see their problems and the things they face, and what I face too. But three, even two years ago, I wouldn't go on a bus with my mom, I was ashamed of her, I didn't want to be seen with her. My dad too, but less so. We used to r e a l l y f i g h t with each other and I know my mother was r e a l l y hurt. I think that she actually understood, but i t was hard. Now that I am working i t i s d i f f e r e n t . In l a t e r years at school, young adults often confront i s o l a t i o n and r i d i c u l e at school. Young men are often i n fights with other Canadian younsters about being 'hIndus' or 'ragheads'. As a r e s u l t parents are often confronted with the police and the school. Neither parent i s very well equipped to deal with these situations. Problems between children and parents often follow. The authority of parents, p a r t i c u l a r l y the women, over their children i s - 113 -eroded by the children's p a r t i c i p a t i o n at school. This contributes to some of the most serious problems i n families i n this s i t u a t i o n . I dunno, my mom and dad, w e l l . . . . They are d i f f e r e n t , and that makes me d i f f e r e n t . At school the whites don't l i k e us and we don't l i k e them. They c a l l us ragheads and hindus. I took i t long enough. Now some of the others and me take care of that. The police are always around here. My parents t r y to keep me home because they came to see them about me. They think the police are r i g h t and I have to stay out of trouble. But they don't know what i t i s l i k e , they don't know what; wel l just that. I can't stay home a l l the time the way they do and I can't just accept i t the way that they t e l l me to. In t h i s family s i t u a t i o n the women's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and authority i n the family tends to be confined within the home i t s e l f . She must primarily be concerned with the care of the needs of the family and care of any additions to the family for periods of time. Outside the home, even when shopping for groceries and other things for the home and her personal pur-chases, she must depend on her husband to a s s i s t her. Her husband makes a l l the f i n a n c i a l decisions including t r a v e l and lending money to r e l a t i v e s for down payments on houses and other equipment to get new immigrants started. Not only does her husband earn the money,but he, for the most part, determines how the house i s operated, while she works i n i t . Families Where Women Work Inside The Community Immigrants who have come within the l a s t ten years have found that their economic s i t u a t i o n i s not as stable as that of immigrants who came e a r l i e r . P a r t i c u l a r l y i n the l a s t four years, well paid, secure work has not been available i n the forest industry or i n other labouring areas. Men have found work as labourers within the community or as j a n i t o r i a l workers, parking l o t attendents, etc. i n the regular labour force. In these situations women have more and more been required to work outside the home. - 114 -Families i n these situations either rent or make payments on their newly acquired home. In either case the family has l i t t l e control over where the house i s located, or how convenient i t i s , either i n location or i n the i n t e r i o r organization. I t i s normal that their house payments are very high as a re s u l t of buying mortages at high interest rates or that their rent i s high. I t i s normal that the family has commitments to recent immigrants, who share t h e i r home and expect that the family w i l l support them during their f i r s t year or so i n Vancouver. We rent t h i s house and are hoping to buy, because the rent i s so expensive, $550.00. My nephew i s here and his wife w i l l come soon, so i t i s too crowded. But u n t i l we have more money that i s not possible. I f I can borrow the money, I think that our payments would be the same, but the house would be mine. (Translated) The house i s not well or conveniently equipped. I t does not have a recent model stove, fridge, and labour saving devices l i k e vacuums, washer and dryer. When you ask me about these things some of them I have only seen. I don't use them i n my house, some of my r e l a t i v e s have them, but I don't, maybe sometime l a t e r . But I don't know how to use a vacuum. My husband wants them, but I don't know. (Translated) I f the family has already invested i n these things i t may be that they have bought them on c r e d i t , which increases their f i n a n c i a l commitment. In any case, the house i s an older house without the easy care features of recently b u i l t houses. Thus care and upkeep i s both hard work and time-consuming. Seldom are there people to help the wife, since r e l a t i v e s who are recent immigrants are young men. I f the recent immigrant also has a wife there w i l l be some help with the housework, but t h i s means that there i s an extra person to be supported. - 115 -How long I work i n the house? A l l day. I never thought about how long i t takes. I t takes a l l day. Now that my niece i s here she works with me. She cleans and I cook and cleans. But she w i l l be glad to have her own house, and then I w i l l do i t a l l as before. In these cases where immigrant women speak no English i t i s very d i f f i c u l t for them to get a job outside the home unless their own language i s s u f f i c i e n t for the job. Jobs l i k e t h i s are available within the East Indian business community. Women can get jobs as farm workers, j a n i t o r i a l workers, chambermaids i n hostels and motels owned by members of the community, babysitters and houseworkers. I babysit for a friend of mine while she works. I t i s easier than the work that I did before. I t means that I can be at home and don't have to travel far to work. (Translated) Much of t h i s work i s seasonal and a l l i s very low paid. I clean rooms. I can do that during the day and be home to clean the house and make meals before my husband comes home. Before I was working at night and I was always t i r e d . I work i n the f i e l d s i n the summer. I have for two summers and I w i l l t h i s summer too. I t i s the work that I can get. I can help with the costs and I get out with other people. I t i s not as hard as i n India. Getting the work depends on knowing someone who can put you i n contact with employers. There are always large numbers of people available to do the work so that a contact person i s very important i n i t i a l l y to get the job. I got the job through a friend of mine who was working there. I t pays better than what I used to do. I know that you think that i t i s too l i t t l e , but i t i s hard to get jobs and they do not think that we are worth more. They can always hire someone else. So I guess they are r i g h t . (Translated) Some of the work i s organized by labour contractors who pay the workers and s e l l their labour to farmers for a higher hourly wage than the workers receive. In return for the portion of the worker's salary, the labour - 116 -contractor gives them a job and transports them to the farm to work. The work involves very long hours and poor working conditions. Although the pay i s low, women working i n these jobs add much needed income to the family. Men are often doing similar work to the women and as well may work at several part-time jobs i n the service area. In th i s way a family income i s brought together. The family thus t r i e s to meet i t s commitments to house payments, or rents, grocery b i l l s , heat, l i g h t and to furnishing the house; as well they t r y to keep commitments to r e l a t i v e s and t r y to begin to save some money. Having the women working outside the home places a l o t of stress on the family, p a r t i c u l a r l y on the relationship between the husband and wife. She i s not able to keep the house as she i s expected to, and the man finds that either he must help with the household work or i t does not get done. This creates resentments and arguments. When there are parents or other immigrants i n the house i t becomes hard to manage both organiza-t i o n a l l y and f i n a n c i a l l y . I think that the man should do some of the work and that some of the others should pay for some of the things. Others do you know. My friend says that she has got her husband to do some of the work and that some of the pay that their r e l a t i v e s get goes to the house. But my husband thinks that she i s l y i n g . He says her husband says she i s l y i n g . I don't know, but I don't see that we should pay for everything and I can't do a l l the work. My husband complains a l o t about t h i s and we fight a l o t about t h i s . (Translated) The husband i s not able to show off his wife and home i n the way he might expect to. She i s not an idea l wife and he finds himself doing unheard of work, caring for children, cleaning, cooking. I t seems to him that his wife i s not r e a l l y a competent person. She does not do her work i n the house and just because she i s working i s no reason to l e t the house go. - 117 -My wife i s lazy. I don't think that she knows how to keep house, look at i t . I t i s always l i k e t h i s . Q. But your wife works too.... Yes, but i t i s her job to keep the house. She only works eight hours. I work too and I can do my things. I don't see why she can't. I think i t i s because she i s not used to i t here. I hope i t w i l l change. Q. What do you do? I earn money, I take her shopping, take her to do the laundry, buy things. That i s more than I had to do before. Getting married i s more work and i t i s supposed to be less. Q. Who says? Well, that i s how i t i s for most men. They can relax at home, have friends over, I can't, the work i s never done, she says that she i s t i r e d . So I just go out. On her part, the woman begins to f e e l that she i s a servant i n her own house. She works outside the house a l l day and when she comes home the men i n the house are waiting for her to clean the kitchen and get dinner. I t seems that the work w i l l never end. I am so t i r e d sometimes I just cry. My husband doesn't understand. He i s very angry because he says that I made his r e l a t i v e s unwelcome, made them leave. He thinks that I am lazy and that I can't work. I'm glad that the r e l a t i v e s l e f t , i t i s less work. I guess I did make them leave, i n some ways, by pressing on h i s wife, but she must work too. (Translated) Both the husband and wife often find that i t i s not possible to manage the extended uni t . They are not able to pay for individuals outside th e i r own home. They must ask r e l a t i v e s to pay part of the household expenses, and help with the house. Recent immigrants have often had trouble getting jobs. This has meant that their a b i l i t y to contribute to the family income or to move out of the house i s very limited. Everyone seems trapped. Family quarrels arise out of many of these situations. Sometimes the police are c a l l e d , which humiliates a l l concerned. Often the woman i s placed under more pressure. - 118 -She i s often seen as the centre of the problem; i f she were doing her job, i t would not be as much problem to be at home. In many ways she can see that t h i s seems true, but, she i s working because they need the money. When a l l the r e l a t i v e s were here i t was awful. Fights a l l the time. About money, how much work was or was not done,all those things, and they would bring up things about home, and drink. I hated i t . I work and don't have the time to look after everyone. They had to go. My husband feels that I caused the fights and I think that i f I could have been at home i t would have been easier. One time the wife was cooking and put the e l e c t r i c k e t t l e on the stove and ruined i t . I was so mad. But when I think about i t how would she know? But at the time I r e a l l y fought with her. Those things. I was too t i r e d to think about i t . Wormen working outside the home changes the family organization. Food must be quick to prepare. Things, l i k e laundry that could be done outside the home when there was more time, must now be done i n the home i f i t i s at a l l possible to buy laundry appliances. The number of persons i n the house must.be limited or they must contribute to the family income or work i n some way. Older parents may f e e l that their children are not taking care of them properly, younger immigrants may be resentful of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s placed upon them. Their p r i o r i t i e s are to marry or meet commitments to r e l a t i v e s i n India. Helping with the family finances i n Canada was t o t a l l y unexpected. Both the husband and wife f e e l that they are not able to f u l f i l l what they see as r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , which makes them both f e e l very badly. We don't have any r e l a t i v e s with us now. We had a l o t before, but they have a l l moved into t h e i r own homes. That i s much easier for us. My husband won't r e a l l y ever f e e l r i g h t about i t I guess because we did not take care of them as we should have, but we just didn't have the money or time, r e a l l y . I f e e l badly because we don't get along so w e l l even today, but I think that w i l l change. I hope so anyway. (Translated) The s o c i a l l i f e of the couple centers around the family, and friends that the husband has made. Sometimes i n these situations the wife may make friends at work and the husbands may not know each other. Normally these - 119 -friends remain the wife's friends and she only sees them at work or occasionally over tea i f they l i v e i n the same neighbourhood. Their p a r t i -cipation i n temple a c t i v i t i e s i s confined to special occasions, and they rarel y participate i n the leadership of the temple or i n any other organiza-tions unless there happens to be a union at their place of work i n which they might participate. For the most part the woman's s o c i a l l i f e i s ti e d to her husband's. Children i n school have many of the same d i f f i c u l t i e s that were des-cribed i n the e a r l i e r section. However, i n a house with more people i n i t more individuals get involved, and children often get dir e c t i o n from many people a l l at once. I f the school personnel or police v i s i t as a re s u l t of school problems a l l members of the family counsel the c h i l d , and the parents i n what should happen. Family quarrels often r e s u l t over children. The biggest problem with a house f u l l of people i s that the children have many parents. This i s not a problem of ownership, r e a l l y but rather a problem that r e l a t i v e s a l l participate i n the problem. Then everyone thinks different things. Older r e l a t i v e s always think the school i s r i g h t , they always think that the c h i l d i s wrong. Everyone wants something d i f f e r e n t . At some point, I had to t e l l my husband that we had to decide alone. Everyone else was hurt. Although the woman works outside the home, i t i s not the case that she has more control over her circumstances than women who do not work outside the home. Her job does not afford her the opportunity to learn English and does not provide her with experience for advancement. Problems at home increase and often the woman i s blamed for the problem. She i s sometimes beaten, forced to t r y to keep up the standards and to be a 'good' wife, to work f u l l -time both i n the house and outside the house. She does not manage the money for the house or i n general for the family. Her own income i s handled by her husband. She does not drive so that she and her husband normally shop together and she r e l i e s on him to take her to a l l appointments outside the home and to - 120 -work. She depends on her husband for her personal friendships and does not have friends of her own except on rare occasions. I don't l i v e that way now, but I did. I didn't go out and I didn't even have my own bank account,all my money went to my husband. I couldn't even count the money properly. I changed that and we are both happier for i t , but many women are s t i l l i n that s i t u a t i o n , many of our friends. The family relations are very strained over finances and the d i f f i c u l t i e s of organization and getting work done. The problems that arise i n t h i s context often bring women to soc i a l agencies for help, although usually women are quite f e a r f u l that their husbands should not fi n d out. Fights among members of the family p a r t i c u l a r l y over money have been quite serious i n some cases and these situations have brought the family into contact with the police. Families Where Women Work Out of the Community When i t i s necessary for women to work outside the home those women who have some English or some work experience t r y to fi n d work outside the community. Women i n th i s s i t u a t i o n may have learned some English at school i n India or i n classes for new Canadians, i n Vancouver. They may find out about jobs from someone i n the community or may fi n d out about jobs through a government agency. Through these channels, the woman works as a dishwasher, cook, worker i n a cannery or garment factory, or a chambermaid. The wages for these jobs are usually better than jobs for women i n the community, and sometimes there i s some job security. However, ov e r - a l l the pay i s poor and working conditions are notoriously bad. I learned a l i t t l e English here, and I practise. I don't r e a l l y need English for my job, but I need some English to get back and forth to work. I can t e l l you from my own experience, that i t i s impossible to work outside the community i f you don't have some English. This - 121 -is because you are so frightened, not so much because you need i t for the job. On my job a l l the people are Indian and we talk Punjabi to each other. As in the former situation the organization of the home must change as result of the woman working. Many of the situations already described arise . The house is not kept in the manner that i t would be i f the woman were at home looking after i t . Relatives and parents do not have the services that they would normally have and quarrels arise between husband and wife as a resul t . In addition, other problems arise . When the woman works outside the community she has more contact with the law and customs of the mainstream of the society. She may have a union in her place of work, she may learn about women's position from her fellow workers and she may make friends in her work place whom she may see outside the work hours. Other women give her support about her situation and she begins to consider that she wants to change her relat ion to her husband in a number of ways. For example, she wants to make a change in the financial arrangements, to have a say in what is bought with her money and in general what i s bought for the house, and how the family's money is_spent. She begins to have her own friends and to go out with them on occasion. She insists that her husband and relatives begin to do some of the work around the house. As well she begins to suggest that her husband cannot make commitments, f inancial and otherwise to friends and family without her part ic ipation. I am learning a lot in my job, not just the job, but from other women. We have decided to do things differently. And I told my husband. He was very angry, but I am determined to change the situation. It i s just not possible for me to do a l l the things I used to do. I want to do more l ike other Canadian women. I have enrolled in language classes and he doesn't know. He w i l l be angry, saying I just want to get out of doing the housework. But that i sn ' t true. These tentative steps toward independence are usually resisted by - 122 -her husband. He often reacts violent ly . It f ina l ly became too much for me, I would have bruises that I couldn't cover, cuts, a l l sorts of black eyes. I told him I would leave. Q. What did you fight over? It began before I started to work, when I f i r s t came. He drank, something men don't do in India, and he would go out with his friends and I would be at home and would not have anyone to talk to or have any idea of where he was or of what would happen to me i f he didn't come home. One night that happened, he didn't come home. When he did I was so frightened that I told him how I f e l t . He said I was a bad wife and that I didn't know my place and other things, and he h i t me. After that when he would come home he would always h i t me and say that I was useless. Q. What happened then? I got a job. We needed the money and as well I was very lonely. That meant that I had some company and when I came home and did a l l the work I was too t ired to care what he d id . Then i t was O.K. for a while. Q. What did you do? For work? I worked in f ie lds . My husband knew someone who had that kind of work arid I had done i t at home. Q. What then? Well, I was pregnant and I couldn't work the next summer. My husband wanted the money and wanted me to work anyway. I said that I couldn't. It was just too much. Then i t started again, also I was home and was lonely again. I used to go out for walks, but my husband caught me and also i t was not always nice because boys and men would y e l l at me and I was afra id . He beat me and I just put up with i t , he said he would send me home and I decided that anything was better than that, because i t would be a terr ible disgrace. So I just went ahead and put up with i t . I just thought that I had a bad husband. So that was that. After I had the baby my husband wanted me to work and I did too. So I got a job, the one I have now. It is f u l l time and I l ike i t . Q. What happened then? Well , I listened to the women at work and some of them began to l i s ten to other women. Canadian women. One woman who is my good friend now began to teach me some English. I had learned a b i t and she encouraged me and helped me a lo t . She told me - 123 -that I did not have to l e t my husband do those things. Q. How did she know? I told her. Also I would have bruises and she suspected. Then I told my husband, that he couldn't do that. He said he would send me home on a boat with animals. I told my friend that and she said that he couldn't do that and we would find out and she did find out and i t was true that he couldn't do that. When I told him he r e a l l y beat me. I couldn't go to work. I just about got f i r e d . So my friend who came to my house said that i t was enough and took me to her house and talked to the boss. Q. But you are home now? Yes, my husband went to my work and he found out where I was and he came over and threatened us. He h i t my friend's husband. She called the p o l i c e . But they didn't do anything except they told my husband that he could go to j a i l for h i t t i n g the man. Q. D i d you go home then? No, but I couldn't stay with my friend for ever. We talked i t over. My husband said that he would not h i t me any more. My friend said that her husband had h i t her and she had l e f t and he stopped after that. We didn't know, but then you see I couldn't afford to pay for rent and food and a l l that, with the baby. So I decided to go back. But I w i l l leave i f he ever does that again. She i s seen to be ungrateful, a poor wife and not worthy of such a good home. He has become accustomed to making the decisions and to give them up seems to be a reduction i n status. He had made a l l these decisions since he and his wife have come to Canada and he does not see why that should be changed. His r e l a t i v e s support him i n his stance. My wife went to the bank to open a bank account. They 'phone me and I told them no. I told her that I am the man and I w i l l handle the money and w i l l run the family. Q. She makes money doesn't she? Yes, but she i s married to me. I t i s my house and my family. Q. How i s that the case i f she pays for part of i t ? Because I am the man. She i s only thinking t h i s because she works with those people who t e l l her wrong things. I talked with my - 1 2 4 -r e l a t i v e and we agree. That i s i t . And i f she t r i e s that again she w i l l f i n d out who i s the man. (Translated i n part) As w e l l he i s probably concerned that h i s wife i s working. Although they need the money and he sees that many Canadian women work, he i s s t i l l uneasy about not supporting his wife and children himself. Further challenges to his place i n the household are very problematic. However, the wife i s i n the si t u a t i o n where her husband may spend the money according to his p r i o r i t i e s , rather than hers or their j o i n t p r i o r i t i e s . When she challenges t h i s she i s l i k e l y to be beaten. His family w i l l not support her i n her attempts to participate more i n the household, or to be more indepen-dent i n her friendships. I know that my husband feels bad because I work. But i t i s necessary. He made me get a job i n the f i r s t place. He says I can quit when we have the house paid for. But I don't want to quit now I want to get a better job. We are having trouble because I want him to do more work and I want a bank account or an account with him. He says no. I want to be able to spend money myself and I don't want him to buy whatever he wants. I had to go to work because he bought th i s big car. No more. His r e l a t i v e s 'phoned me and tol d me I was a bad wife, at f i r s t I f e l t bad, then I thought so what! They don't have to work to pay for the car. Together they w i l l have f i n a n c i a l commitments to their mortgage, rel a t i v e s and children. Too much disruption of the household makes every-one's l i f e unbearable. The woman has no way to enforce her concern for change. Other matters are also pressing; the children may be having trouble at school, she does not see any way that she could possibly escape from the situ a t i o n so she stays. Her r e l a t i o n with her husband i s one which i s a mixture of fear, love and hate. They relate to each other i n a way that makes him the boss. Everything i n her si t u a t i o n supports his authority. I know that some women leave their husbands for things l i k e t h i s . At least some women have t o l d me, but not East Indian women, they can't; i t i s too much. I can't at least. - 125 -Her English does not improve as a resul t of her job since often she finds herself working with other East Indian women who speak Punjabi to each other. She i s not able to get a better job unless she i s able to learn English and she has no time to go to classes. She depends on her husband to do the shopping with her since she does not drive and she depends on him to drive the children to the doctor, dentist, etc. A few experiences on the buses have taught her that i t i s not comfortable for East Indian women to walk on the street or take buses alone. There i s no place for her except i n her home. Her husband threatens to send her back to India i f she does not continue to be a good wife. She sees no other choice. 'Families Where Incomes Are Made In .Professions and Business When I f i r s t was i n a home of a professional East Indian family I began to r e a l i z e that the people that s o c i a l workers and community leaders were talk i n g about were the working class families. In these East Indian families, the family relations are very dif f e r e n t and problems that are a normal part of an individual's l i f e i n working class families do not a r i s e . Women are not isolated from each other; they participate i n s o c i a l groups, work i n professional, c l e r i c a l and semi-professional jobs, organized households, manage money and own part of the family business. Women hold a place of authority i n their households and a place of respect and authority i n the community, at least among other women. You think this home i s different? Oh yes from others. Well I suppose i t i s , but then they are d i f f e r e n t . We r e a l l y care about our home and have worked hard to make i t nice. That i s the difference. But i t i s not diff e r e n t from other Canadian homes r e a l l y . Some of the art I suppose and some tastes. - 126 -But other than that, everyone has different tastes, some people have none. Homes are modern, either new or renovated to the family's needs. They are equipped with the appliances found in other homes where families have comparable incomes. The homes are convenient and cared for more easi ly than homes without appliances l ike dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers, eff ic ient new e lectr ic stoves which are self-cleaning. The houses don't require constant washing of walls to keep the kitchen looking nice; freezers allow food to be bought in advance and in large quantities and refrigerators are self-defrosting. The house is organized so that the l iv ing room is available for entertaining, i t is decorated with ar t , furniture which is purchased for i t s appearance and good taste. There are private bedrooms for the children and a guest room. There are areas for the children to play and study. Extended families do not l ive together except in cases where either of the couple's parents l ive with the family. Usually parents come for extended v i s i t s . Men w i l l have close family in Vancouver and often they have business partnership or close business associations. It is not usual for the family to have recent immigrants l iv ing with them so that the size of the family i s stable. Women are in a position to have paid help with their household work and often do, part icularly when they work, their children are small or when there are guests in the house. The labour for paid housework is drawn from the East Indian immigrant community. Both our parents have v is i ted us, several times, for a few months. My parents are considering another v i s i t , perhaps to come and stay. Q. How w i l l you organize that? Do you want them to come? Yes, I would l ike i t very much, although i t would mean some differences. I guess I'm worried about who they would have as friends and what they would do. There are not too many old people here. They have money and they would l ike other members of the family to come and then we - 127 -could be together. My brother i s here already and i s married. What else? Q. How would you organize i t ? Well, they could l i v e with my brother or with us. I t would probably be with us for a number of reasons. My brother i s just s t a r t i n g so there would not be enough room r e a l l y . Also here there would not be enough room, we need a spare room and the house would have to be enlarged generally for more people. But we are thinking of building a new house anyway so that would be no problem. Anyway we have to see what i s going to happen. Their home i s located i n an area of Vancouver where other professional and business families l i v e . Their neighbours w i l l not necessarily be East Indians but w i l l have interests i n common with their neighbours and while they may not be close friends, the relations w i l l normally be c o r d i a l . They w i l l have a common interest i n their property, landscaping, children's schools and the general conduct of the neighbourhood. Yes, we know our neighbours, you know as neighbours do, h e l l o i n the yard and as we go out. The neighbours on the other side are very nice and we know them best. We have a drink together occasionally and the men do some business together I think. One of our other neighbours down the block i s our children's doctor, but we see them ra r e l y , we are too busy. In older families, women may not do paid work outside the home, however, they w i l l be active i n s o c i a l clubs which sponsor c u l t u r a l events, i n organizing temple events, (which varies a good deal i n that not a l l families are Sikhs i n this s i t u a t i o n , they may also be Hindu or Ishmali), and i n entertaining friends and the husband's business associates i n their - home. Women i n this s i t u a t i o n w i l l often speak English as a res u l t of the i r formal education. As w e l l i t i s possible that they have been educated i n English schools i n India. Younger women have also learned to speak English as part of their education. Often they have university degrees which may have been awarded i n India and do not q u a l i f y them to do professional work i n Canada. Thus - 128 -their job status and their educational l e v e l may not be matched as well as i t might be i n cases where women are university educated at a western university. Women educated i n India are not as l i k e l y as their brothers to have been sent away to school i n England or i n North America. Women who have educations from India and who speak English often work i n c l e r i c a l or paraprofessional positions. This might be i n the family business as a secretary, travel agent or store clerk, or i n employment outside the community,but serving the community as a bank t e l l e r , health worker or paraprofessional s o c i a l worker or receptionist i n a government department or agency. I have a B.A. from India, but I cannot count a l l of i t here. So I am working i n a bank. I t i s interesting and I l i k e the people. I t gets me out of the house. We r e a l l y don't need the money but I l i k e to have my own money. I worked before for my husband, but he didn't pay me and I decided that I should be paid. He laughs that I prefer to work for the bank and says that i t was the best thing, now he has a competent s t a f f . I t e l l him that i s fine . As w e l l , young women who are educated i n Canada to the l e v e l of secondary school graduation and have c l e r i c a l t raining also hold c l e r i c a l jobs. These women are the daughters of professional and business families. These women often have young families or are just getting married and p a r t i -cipate i n the same s o c i a l organizations as the older women but have less authoritative positions i n the organizations. I work i n a government o f f i c e , i t i s only while we are getting started, when I have a family we probably won't need me to work. But r i g h t now I work, and i t i s good that I work where I do because when East Indians come i n I can help them. Sometimes they don't know anything and don't bring anyone with them. Now more and more they don't bring anyone with them because I am there. Women who are professionally educated either i n India (and have upgraded credentials i n Canada) or i n Canada have been able to get jobs i n agencies and - 129 -and projects which serve the East Indian community. They are able to help plan agencies and may also influence the services that are provided. The services that they work in may be looked upon with some suspicion by the leadership of the community and by the community at large, but they w i l l hold a place as a trained professional and w i l l be inf luent ia l in the organizations of the community as well as in the office in which they work. Young women who complete university education in Canada do so in areas l ike teaching, social work, psychology, chi ld care and sociology. I teach in a special program for immigrant women. I went to university and graduated last year. It was rea l ly good, I had no trouble getting a job. It i s necessary for people teaching in special programs to have the understanding of the community to help these people. I don't know their experience exactly, but I can understand i t better. Husbands in these families are either business or professional. They have bu i l t businesses from their base as worker immigrants many years ago in some cases, but in others, they have come to the country with capital and have started businesses on that basis. Others have entered businesses with the backing of established Canadian business. This applies in the insurance and real estate business, which has been increasingly important as there has been an increase in immigrants to Vancouver. There is also a more recent group of businessmen who are opening small businesses that are not exclusively directed to the East Indian community. These might be investments in r e t a i l outlets or larger franchising operations or independent grocery, furniture and hardware stores. Wives provide important labour for these small businesses. Professional men in the community are located in law or medicine. I should note here that there are East Indians who l ive in Vancouver who are not part of the community. They have occupations and/or business that do - 130 -not relate to the community, and they do not participate i n any of the communi-ty organizations. They are integrated into the society, i n terms of friends, school, etc. In the case of law a great deal of their work i s done within the community or about the community, i n terms of work for individuals and businesses. The medical professions are not as integrated into the community through their practices, but are nevertheless important i n terms of the community organizations. Children of these families complete high school and often go on to university. Young women work i n the areas described e a r l i e r , and young men often enter their father's business and do so after taking professional training i n business administration, law or a f i e l d related to the part i c u l a r business that they are entering. Marriages are s t i l l arranged for children i n many cases, however, th i s i s not a rule any longer. Young men and women are changing i n the Canadian context and their marriage arrangement w i l l depend on their parents and their own wishes. Nevertheless, marriages normally take place among East Indian individuals, either by choice or by arrangement. Our children do disappoint us i n many ways. They don't hold to the tra d i t i o n s . Our daughter i s dating a Canadian boy and her father and I would rather that she didn't. I t i s not that we don't l i k e him, but we would be happier i f she chose someone else. We don't think that she needs to marry someone we choose, but we would rather he be more acceptable. The schools that children go to and the neighbourhoods that they l i v e i n are important i n terms of their future careers as businessmen and professionals. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that they go to schools that have strong academic programs and that they are given help and encouragement at home with respect to their studies. Their parents are able to meet with the school and are able to follow their progress and help i n terms of problems - 131 -with teachers and other students, i f they a r i s e . Their mothers are able to participate i n the a c t i v i t i e s of the school and see that they are appropriately dressed and gowned. The school does not cause a problem between parents and children as i n the cases discussed e a r l i e r . In the f i r s t place parents know about the school and generally approve of the program and rules that the schools set for the children. As wel l they are concerned that the i r children f i t w ell into the school and organize their home l i f e so that this happens. The relations among children are diff e r e n t as w e l l . In the neighbourhood, their parents know each other and the c h i l d -ren's parents are not openly h o s t i l e toward each other. Kids get along better as w e l l . Thus the kind of fights which ar i s e i n terms of children being referred to by their peers i n a derogatory manner are much less and when they do a r i s e , parents are very disapproving of the children's actions. East Indian children thus receive support for their d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y and i n the context of the schools they are l i k e l y to f i t i n for the most part the same as other children. They have probably learned English at home or at an early age at nursery school or i n a c h i l d care arrangement. The r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of women for the household are very important i n terms of the husband's position i n the community. Their authority over the house i s supported by their husbands and by the material r e a l i t i e s of being quite independent i n terms of managing the household, money, driv i n g , meeting friends and managing the children's education. I t i s true that i n a l l cases the woman may not earn money, but the arrangements for her support are made i n a way that gives her a personal and household budget and decision-making authority over a de f i n i t e part of the family a f f a i r s . - 132 -I have worked in my husband's business, but now i t is too big, he needs full-time trained staff and I have other interests. The work for the family and my other things are enough. 1 think that there is more work than there used to be. We entertain more and we go out more and have more guests. That is a l l as a result of the business growing. I t e l l my husband that he is going to have to pay me a salary for a l l the enter-taining we do. Q. Does he pay you a salary? No, I was only joking. Q. How is the money organized then? What do you mean? I have a bank account. I buy what I need. He puts money in. Actually i t is both our accounts. The family corresponds in most respects to Canadian families where men and women have similar jobs and incomes. There are differences in their social patterns and I speculate that there are also differences in business and friend-ship associations. The social differences center around the community of which the East Indian families are a part. Their friendships are with East Indian families who are in similar positions in the community. Also, family ties are close and provide a large number of close friendships as well as a family relationship. The business community have business associations separate from the regular Canadian business associations, but East Indians will belong to the regular business and professional associations as well. They have not, in the past at least, participated in the leadership of these organizations. East Indian businessmen do not belong to any of the business-social clubs which is a normal practice of successful Canadian businessmen. Their social l i f e is in many ways parallel to the business l i f e which is established in part within the East Indian community in most cases. It is not integrated into the social activities of Canadian families in similar positions, but is of the same character. This description illustrates the class difference among members of the - 133 -community as i t can be seen from the location of the family. It is visible in the relation of family members to one another, in the appearance of the house, in the facilities that are available in the house for its maintenance and in the relation that the family has to the government agencies and organizations with which members of the family come in contact. This division does not become visible when the community is examined from the location of community organizations, community leadership, common cultural characteristics or patterns of business association. From these conceptions the community does appear integrated and homogeneous. East Indian families do belong to community organizations and attend community events. They a l l frequently deal with businesses and professionals in the community itself. However the class division becomes visible to us when we focus on the organi-zation of the family and the circumstances under which the family participates in the community. This is not available to be seen when we focus on the study of an ethnic community. There is a distinct difference between the business family and the family of any of the first three descriptions. In the first three family situations one of the distinguishing features is the lack of control over their situation. This extends to uncertainty in income, the amount, how it will be made, whether an adequate income can be made at a l l ; what kind of living accomodation the family can get, what kind of credit they can get given their job situation. It concerns how the family can understand and be understood by the school, social agencies, government programs like Unem-ployment Insurance, for example, and the police. Their relationships with their neighbours are uncertain and their ability to manage their affairs depends upon people who speak their language who also speak English and who are willing to help them. - 134 -Business and professional families i n contrast have income which are not simply stable but increasing; their l i f e time earnings w i l l reach t h e i r peak i n their later years. Men and women i n blue c o l l a r jobs are not i n that s i t u a t i o n . The housing and credit that i s available to a professional or business family provides them with the opportunity to have choices i n their housing, which i s consequential for the work that women do i n the home and for what she i s free to do outside the home. The relations to schools, s o c i a l agencies and the police are not problematic with respect to language or the conduct of the home i t s e l f . These differences I am suggesting are class differences. We can begin to see i n the description that this i s a process of organi-zation. Men and women i n the professional or business family are a c t i v e l y organizing their own l i v e s . In their jobs they are active i n organizing the li v e s of others, s p e c i f i c a l l y , the l i v e s of individuals i n the three working class family situations. This i s done through their position i n the authorized agencies and organizations of the state and business. The position that they hold i n authorized enterprises also provides them with the security, money and knowledge to organize their own l i v e s , rather than having their l i v e s organized for them. These individuals stand i n a bourgeois r e l a t i o n to one another. By thi s I mean that the r e a l active process of organizing and being organized i s one i n which the class r e l a t i o n i s one of having power and being powerless. This r e l a t i o n i s not present i n the structural sense i n which Stolzman and Gamberg, and Robbins discuss i t , as a context or framework within the a c t i -v i t i e s of individuals proceed. Rather the actual a c t i v i t i e s of individuals, as they are given shape or form by their material circumstances produce the relations which we have caught a glimpse of i n the description. Social - 135 -relations are not a context, but they are a r e a l active process of individuals. The class r e l a t i o n i s not a category, nor i s i t a context or framework, but i t i s an active r e l a t i o n , present i n the particular a c t i v i t i e s and supported by individuals a c t i v e l y organizing t h i s r e l a t i o n i n their everyday l i v e s . In effect I am suggesting that their r e l a t i o n to schools, agencies, the police and the East Indian community organizes their family situations and their l i v e s . I am going to suggest lat e r that i t i s their e t h n i c i t y and their particular place i n the immigration pattern that determines their r e l a t i o n to jobs. In the professional and business family I am suggesting that their position allows them to organize the i r r e l a t i o n to the schools, s o c i a l agencies, police and allows them to some extent to organize the community. They are able to organize the 'c u l t u r a l ' activity and form a business organi-zation which serves the East Indian working class immigrants, because the immigrants are i n the position that they are. The class d i v i s i o n i s con-stit u t e d i n the community and can be seen i n the relations and organization of the family i t s e l f and i n the relations of the family to i n s t i t u t i o n s and business. This i s not f u l l y developed i n the description but begins to be v i s i b l e . I now want to p u l l out parts of the description and examine them i n r e l a t i o n to how they are understood i n part i c u l a r circumstances. Further I want to make v i s i b l e the a c t i v i t i e s that l i e behind the organization of the family as i t appears i n the descriptions. Our question then continues to be: how do the a c t i v i t i e s of individuals come to appear i n the form that they are i n , that i s , as an ethnic community. - 136 -Summary The class differences i n the ethnic community are c l e a r l y v i s i b l e i n the family s i t u a t i o n , family relations and i n family organization. These differences arise as the individuals i n the family relate to the labour force, but also as they r e l a t e to the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s as we have seen. In the next chapter, I w i l l begin to look at the labour force situations of East Indian men and women. CHAPTER V LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION OF EAST INDIAN WORKERS Introduction The p a r t i c i p a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s i n the labour force gives form to thei r l i v e s , apart from their work r o l e s . I want to focus here on the organization of the labour force as an active process of organizing c l a s s r e l a t i o n s , which i s the basis for the working c l a s s . This i s not to suggest however that the r e l a t i o n s as organized i n the family, the community and through the s o c i a l agencies as I have and w i l l discuss are not also a c t i v e processes of class organization, they are. The p a r t i c i p a t i o n of East Indian immigrants i n Vancouver i n the labour force, i s one which organizes t h e i r c l a s s p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n to s o c i a l production and organizes their l o c a t i o n i n the working c l a s s . East Indian workers are segregated i n th e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the labour force and are thus segregated within the c l a s s . This constitutes a d i v i s i o n within the cla s s which finds i t s basis, f i r s t i n immigrant status of i n d i v i d u a l s and the material r e a l i t y which that implies and secondly i n the organization of the ethnic community as a d i s t i n c t and d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l organization within the society. In the labour force the ethnic basis of the segregation of the labour force are p a r t i a l l y concealed under 'objective c r i t e r i a ' which employers have developed for d e f i n i n g and describing jobs, as well as h i r i n g procedures and cre d e n t i a l requirements which provide entry to jobs. ( c f . Marsden, Smith, 1976, and Campbell, Cassin, 1977 on women.) - 137 -- 138 -East Indian workers are segregated on the job through work organiza-tion i t s e l f and through the practices and procedures which are used for promotion. These procedures and practices involve the participation of Canadian workers and unions as well as employers. Thus members of the working class participate in the practices which organize the divis ion within the working class . The basis for this participation l ies within the organization of the workplace and the unions. It further l ies within the identif ication of individuals, as East Indian immigrants, with particu-lar characteristics and practices. This is accomplished through social ly organized practices which bring East Indian immigrants and the East Indian community into being as different, and v is ib le and is recognized by other workers in the actions of East Indians, with whom they come in contact. Partic ipation of East Indian Men.in the Labour Force East Indian immigrant men share with a small number of other immigrant groups, the lowest paid, least sk i l led and most insecure jobs in the labour force in Vancouver. East Indians are parking lot attendants, gas station attendants, clerks in a l l night grocery stores, workers in fast food outlets, janitors, and labourers. In the forest industry where they have formerly been able to find jobs, they work almost exclusively on the green chain in sawmills and shingle mi l l s . They rarely hold jobs as tradesmen or as sk i l led workers. With the present economic climate they are increasingly insecure in their jobs and often put their income together doing several part-time jobs or entering into jan i tor ia l contracts in which they use the labour of their family to f u l f i l l the work provisions of the contract. I have already sketched how immigrants come to Cnnada, now I want to examine how they hold - 139 -these jobs on the labour market. Access to Jobs in the Vancouver Labour Market Access to jobs is governed by objective c r i t e r i a in the form of qual i -fications and experience. These c r i t e r i a set out educational and training qualifications as well as experience in particular work areas which are the minimum entry requirements for jobs. Essential ly this means that the c r i t e r i a must be met before an individual can be considered for the job in question. Increasingly these c r i t e r i a are being used to define jobs. Thus both the ava i lab i l i ty of jobs and the entrance qualifications shape the jobs which are suitable to individuals. East Indian Immigrants have very low formal education and few have job training or experience. In cases where they do have experience and/or job training, the credentials are not transferable to the Vancouver situation. Thus for many industrial and trades jobs, East Indians immediately do not qualify. There are of course training programs offered in colleges by the Department of Manpower and programs which individuals can apply for them-selves. These programs a l l have minimal l i teracy requirements which must be met for entry. Thus in order to qualify for entry into training programs which might in the end give access to well paid, secure, unionized jobs in the labour force, East Indian men must do both English training and upgrade their academic s k i l l s to the high school leve l . If an individual is accepted for the Manpower Programs, which have assessments of potential , as well as certain requirements in terms of residency and immigration status, then he can go through the program on a training allowance, which might be as high as $450.00 per month. The process would - 140 -take several years and entry into each step of the process is not assured. To face the prospect, of long years before earning adequate money, and no assurance of support to complete. Tlie program, is often impossible. Part icularly i t is impossible in the face of the financial and moral commitments that immigrants have when they arrive , and the commitments which may be forced upon them with respect to the family they are l iv ing with. In addition of course, recent immigrants do not qualify for these programs and paying for them alone is simply out of the question. Gaining access to good jobs, through education even over a period of time is not feasible in terms of the l i f e situation of recent immigrants. Thus the situation is that he does not qualify for jobs on the basis of being wi l l ing to work, and the formal routes of meeting the qualifications and training c r i t e r i a are pract ica l ly not available to recent immigrants. This then means that the jobs which are (theoretically) available are those which do not have entrance requirements which do not take for granted a Canadian education and experience. These jobs correspond to the lowest paying least secure jobs in the economy. They are jobs which are learned while doing the job and often do not involve speaking English on the job. These jobs exist , in Vancouver, in parts of the service industry, and in labouring areas of industry. The Community Provides Access To Jobs Access to jobs is further limited to jobs where formal applications and interviews are not necessary. East Indian immigrants are not able to go to formal job interviews; the language problems, plus inexperience with the procedures are barriers to them feeling comfortable with the situation. In addition,when they come to Vancouver they probably normally w i l l not be - 141 -looking for a job in this way. I work in a gas station. When I first came I didn't know anything about finding a job. But my relatives introduced me to people and I met people at the temple. I got this job, because someone I met was also working here and they needed someone else, and he suggested me. I don't think I will stay too long, but i t is job, and jobs are hard to get. Jobs are regularly found in this way. Men meet other men who work and ask about getting their friends jobs at their own work place. Family and friends, put out the 'word' and help recent immigrants look for work. This means that the formal interview process is avoided and the application becomes a formality, which the man can be assisted with by friends or individuals in the place of work after the job arrangement has been made. The organizations which do not have high qualifications and experience requirements often depend for employees on just those informal processes which are practised in the East Indian community. Normally gas stations would not have formal applications nor would they in most cases advertise their jobs formally in the paper. Thus the two processes f i t together. East Indians already employed are able to help their families and acquaintances get jobs and the employers are provided with a steady supply of labour. The informal 'contact' procedure of finding a job is general among East Indian immigrants. Sometimes individuals who are employed are able to ask their employers for work for their family and friends when there are job vacancies, and in other cases they are able to introduce their friends to foremen who have some influence in the hiring process. In other situations individuals, on occasion community leaders, are able to contact persons inside and outside the community who are able to make a job contact for them. As well there are jobs within the community itself. As the East Indian business community grows there are jobs for East Indians in these businesses. In the past many East Indian workers were employed in the sawmills and related - 142 -businesses owned by East Indian businessmen. During the period of increased immigration, they ceased to be a numerically significant employer of East Indian immigrants, although these firms s t i l l employ almost exclusively East Indian labour. Other jobs exist in the community, farm work, (which more men are beginning to work at as they are unemployed or cannot find work), and service work in a variety of Ugandan and East Indian owned firms. Generally workers who are not able to get work in the regular job market are employed in these situations and in this way become a cheap labour supply for East Indian businessmen. The majority of East Indian men, however are employed outside of the community. They gain their jobs through contacts in the community. Hiring in the forest industry, the British Columbia Railways and other employers of East Indian labourers has been done in the past in similar informal ways. These employers have become known as 'willing' to employ East Indian workers and this is held as common knowledge in the community. These hiring procedures are part of industries that need a large labour supply that does not require a great deal of training and can provide work even for short periods of time. The employers depend on a cheap labour supply and usually on informal referral and hiring procedures. The East Indian employee does not see this however. He sees that he is fortunate to have a job. He sees that other jobs may not be available to them and feels that his friends have done him a favour and that the employer has done him a favour in hiring him. This then is an understanding that workers commonly bring with them to their work places. A Cheap Labour Supply for East Indian Owned Businesses East Indian workers, particularly those who are recent immigrants with - 143 -no English at a l l have special d i f f i cu l ty in finding work outside the community. They are often employed inside the community i t s e l f , in saw mil ls and associated businesses, in service jobs, and as farmworkers (farm workers are mostly women and children, but in-the past few years, there, has been an increasing number of men who are unemployed or recently arrived in Vancouver who do this work). The relat ion of men in these positions, to the job market, is such that they have few other choices. Many of the employers pay very poor wages. The jobs are not covered by union contracts in most cases and as in the case of farm workers, are not covered in the provisions of minimum wage laws in B.C. Workers in these jobs can do l i t t l e about their working conditions or wages. The businesses that they are employed i n are in some cases very competitive and might fold i f wages were forced up. Whether or not this is the case this is a threat which i s believed by employees. In addition there are usually more people who want the jobs than there are jobs to be done, so that workers know that they can and w i l l be easily replaced. F ina l ly workers would have trouble finding another job. Workers leave these situations as soon as they are able, but while they are in them, they do not try to change their conditions. Look, once I was unemployed, I came back from the interior and had to take a job with a particular employer. I was asked to work for free Saturdays. I said I wouldn't that I was busy. This happened for three Saturdays. Then the fourth Saturday some of the guys came to get me, we joked around and I went and worked. I moved as soon as I could. But people they would say, 'he's O.K. (the employer), during the week we work for the union, Saturday we work for him. We got jobs!' But you couldn't do anything. They wouldn't admit i t outside. That is the way i t s t i l l works. Unions that were interviewed reported problems in policing their contracts in East Indian owned businesses. - 144 -We have a real problem with those operations. You know a l l con-tracts have to be policed, and i t is up to the membership to do so. A l l employers try to get away with things, i t i sn' t just these employers, but these situations are part icularly b a d . . . . Q. What do you mean? The pay provisions of the contract are routinely not met. Money is deducted or paid back to the employer under a l l sorts of made up excuses. But -the blame is on both sides. The workers there don't believe the union I guess or they don't know the contract. So i f we don't get grievances we don't, we can't do anything. But we know what goes on. It's just that we can't prove i t and the workers won't help us. The company practices which were reported included paying half-time for Saturday work, no payment for statutory holidays, laying workers off when machinery breaks down, and transferring workers to non-unionized jobs in companion companies owned by the same family. Workers fe l t that they would be f ired i f they submitted grievances to the union and this has been the experience of some workers. Workers are not aware of how the labour laws and their own contracts work. They are dependent on someone to interpret i t to them. Thus a number of things happen as a result of misinformation. On a statutory holiday he did not pay us. I found out about i t and told the others that we were to be paid. By the time we agreed to grieve a week had past and the grievance had to be made within a week. But mostly they are scared people there, they stay six months and move on, once they get into other businesses they see i t can be different. Employers saw the situation differently: You don't understand these people l ike I do. You don't see where they come from, they are happy to work for me. Their wages are good, they can l ive better than they ever could back home. Q. But I have been told that you pay very low wages and have been to the labour Relations Board on numerous occasions for various of of your employer practices. Oh they were just trouble makers who got mad at me and reported things. You see, you don't understand yet and we have been talking a long time. These people are peasants, they don't have anything l ike this at home. They don't expect more. I give them jobs, that - 145 -is something. They are sat is f ied, you expect more, so you wouldn't want to work here, well you'd have a hard time any way, but i t is a free country, you get what you expect. They can go work some-where else i f they don't l ike i t . Q. But i t is very d i f f i c u l t I understand, to get work and many people who work for you don't speak English. So that is the way i t i s . It is not my fault , I can't take on those problems. I'm in business. I pay a fair wage, they can go back i f they think they have i t so bad, and I can t e l l you that you won't find them doing that! Employment inside the community is a dependency relat ion where individuals do get jobs, but their wages and working conditions are poor. They provide cheap labour for the businesses. There are few other options, in the beginning at least, so that the situation continues in this way. The majority of East Indian immigrant men do not however work in the community, thus the community businessmen are not significant only as employers. The labour which the businessmen employs at a low price enables him to build a business, and become a community leader. As an employer he does not affect the majority of the East Indian population, as a community leader he does. East Indian Workers Participation in Jobs in the 'Regular' Economy In the jobs that East Indian workers get with non-East Indian employers, there is a cut-off point that East Indian workers do not get promoted past. Thus we see that after considerable periods of time East Indian workers are in the same positions that they were in as recent immigrants, they do not get promotions on jobs and they do not participate broadly in a range of jobs in the economy. We considered earl ier the training poss ib i l i t i es and the matter of qualif ications. Now I want to consider the work organization in two areas where East Indians men work, labouring jobs and service jobs. The data is gathered from workers, union of f i c ia l s and management. The labour-ing situations are in saw and shingle mil ls and railway labouring jobs. The - 146 -service jobs are wider ranging, janitors, gas station attendants, parking lot attendants, dishwashers, workers in restaurants and clerks in grocery stores. I have divided the work situations into labouring jobs and service jobs because the work organization in each is quite different. East Indian Workers in Labouring Jobs In sawmills workers are hired at a base rate on the green chain, which is the lowest paying job in the m i l l . East Indian workers have been hired as chain workers in mil ls and have stayed in this posit ion. Their hir ing has usually been through an individual who has talked to the foreman. Workers come on the job then not having had very much i f any industrial experience and usually no union experience. They feel that they are fortunate to have the job and that the foreman and their friend has done them a favour to get the job for them. This i n i t i a l l y gives the worker a concern to show that he is grateful for the job, that he can do a good job, and that he appreciates the opportuni-ties that have been given him. This leads to trouble on the job: I wanted the foreman to know that I was happy to have the job and that I would return the favour of hir ing me. I would speak to him and do anything that I could to help. Then some of my friends told me not to do that. It made other workers angry. I didn't understand i t for a long time. This kind of behaviour is interpreted by non-East Indian workers in this way: Yeh, well they're good workers for the boss. They' l l do anything to keep the job, and they are sneaky about i t to! A few years ago we had trouble with them doing overtime at base rate. They wouldn't admit i t so we couldn't catch the company,but we told the guy to lay off . They just work for the money. It doesn't seem to matter. Now they don't suck up to the boss at work, but they do in other ways. Q. Like what and how do you know? Well , I can't prove anything, but one of the foremen got a color TV for Christmas one year a while back and some of 'em regularly put a - 147 -few dollars each payday in another guy's car window. I ain't seen i t but I know i t goes on. Q. How do you know? What difference does i t make? You just know these things, i f you work here. And i t makes a lot of difference, i t is bad for the work. We can't have suck holes on the job. They work good you know, I'm not saying that they don't, but boy do you have to watch 'em. Workers do not always do these things particularly where there are elected union plant chairman and committeemen who are East Indian, who are concerned to explain the job and the union to workers when they come on the job. The view of East Indian workers as bad union members prevails in plants even though practices which are seen to be anti-union or anti-solidarity do not occur. They work here, lots of them do, but they cannot be trusted. Q. Why? I have been told that sometimes East Indian workers do things on the job which annoy other workers, like being too friendly with the foreman for example. Is that what you are talking about? No, they don't do that. Just in general. They come to union meetings to vote, but for their own people. You never know what they will do. I may be prejudiced, but I just don't think that you can trust them, that is a l l . On the job workers who are East Indian are separated from other workers. In the first place there is a language barrier and East Indian workers do not mix with other workers at lunch or over beer after work. In one mill there are two lunch rooms which separate the workers by informal agreement among the workers, in other situations, East Indian workers might eat in the mill and others in the lunch room. The significance of this is that they do not, with few exceptions, get to know each other personally. East Indian workers then make no contact outside the East Indian community through their jobs. If anything they are re-routed back into the community as a result of their experience on their jobs: - 148 -On immigrants work in production. And I think we get the worst jobs. But you don't see Canadian workers in production. They have better jobs, tradesmen, get promotions i f they begin in production. It is immigrants who produce and do the hard work. Their friends may include East Indians who they have met at work, but i t is l ike ly that they w i l l never talk to the other workers on the job. Their opinions of the other workers w i l l be formed by incidents l ike the one described by a Canadian worker. You mean Hindus. They work on the job. Funny lot they are. Always on edge. Sometimes we joke around, you know ca l l ing names and making fun. Everyone does. One day one of the guys was hasIn" this young Hindu. He didn't real ize he didn't speak any English, the guy's friends were real mad. I guess the young guy was scared. It was bad. I dunno, they don't seem to be bad guys to me, but how the h e l l would you know, can't talk to them. I personally don't think that they should be let in i f they don't speak English. They just can't get along. This separation in the work force also means that East Indian workers don't learn more English on the job. Thus they have l i t t l e opportunity to move from their jobs or qualify for job training. The separation of the work force extends to the actual work i t s e l f . Few East Indian workers work in any other part of the m i l l than the green chain. The jobs more senior to the green chain are gained as a result of seniority i n the m i l l , that i s the way in which workers qualify to work as a chipper, grader, etc. is through experience in the m i l l . Many East Indian workers have seniority but they have not been promoted. A union o f f i c i a l and workers on the jobs said that East Indian workers did not bid on jobs, and thus did not get better jobs in the m i l l . One East Indian worker saw i t this way: I asked him why East Indian workers did not hold sk i l l ed jobs in the m i l l he worked i n : There are lots of reasons. With some on the green chain, foremen don't think they are f i t for jobs above the green chain. If some-one applies they are put on a new job and the trainer is told to - 149 -make the worker s c a r e d . Th i s makes the worker nervous , the t r a i n e r i s i n s u l t i n g , t h i s makes i t d i f f i c u l t to l e a r n . Q. What does tha t mean to make him scared? W e l l i f the worker i s l e a r n i n g to use the saws, or do some other work, the t r a i n e r w i l l say that i t i s dangerous, w i l l say tha t you can be h u r t , w i l l t a l k too f a s t so tha t the Ind ian w i l l not know what i s be ing s a i d . Then he f e e l s h i m s e l f tha t he i s not smart enough for the j o b . Management keep East Ind ian workers on the green c h a i n because they work w e l l and make money for the company. Other workers won ' t s t ay on the green c h a i n . They know i t i s dangerous, the most dangerous job i n the m i l l . The o n l y jobs tha t r e q u i r e s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g for East Ind ians are t r u c k j o b s . They d o n ' t know how to use them. But other than tha t a l l the jobs can be learned ve ry q u i c k l y . But we are prevented from l e a r n i n g them. We are kept on the green c h a i n . More s k i l l i s not needed. I t i s n ' t r i g h t to c a l l i t more s k i l l . Workers never need more s k i l l , they j u s t have to work harder to produce more. On the green c h a i n they always t r y to speed up the work, speed up the c h a i n . Q. You s a i d e a r l i e r that you got new equipment, does tha t he lp the work? New equipment g ives an excuse to speed up p r o d u c t i o n . You see s c i e n t i s t s d o n ' t t h i n k how to make work b e t t e r , they t h i n k how to improve p r o d u c t i o n . I t does sometimes h e l p work a l i t t l e b i t , but mos t ly they t r y to lower wages when the work i s made e a s i e r by machines or they t r y to get a long w i t h fewer men. Another t h i n g i s tha t they b r i n g i n o ther workers , immigrants from South Amer ica who are not consc ious worke r s . They work ha rde r , w i l l do more ove r t ime , get be t t e r j o b s . They jusS want us for the green c h a i n 'cause we work and we d o n ' t q u i t 1 . They c a n ' t get other workers to do t h a t . Another worker e x p l a i n e d i t t h i s way: When a worker has s e n i o r i t y he can app ly for jobs tha t are open i n o ther pa r t s o f the m i l l . I have been t r y i n g to get Eas t I n d i a n workers to a p p l y . B u t . t h e y d o n ' t . We had a problem r e c e n t l y . The worker a p p l i e d for the job but d i d n ' t get i t . He g r i e v e d the d e c i s i o n and he was the most s en io r guy and they had to g ive i t to h im, but on the job he had a 60 day p e r i o d before he had the j o b . In tha t time he cou ld be removed i f he was not competent. The other workers would not cooperate w i t h him and so he was incompetent and he went back to h i s o l d job i n three days . That makes a b i g impress ion on o ther worker s . Q. How i s i t decided who w i l l get the promotions? - 150 -The management decides and clears i t with the plant committee. They must agree, so you see this i s also an on the job problem. Q. Can't the Union do something about this? Well the plant committee is the union. The local doesn't get involved unless there is a grievance and there is trouble around the grievance. The workers have to be responsible for the con-tract on the job. So i f the workers on the committee agree with management and other workers don't want to work with the East Indians there is not much right now we can do. Q. What is happening to change this? Well the union officers are becoming more conscious of th is , but i t is a hard problem. To begin to be hard l ine would be div is ive . Then the boss benefits. Q. But doesn't the boss benefit the way i t is? Well yes, but other workers don't see that. They are not conscious enough yet. As everyone becomes more conscious i t w i l l change. But right now i t is a problem and people are beginning to admit i t . Thus for the most part East Indians are not promoted on the job. This means that they receive the base rate i n the m i l l and what increases are negotiated in the contract plus now the Cost of Living Increases (COLA). Contract increases are often percentage increases which have the effect of increasing the pay differentials between higher and lower paid workers. Thus effectively the lowest paid workers f a l l behind other workers in the m i l l year by year. The COLA increases have lessened this effect to some extent because they are across the board set increases. However, the fact remains that the lowest paid workers do not benefit as much from percentage increases as higher paid workers. This effectively holds East Indian workers in re lat ive ly the same economic position over time. The job experience which workers in sawmills and in other labouring jobs get suits them only for other labouring jobs. As well i f they change jobs they do not do so with seniority. Thus the job i t s e l f , gives access only to internal promotion, not access to better jobs in other parts of the - 151 -industry or in other firms on the basis of experience. Thus the workers are in many ways trapped in their jobs on the green chain. The separation of workers on the job perpetuates the sterotypes of both East Indian and other workers and gives East Indians no access to friends or relationships outside of East Indian friends. As well the separation on the job is part of the hir ing and promotion patterns on the job, which both management and unions participate i n . Some of the comments of workers are d irect ly discriminatory, but the practices are for the most part 'objective' practices of applying for jobs, seemingly matters of choice over who to eat lunch with and so on. These practices form a veneer over the on the job discrimination which prevents East Indian workers from being promoted within the industries they work i n . Service Jobs Service jobs are for the most part dead end jobs to begin with. In a gas station for example, there are attendants, and i f the station does repairs, a mechanic. Often the attendant does 'non-skilled' jobs around the station, changing o i l in cars, doing small repairs and so on. The other person is the owner of the station. The only real promotion is to become an owner. To become a mechanic i t is necessary to take training and an apprenticeship, which requires access to the apprenticeship training programs. The same situation applies to most restaurant jobs, to parking lot jobs and to clerks in grocery and other stores. The poss ib i l i ty of a worker earning and saving the capital to buy into a gas station franchise, or other business on the salary he earns in any of these jobs i s quite remote. One man explained: - 152 -I don't know what I w i l l do. The job only pays $125.00/week, not much, but right now i t is a job. I would l ike to get my own business but not on these wages. If the jobs open up I can get a better job and earn enough to buy a business. But right now I don't know. Another family explained their problem: :I have three, part-time jobs. I work down the streets nights at the Seven/Eleven and at a gas station during, the day, then I work on days off as a dishwasher. It i s quite a job keeping i t a l l straight. My wife works too and with that we manage. But we have to pay for our house and my nephew is here and I try to send some money home. Q. What about the future? Well right now we are managing. I hope my children w i l l do better. But i f the jobs improve I'm sure I w i l l be able do get a better job. But i t is hard I have grade 10 in India and there that is good, but here i t is nothing. I try to improve my English, but I don't get much practice. My wife and I don't have time to go to school, but i f we get a better job maybe we can. Right now, well we just manage. Workers in these jobs work only with a small number of other workers and meet the public only br i e f ly . This means again that they do not make friends outside the community. I work in a parking lot . Just see the boss sometimes and the guy who works the next sh i f t . That is a l l . The people well , they don't l ike East Indians. They make comments, but mostly they just drive on. I want to go home after I have made money. Canada is not for East Indians. Another man also explained: I work with one other guy. He says he doesn't l ike East Indians, but that I'm O.K. We had a beer together once, but he has his friends, I have mine. We work together, that's i t . These jobs are not unionized, thus there is a very l i t t l e income improvement and no real poss ib i l i ty of promoting a union. There are lots of people for the jobs and there are few other jobs around, except in the same situation. People are 'holding on' u n t i l the job situation gets better or u n t i l they can find some better job to do. If individuals stay in the job - 153 -over a period of time, they may get a r a i s e , but t h i s i s on the d i s c r e t i o n of the owner, or the boss. Most of these operations work on very marginal basis and depend on very cheap labour, so that long term employees are not r e a l l y an asset. Of s p e c i a l consideration, because of the implications, I want to explore j a n i t o r i a l work i n a l i t t l e more d e t a i l than other service jobs. Some j a n i t o r i a l work i s unionized and comes within the work done i n an organization. Schools, u n i v e r s i t y and h o s p i t a l s , and some firms work i n t h i s manner. However, in c r e a s i n g l y j a n i t o r i a l work i s contracted out to j a n i t o r i a l firms who take the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for cleaning o f f i c e b u i l d i n g s , banks and other places of business. Then j a n i t o r i a l employees are not part of the firm or organization i t s e l f , but are employees of the j a n i t o r i a l organization. This p r a c t i c e i s c a l l e d 'contracting out'. East Indian workers work mainly i n firms which have contracts to clean o f f i c e b u i l d i n g s , etc. They do not 'qualify for jobs' i n organizations where the competition for jobs i s s t i f f and where the h i r i n g procedures are very formal. In the 'contract business' there are two forms of work organization. One i s where a j a n i t o r i a l firm employs workers d i r e c t l y , the other i s where the f i r m 'contracts out' i t s work on subcontracts. In the f i r s t case workers are paid an hourly wage and work under the company's supervision. The wages are very low and the work involves night work almost e x c l u s i v e l y . Many of the j a n i t o r i a l firms are unstable operations and f o l d without paying workers the i r s a l a r i e s . In other cases workers do not receive t h e i r f u l l promised wage because the company does not have enough money. A f t e r the work i s done and with no union and l i t t l e knowledge of labour l e g i s l a t i o n , workers are forced to accept the wage offe r e d . The companies can declare bankruptcy and then re-open under another name and r e g i s t r a t i o n , which i s a normal - 154 -practice at present i n the business. In the cases of subcontracts, East Indians have paid several thousand dollars for a subcontract, which gives them the work, cleaning supplies and equipment. The contract often requires much more work than one person can do, so the man must find other workers to work for him to get the work done. The money involved i n the contract considering these things i s then very small. As well t h i s practice i s largely unlegislated and not supervised by labour practices. Thus there are many cases of East Indians paying for the subcontract and not receiving the work. These situations s p e l l disaster for East Indian families. They also have implications for how parts of the work force are being organized. That i s parts of organizations are being s p l i t o f f by the 'contracting' procedure and^  thus many jobs which formerly were becoming well paid and protected are now divided off from organizations. The jobs that exist i n unionized and protected sectors are i n high demand and the jobs i n competitive sectors are low paying and insecure. Summary On the basis of what has been presented here, the si t u a t i o n of East Indians i n the work force i s not an accident. Rather their location i n the labour force i s determined by the objective c r i t e r i a used for h i r i n g and access to education and t r a i n i n g . Better jobs i n the economy assume that individuals w i l l have education, training and s k i l l s which are commonly available to Canadian workers, they are not however part of the experience available to East Indian workers. The jobs which are available to East Indian workers are those which do not have s t r i c t training and education q u a l i f i c a -tions attached to them. In addition, the job range i s further narrowed by the - 155 -difficulty that East Indians have in attending formal interview and com-petition processes. This places them in the position of needing the supports that the community provides them both in informal job hunting and providing jobs which give them their first work experience. The work that is available to them is dead end work, either as a result of the work organization as in the case in the sawmill or in the character of the work as in the case of the service industry. Further, these jobs do not give access to friendships or personal relationships outside of the East Indians that may work on the job. This in part is shaped by the relations on the job itself and by the lack of contact with individuals on the job. In the work that men do there is always more supply of labour than there are jobs, which helps to keep the jobs insecure and unorganized. As well the changes in the patterns of employment as in the case of contracting out means that as gains are made in some jobs, the qualifications for the jobs increase. Thus immigrants are excluded from jobs that were formerly available and at the same time jobs develop outside the secure and well paid sectors. These insecure and low paid positions become available to immigrants. Thus over periods of time the situations of East Indian immigrants does not appear to have much possibility of improving. The relations which give form to the position of East Indian immigrant men are developed out of the relations in the Vancouver labour market itself. Access to training and education, which would provide the 'taken for granted access' to jobs to East Indians is practically not feasible in their situation as immigrants. Individuals then, remain in their positions both as a result of the managerial practices and of the union practices, both of which take for granted that East Indians have the backgrounds available to Canadian workers. Thus the position of East Indian immigrants as workers is assumed - 156 -under the general assumptions made by unions about 'the working class', in a similar way to that which Smith describes in her work on women (Smith, 1977). The result inside unions, is that no action is taken to combat action by other workers on jobs that is discriminatory, and the union does not control management in areas, where they are clearly engaged in discrimina-tory practices, that are glossed over by 'objective criteria'. The result is what we see. East Indian workers do not improve their earning power or positions in the work force significantly over time. They live inside an ethnically defined community which provides them a support to get jobs and a social life outside their jobs. But to see this as a matter of preference is to neglect the conditions which produce the 'ethnic community'. East Indian immigrants remain inside the community because they have no routes out of i t . Their relation to jobs, their access to housing credit and social supports a l l come from this association, as we shall see. Working Class Women's Participation in the Labour Force As in the case of men, women's access to the labour force is governed by qualifications and experience. This takes for granted a level of access which may be available to Canadian women but is not available to East Indian women. I want to review the labour situation of Canadian women so that we can see how East Indian women are located in the labour market. In the first place the labour market is already sex segregated, men have access to some jobs, women to others. The greater number of jobs that are available to women are in clerical, service and special areas of the industrial work force. These jobs are low paid and require broad skills which are taken for granted as part of the skills that a l l women have. In clerical work, for example, women are expected to be well organized, be able to have discreet - 157 -relations with people who they work with and who they meet as part of their jobs, to know what is expected of them intuitively. In addition, of course, they must be able to type, answer phones, make coffee and in general keep the office running smoothly. Many of the skills which are taken for granted are skills which are developed through young women's long apprenticeships in their homes and with their brothers and sisters. Relatively large numbers of women have these skills. They are seen as characteristic of being a woman, and are obvious only when they are not part of a particular woman's personality and skills. Thus there are always seemingly an unlimited supply of women to f i l l the jobs in the labour market. This has consequences for the levels of pay and for the job security which are part of these jobs. East Indian women do not have the taken for granted skills and under-standings which are part of a Canadian woman's upbringing. As we have seen she must learn to manage her house under entirely different circumstances and has lost a great deal of her independence of movement in things that an ordinary Canadian would take for granted, taking buses, doing laundry, handling money, etc. A l l these factors lessen the opportunities for East Indian women in the job market. East Indian women are forced into the job market as a result of the circumstances that their husbands find themselves in. Women's location, not only in the general job market available to women, but the narrower job market available to East Indian women as a result of their particular position in Vancouver makes them a cheap source of labour for the jobs in the economy that 'can be done by anyone1. - 158 -Access to Jobs Again as in the case of men access to jobs are governed by qualifi-cations and experience criteria. However, in addition, there are a number of taken for granted skills in jobs for women which do not appear as quali-fications or education background. These include some of the considerations in the introduction, and in addition implicit understanding about the rela-tions of men to women in the society; many of the things.in an office and other work place that women would do in the home. In addition the job description and categories which are part of how an individual is understood by an organization do not allow for East Indian women's ability to learn a job as they get experience in i t , nor does i t provide any entry below prescribed levels. Thus access to jobs that are available to Canadian women are much more difficult for immigrant women. Women who come from families that have been able to provide them with a western education in India or in Canada do compete favourably for these jobs, however, the great majority of immigrant women have not had these opportunities, and do not meet the education requirements. Job training is also a problem. In the first place married women with working husbands are a low priority for job training in the Department of Manpower, where supported training is available. As well, the training which would make women qualified formally for jobs would require extensive upgrad-ing and long training periods. The priority for government job training programs is to get people on the job market as quickly as possible. In addition, of course, largely as a result of the circumstances under which East Indian women must look for work, this is a priority for them as well. Thus East Indian women who get into job training programs, do so in - 159 -areas l ike dishwashing in restaurants, chambermaids, and sewing occupations in the garment industry. There have been some new programs which proved English training for women in a small number of garment factories, while they are working and these do begin to provide some possible opportunities for the future. However, at this time, the programs are small in number and do not reach many people. There have been several innovative programs in English instruction for women, where day care has been provided and where the programs attempt to reach non-working women who may join the labour force in the future. These programs are.new and often have trouble with recruitment part icular ly i f the individuals running the program have l i t t l e access to the community. What remains at present is that women provide a labour supply for the East Indian community i t s e l f and work in low paid and insecure work outside the community. Hir ing Practices The hir ing of women for jobs both inside and outside the East Indian business community depend on the community's informal communications network. As in the case of men, workers already employed are the best source of informa-tion for women about work. Each of the employment areas works somewhat d i f f er -ently so I am going to sketch in some of the cases. A. Garment Factories Women get jobs in garment factories through the Department of Manpower re ferra l , sometimes after a training program in the factory i t s e l f or in a job training program. Some get their job on the basis of referral from a worker already working in the factory or a person who knows a hir ing officer at the factory. Rarely do women go by themselves to apply for a job. - 160 -In cases where they make formal applications, i t i s customary for a worker from one of the service agencies to go with them. However, the incidence of this i s quite small, because of the time required to do this and the fact that the agencies are normally engaged with c r i s i s cases involving UIC or Social Insurance. Women enter work i n the garment factory at a base rate and do receive salary increases on the basis of union negotiated increases, i f there i s one, and on the basis of learning the other jobs i n the factory. There are i n the industry however a rarrow range i n the rates and there are only a small number of different jobs which have different rates. At times the factory i s organ-ized on a quota and piece rate basis. This may bring some extra income i f the woman i s a very fast worker, however piece work i s not kindly regarded by unions i n the industry and there are not many work situations where th i s system prevails as the only system of pay. Work i n a garment factory gives women experience to work i n other garment fac t o r i e s , probably which have the same pay and work procedure as the one i n which she already works. The industry i s notorious for i t s insecurity and fly-by-night operations, which close i f there i s serious union pressure. Women are thus i n the position of having l i t t l e leverage to make their working conditions better. As well there are many situations where there are large numbers of women who want to work so that women are placed i n the position of accepting their pay and working conditions or leaving. In view of their f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n i n the home, i t i s often a matter of hanging onto the top job at any cost. - 161 -B. Housekeepers, Babysitters and Service Workers in the Community This work is done on a very informal basis. Women do not have any official employment status and are paid in cash, receiving no unemployment insurance benefits, contribution to CPP, etc. This means that women never build any official work experience and i f she wants other work must depend on the employers to recommend her to someone else or to be able to contact someone else in the community who will give the same work. I babysit five days a week for a woman who has three children The work is not hard. I tidy up,play with the children and prepare the meals for them during the day. I get $175.00 a a month and that is important to our family. It is a good job and I don't want to work outside, because I have problems getting to work, also I don't think I would make more money. Q. What will you do in future? Well, I don't know. Right now we need the money, but when my husband gets a better job we won't and I will be able to stay home. Q. How long have you been doing this? You mean this work or.... Well I have been working in this place for a year. Before I have worked in other places, for about five years. Women do feel that the jobs they get in this work are temporary, but consistently I found that women worked relatively long periods of time in this kind of work. This informal work is much easier on women in many ways in that they are in positions with which they are familiar and with people who speak their language. I asked women about the lack of formal work experience and benefits: Well I don't know much about that really. Since I will not work for long I don't think i t will matter. I don't think I would ever work in other places. Women in this situation felt that they could not work outside the home and that they were fortunate to have their situations. They did not know a - 162 -great deal about their work p o s s i b i l i t i e s outside these situations, and had very l i t t l e access to information about other situations: I don't think that there i s other work. This i s not hard and the money i s needed. I don't think I r e a l l y can work other places. Q. What about English lessons, job training? I don't think I can do that as an immigrant. I am only here because of my husband and I don't want to hurt our place here. Anyway our children w i l l learn and that i s the most important. Me, I don't think I w i l l speak English. That i s O.K., we can manage, my husband speaks and we can manage. In addition women work i n small apartment buildings and motels i n some cases as chambermaids and cleaners. The si t u a t i o n of women i s various i n this circumstance. At times the business i s owned by a member of the family and there i s a work arrangement where women look after the building along with other members of the family i n return for their residence. The business i n th i s case i s often not owned by her husband, but by a member of her husband's family. Similar situations apply with small hotel businesses. In a l l cases, the woman gains no formal work experience. As well i t i s a kind of hidden labour force, on which the businesses and households who employ women i n th i s way depend. Women who work i n these situations have no securi-ty or recourse i f something happens with respect to their pay or working con-d i t i o n s . Since they do not pay income tax and since there i s l i t t l e possi-b i l i t y of working outside the si t u a t i o n they f e e l fortunate to have the job. This, however, also means that they their work i s quasi-legal and are af r a i d of repercussions i f they are i n any relationship with government agencies. I think t h i s i s a good situ a t i o n for me. I am able to get money and I'm not sure what else I could do. Q. But you have said that you work s i x days a week and often more than eight hours a day. Don't you think that your work i s worth more than your rent? No, i t gives us a place to l i v e and soon we w i l l be able to have our own home. You see i f I got money maybe I would have to give - 163 -i t to the government. Then i t would be less. Q. Not necessarily. Also you would have experience to work other places. I'm not allowed to work, and I won't always have to work this hard. Q. But you are allowed to work. You are a landed immigrant, people in that position are allowed to work. I don't know, I just know that i t might mean trouble. Lack of information and hope that the future will be better both con-tribute to women remaining in these situations. As well their English and ability to function outside a protected situation is very low, as such many of their perceptions are accurate for their situation. C. Farm Workers Seasonal farm work in market gardens and the Fraser Valley fruit orchards supply a great deal of part-time and seasonal employment for women. The work arrangements are made through labour contractors who are East Indian men in the community, they hire women, children and some men to work on fruit and vegetable harvests. Alternative arrangements can be made through the Department of Manpower, but these arrangements are not used by East Indian workers as a general rule. The work is described by one women, The truck picks me up near my home at 5:30 or 6:00 depending. We go to the farm and begin work as soon as we get there. I take the children, they pick and play sometimes. It just depends. Q. How much do you earn? It depends on the crop. Usually eight to fifteen dollars a day. It varies. I'm glad of the work, I've been doing i t for five years and i t is recently much better. Q. How did you first come to do this? Well, when I was first here my cousin knew someone who hired - 164 -Q. Is the work hard? Well, I'm used to i t . I don't think that you could do i t right away but you could get used to i t . The only thing is that there are not always enough trucks and then the ride out is very crowded. At night when we are tired, the children are tired, i t is hard, that is the worst. But now also there is unemployment and so that is good. Q. Do you think the contracts make a lot of money? I don't know. They give us jobs and pay us. I don't know how he gets paid. Q. The working conditions and pay are quite poor compared to other work. Do you think you should be paid more? We are paid more than we used to be. Sometimes some people said before that we should be paid more and that some said that they weren't paid fair, but I don't keep track. I think he gives us our wage. Did the people think that they had been paid less than they had worked? What happened? Yes, they did. They said they kept track. He said that he had made government.... what, yes the government's money. I didn't get involved. They were mad. I don't think those people worked last year. I really don't know. Q. Have you ever felt that you didn't get paid what you were supposed to? As I said I didn't keep track. I want to work.... Few individuals will discuss the problems around farm labour and those who will are concerned in most cases that they not be quoted. My findings can be summarized as follows, there are five to seven thousand East Indian Immigrants who do farm labour in B.C. each year. Both East Indian immigrants and Chinese immigrants work as farm labourers, but they work in separate operations. Workers are primarily women and children, although men who are un-employed and having difficulty finding employment do work as farm labourers but they are not in the majority. A l l work done is paid on a piece work basis, normally at $1 per flat. The size of a flat varies with the product - 165 -being harvested. Other farm work, which might be preparing the fields, weeding, or hoeing is paid on an hourly basis. This work however is done by a very small number of people at the beginning or end of the season. Workers travel one and one half to two hours each way to get to work and work ten to twelve hour days. If the worker is experienced and very good, she will be able to pick one and one half flats per hour so that her own daily wage will be eighteen dollars. Her children's pay is added to hers so that the cheques issued to workers are often not reflective of the wage that they actually receive. Farm workers are employed by labour contractors, who in the case of the East Indian workers are East Indians themselves. Labour contractors collect people to work, transport them to the fields and return them to town at night. They sell the labour of their workers to the farmers for approximately $2.50 per hour. They are obligated to make employee con-tributions to UIC, CPP and Revenue Canada, although i t is normal for con-tractors to avoid this by persuading individuals to be responsible for their own CPP and Income Tax contributions. If the workers work eight weeks, they do in most cases make the UIC contributions. Workers then receive at the end of their work a separation certificate which entitles them to UIC benefits. There are a series of recurring problems around the CPP, UIC and income tax contributions. Workers have been known to pay for their separation c e r t i f i -cates for example. In other cases, CPP and income tax contributions are not made and individuals do not understand their obligations in this respect. Farm workers along with domestic workers are not covered by existing labour legislation. The law that is brought to bear on their working condi-tions are laws governing health regulations at work places and laws governing the safe transport of persons. Even these laws are not strictly adhered to. - 166 -Transportation is provided through a combination of trucks, panel vans, and buses of a type similar to school buses. I was picked up at 5:30 at my street. There were already twelve people on the van. We picked up eight more people and headed to a central depot outside the city. In the van we sat on wooden benches which were not fastened to the truck and were very uncomfortable. There was not enough space for everyone to sit on the benches, so some people sat on the floor. There were no windows and i t was very hot. People were visibly exhausted and spoke very l i t t l e , some slept. At the depot, we were transferred into a bus which was also overcrowded--many more people than there were seats for. Coming back i t was worse, I guess because I was so tired, i t seemed more crowded, I don't know. A woman describes her experiences: The truck comes at five forty-five, I'm lucky because Im one of the last to be picked up and first dropped off. There are forty more or less on the truck and we go straight to the field. The ride is about an hour, a bit more I guess, and i t is uncomfortable, hot or cold, we are overcrowded, but you get used to i t . On the work site there are supposed to be provision pf toilets and running water for drinking. This is usually adhered to but facilities are located as much as a mile and a half from where a worker is working. This means that the use of the facilities involves a long walk and loss of work time which comes directly off the potential earnings. Thus although normally the provisions of health regulations are formally adhered to, in practice on the job the use of facilities is rendered very inconvenient and time-consuming. There has been concern about the conditions of farm work from many groups and individuals in Vancouver, but there has been very l i t t l e improve-ment in the conditions of work or in the regulation of the activities of labour contractors. The federal Department of Manpower attempted to re-organize farm labour through an agricultural labour pool at Abbotsford - 167 -last year. They were able to receive from UIC, the names of workers who worked on the job last year and contacted them to report to the labour pool and register for work. The program was unsuccessful however and the majority of workers worked with labour contractors as in past years. The women and children who work in the jobs get their jobs informally as described. The procedure of registering with a government department is one which is very difficult for women under their living conditions and levels of English which they have. The position of women both in the family and the community militates against the success of programs like the one the Department of Manpower tried. As well the level of information that women have and the places where information is available also prevents them from assessing their situation. D. Cannery Workers The canning season begins in April and lasts through October. There is also work in the winter but i t is not as plentiful so that there are only a few workers with the most union seniority who are able to work year round. For the most part however the work is seasonal and most of the canneries are unionized. Women get jobs in the canneries through the routes in the community that have been described before. There have been situations where labour contractors have tried to make informal arrangements around transportation and job access with the women who worked or wanted to work in the canneries. These arrangements have not worked over tine largely as a result of the vigilence of the unions. Cannery work is probably the best paying, and most secure work available to - 168 -East Indian women. The work provides them with seniority in their union and thus they are assured jobs from year to year providing there is work. How-ever, the experience does not provide women with access to other jobs nor does i t provide opportunities to learn additional skills or to learn English. As in the case of farm workers, East Indian and Chinese women are employed in the industry in the lower mainland. As a rule Chinese women have been working in canneries longer and thus have relatively the better posi-tions in the canneries. On the job East Indian workers and Chinese workers are separated, although i t is common for them to work in the same cannery. Work organized in this way gives East Indian women l i t t l e access to meet other workers who speak English and who live outside the confines of an ethnic community. Thus women do not make friendships through their work which give them alternative sources of information, support or experience from that which they already have. This means then that although this job is substan-tially better than other work which is available to women in the East Indian community, i t s t i l l pushes her back to the community for support and friends as well as not providing any job experience that would mean that she could get jobs outside the industry. E. Service Work As women are able to learn some English or they receive training from Manpower, they are getting jobs in the service industry outside the community. These jobs are located in restaurants, hotels, and motels, as dishwashers, chambermaids, cleaners and in some cases short order cooks. Again this work has the character of the service work that men do. It is poorly paid, and does not provide opportunity for advancement. However, in relation to other jobs available, the work seems to be better. - 169 -I work as a dishwasher. I get minimum wage and work evenings, which lets me be home during the day. That is good so that I can get the housework done and be with the children. The job is better than being a babysitter because the pay is better and the hours are set and shorter. I took a short training course with Manpower, and got this job. There are several problems that can be foreseen in this work. In the first place as there are more people with the official training the jobs will be harder to get as the work will then require the special training. In addition as unionizing attempts are successful and wages rise, the qualifica-tions for the job will be increased, i f past experience is an indicator. Thus these occupations, which do allow women to get out of situations which are often worse, do not allow them to compete well with Canadians for jobs i f and when wages rise or credentials are increased. The job training that they have received gives them immediate access to jobs, but i t doesn't provide any long term stability in terms of xromen's ability to compete with Canadian workers. F. Janitorial Work As I described in the section on Janitorial work in men's employment, there are two ways that East Indians are employed in janitorial work, either as workers in a contracted operation, or as subcontractors. Women work in the subcontract situations, where they do virtually unpaid labour in order that their husband or relative is able to f u l f i l l the contract. Essentially the operation works as in this example: I paid $5,000 for the contract. I get the equipment and some of the cleaning supplies for that, the contract is worth $15,000. It is a contract to clean five banks. These banks a l l must be done between six and midnight because of the alarm systems. My wife and children, the oldest two, we work together and do them. The contracts in fact assume that the subcontractor has a cheap supply of labour to do the work. And i t is women who provide this labour for these - 170 -operations. Summary When we review the specific situations of men and women, i t is possible to see how, in the context of Vancouver, East Indian immigrant women are pro-duced as a group of dependent poorly paid workers. Their skills are not appropriate to the qualifications and educational requirements of jobs and they thus become cheap labour for the East Indian business community and candidates for jobs in the economy that 'no one else will do'. Their labour is further concealed by the organization of the work that they do as domestic and child care workers in private homes, and in janitorial work. Their jobs provide no opportunities to learn the skills that would allow them to compete with Canadian women for jobs, nor do they provide access to friends or information outside the community in which they live. Their jobs trap them in their families and within the community. This has the effect of permitting the relationships between their husbands and themselves to proceed on a basis of material dependency and provide no material means for altering their position with respect to their families or their husbands. The income that she earns is given to her husband and he continues to make the financial decisions for the household down to her own decisions about clothing and other personal items. The income that she makes in any case cannot support a family and the jobs that she does do not provide her with the experience, qualifications or education which might make i t possible to get better paying work. At the same time her ability to organize around her work to improve her working conditions is very poor. Not only is the work that she does 'able to be done by anyone' but i f gains are made in the particular job area that she - 171 -works in the possibility is that she will lose her job as a result of increased job criteria or at the very least other women in her position will no longer have access to those jobs. Thus the family situation and the work situation that she finds herself in constitutes a trap, one that is almost impossible to escape from. The community enforces her dependency on her husband in its very organization. Her family is not in Candda, her friends are formed through contacts that her husband makes for her. Her work is confined by her home or by the community and there are no organizations that she participates in independently from her husband in the community or outside the community. Her lack of access to training and education are a combination of her responsibilities in the home and the work she must do to contribute to the family income. The relations between men and women in the family that we have read about in the previous chapter can now be brought into focus in terms of the labour force, but i t is a necessity. However her relation to her husband is not improved by her working outside the home. She does not have rela-tively more independence, nor does she organize more of her own activities. Women and men have their relations to one another organized outside their own individual relation as we have seen in both chapters. Their work rela-tions, the pay they receive, the relative contributions in wage terms to the household, the responsibilities for housework a l l organize their rela-tion, to each other. Thus to say for example that their relations are 'traditional' ignores that their relations to each other are formed in particular material contexts. CHAPTER VI BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS OF THE EAST INDIAN COMMUNITY Introduction The class divis ion within the community, which can be seen from the location of the family is a divis ion between the East Indian working class and the East Indian bourgeoisie. The East Indian rul ing class is a bourgeoisie in the classic sense. It is a group of owners of small businesses, indus-t r i a l i s t s , who own enterprises connected to transportation, the forest industry and construction, real estate and insurance businessmen, and professionals who are concerned with the business enterprise. These i n d i -viduals act l ike a classic bourgeois class; they belong to the same organi-zations, are friends and women in the class organize the family social l i f e , the home and community organizations which support the position of bourgeois men in the community, and, in addition women are often involved in the business both as staff and as owners of parts of the business. The East Indian bour-geoisie through their business practices and through their leadership of community organizations are active organizing the class relat ion of the community, internal ly . The community organizations are organizations of the bourgeoisie which constitute both the o f f i c i a l representation of the community in Vancouver and B.C. po l i t i c s and the communications patterns of the community on which the working class depend heavily for advice, information and contacts for jobs and their personal business. The organization of and participation in the - 1 7 2 -- 1 7 3 -community organizations provide the basis for men to become known as both community leaders and businessmen. As community leaders they are able to represent the community and interpret the community in the political and official press context. As well the community organizations and media, which include radio, press and publication of telephone books listing East Indians, provide the basis for East Indian businessmen to identify and meet potential customers. The working and living conditions of East Indian immigrants as I have des-cribed them leave l i t t l e opportunity for men and women to engage in acti-vities that give them an understanding of the way in which personal finances are handled in Vancouver. Although i t is quite probable that they could manage their affairs in the ways the Canadian born citizens do, there is not the opportunity for them to learn to do so. It is normal for East Indian families to manage their affairs through East Indian businessmen and through Canadian businesses that have Punjabi speaking employees, who often come from families of the bourgeoisie. Thus working class families form the major number of clients and customers for East Indian real estate brokers, insurance salesmen, store owners, travel agents and lawyers. Owners of these enterprises provide service in Punjabi and assist and facilitate the management of the families personal finances, make credit arrangements, and arrange for purchases and provide merchandise and services which make shopping easier, i f more expen-sive. In this way the East Indian working class is organized as a market for East Indian businessmen. This arrangement, although i t does support East Indian immigrants in the conduct of their daily lives, i t at the same time contributes to the organization of East Indian working class immigrants as different and as part of an ethnic community. - 174 -I would place much of what I am going to discuss in the context of consumer market already organized in a class relation, and i t may be that the credit and housing arrangements accorded the rest of the working class may be similar. I would suggest, however that the situation of working class East Indians is relatively worse with respect to the consumer market than that of the Canadian working class. The practices of East Indian businessmen with respect to the organi-zation of working class men and women in the labour force has already been discussed at some length, in the last chapter. I want now to look at the specific aspects of the businesses and community organizations. At the end of the chapter I have included a section which looks at some of the practices of certain Canadian businesses in relation to working class East Indian immigrants. This work is not fully developed, but I am adding i t because i t sketches in some of the relations which are important in maintaining the community as i t is. However I will not deal with the relations among the East Indian bourgeoisie or the relations between the East Indian bourgeoisie and the Vancouver, B.C. or Canadian ruling class except, where I have discovered them in my work (which was not focused in this way) and where I have found them consequential for the working class. I consider these relations very important and feel an investigation of them would contribute to and broaden this analysis however this endeavour is limited to the relations and organi-zation of the East Indian working class. Community Organizations The most significant community organizations are the temples. There ar three temples, which are part of the community, one Hindu temple and two Sikh - 175 -temples. These are religious-social organizations which have cultural as well as religious concerns. The largest temple is the Sikh temple on Marine drive in Vancouver. The temples have religious, cultural and social activities for their members. Membership in the temples is informal although presently there are attempts to formalize membership at one temple. Each of the temples has an executive that is responsible for the organization and financial management. Individuals interviewed about the temples were vague about the manner in which individuals became members of the executive of the temples. As well individuals were not certain about the numbers of people and families who used the temples. This is in part because the religious organizations are less formal than western religious organizations. Individuals who were interviewed agreed that large numbers of indivi-duals did not use the temples frequently.^ It was also agreed that professional and business people made use of the temples more than the majority of East Indians. It is important to understand at this point that the Hindu member-ship in the community is not large in numbers and is largely professional, well educated and in many respects integrated into Canadian society. There are., exceptions to this but for the most part this generalization holds. Thus the remarks are primarily descriptions of the Sikh temples. There are other r e l i -gious affiliations that members of the community have. It is not that these have been completely overlooked as much as they are not part of the organiza-tion of the working class, which is primarily Sikh. In addition to the temples I identified thirteen community organizations. These included women's groups, organizations concerned with presenting cultural events and festivals, philanthropic organizations concerned with funding pro-jects to assist people, often in India, business clubs, and intellectual - 176 -groups. The, membership in these groups is almost exclusively business and professional men and women. East Indians who do service and manual work are not usually part of the organizations and are not on the executive of the temples with some exceptions in the case of the Ross Street Sikh temple. There were many differences of opinion about what the role of the organizations and the temples are in the community: I think the organizations and the Temples are the community. That i s what can be seen. The working class do not participate in these organizations. They aren't for them, they are for the upper class. They don't have the problems that the working class has. They can afford to have these luxuries. The women need something to do and the men need to have common groups so they can meet and talk things over. Also i t is through the organizations that the leaders of the community are recognized, and they organize i t l ike a club. I ' l l help you this year, you support me next! That is the way i t goes. And these people get to t e l l the o f f i c i a l s , the mayor and the other o f f i c ia l s about the community. They can t e l l other people about the East Indian community. Well there are two communities theirs , the nice comfortable homes, clubs, businesses, etc. Sometimes they talk about this community, sometimes they talk about them, and them is that other part of the community, the people that they consider the peasants. You see i t is rea l ly a class problem and you have to talk about i t that way. Other people when they talked about the community organizations and the Temples saw i t differently: I think that the community organizations are very important in pro-viding the basis for the community to reflect i t s culture and back-ground. I think that the community gains a lot of respect from the community at large when they see that the community i s organized. This is also important for people in the community, they have an identity and this is important here when we are cut off from the country we know. You asked who belongs and I know that membership in organizations is quite small and the whole community is not involved in that way. However the events are attended. I think i t would be better i f there were more people who belonged, but you can't force people to belong. Q. When I asked who belonged I was thinking about what I have already been to ld , which is that people who belong are people who do not have the problems that we have discussed that is that the organizations are not organizations of everyone. Yes, that is true as I have said. I don't think that very many workers belong for example and their wives just can't go out without their - 177 -husbands. I think that i t w i l l be a long time before women who are so tradit ional join organizations. Generally people agreed that the organizations were run by business and professional people: The Temples are p o l i t i c s , there is no re l ig ion . There are social functions on Saturday and Sunday and young men, just here go and meet other people. They think they are getting help finding a job, but rea l ly the businessmen are making their business contacts. Businessmen can make themselves important by making suggestions to these people that anyone who has been here six months can make i t . But the new immigrants who don't rea l ly know think that they are getting a big favour. The businessmen go to the Temple for their own business. People who meet them feel that they know someone who can help them. Of course the businessmen are only too happy for them to think that. The temple is the place that men give propaganda against the union. They t e l l men not to go in the union, i t i s bad. Well i t is bad for their business, but i t is not bad for workers. There are always p o l i t i c a l f ights. And the opposing sides make deals among them- 1 selves. The organizations are not run democratically. ^ A ^ V c -Many individuals who were not part of the organizations shared this view of the temples. They fe l t that the organizations were anti-union which hurt individuals who worked as labourers d irect ly , by influencing them to be poor union people. Many workers pointed out that without a union the workers would be worse off than they are presently. This they pointed out was a problem for people on the job: The preaching that goes on at the temple about unions is bad. It influences men on the job. They don't behave l ike union men and the other workers get mad. It doesn't help much by explaining. In my plant we try to treat everyone equally, but some of the East Indian workers are just , well a real problem, and other workers are resentful , I think i t is a direct result of the temple. That is one of the problems at least. The Temple is a l l p o l i t i c s . Those guys who run i t are out for themselves, not any different from their kind who are white men just out for themselves. The new immigrants go and they don't know any better. The executive bui ld their business and the workers get told to work in their own worst interest. Other people interviewed thought that the businessmen gained - 178 -influence as well as business by being connected with the temple: Look, they get to be leaders, not just of the community but big shots in other politics too. I think that they gain in- \ v v ^ fluence with City Hall, with political parties a l l that sort #pV\~ of thing. You know there is more to this than over the table C ^ E L V — business. They get the leadership of the temple and that is a springboard. Like one year they went to Ottawa on Temple funds to meet with the Immigration Minister, supposedly to get a better deal for East Indians, did that happen? No! It was al l a big deal so that they could get more influence and get some concessions for their plans. They don't care about ordinary Indians, they care about themselves, and the ordinary Indians are just a pawn. Individuals described the Temples as being connected with party politics through the party affiliations of the important members. They argued that disagreements in the Temple which they said were frequent, were around the control that the leadership could exercise on behalf of a particular political party. Another informant, described similar events, and summarized his position: The temple is politics not religion. There are three or four temples in B.C. A l l are involved in politics, not religion. There are social functions on Saturday and Sunday, where there is food, socializing and a lot of business. Businessmen become known here and develop their business connections here. Young men can make connections for jobs. The travel agents attend the temple functions to get business. 0.-o4i=*v^ Businessmen do favours for people. They used to give letters 0^*"' saying that immigrants would have jobs when they came and therefore they could get into Canada easier. One community leader built his position in the community this way. He never gave people jobs though, but everyone was grateful. There is a lot of politics against unions, at the temple. Saying they are bad for business, bad for people. When there were organizing drives on in some of the mills owned by the leadership, a l l the businessmen talked about how bad the union was. The leadership is opposed to unions. There have been some scuffles recently among factions of the businessmen, but these are not serious. I think that they make deals among themselves. Nothing is democratic. Last year they went to Ottawa on temple money to speak about the immigration b i l l . They didn't help everyone they made personal arrangements, I think. The leadership are conservative and liberal. A third group are N.D.P. They a l l fight for control of the temple. It is landlord politics, to see who can control the community. The temples don't differ much. There are the kingmakers and the front men. The detail of the struggles are different in detail, the same in substance. If there are people - 179 -who challenge and are successful the others buy them, one way or another, just as they buy the people with letters that don't mean anything. The other organizations seemed to be important in organizing many cultural events in the community. As well in some cases organizations had some concern for services and solving problems in the community. These organi-zations were notably the women's organizations. In addition to the cultural events and education work done by women's organizations the organizations try to assist members of the community who are in difficulty. These organiza-tions are often given assistance from government agencies in the form of personnel and grants. The Temples also provide some social services. Particularly in the case of new immigrants, the Temple provides a familiar place where young men can meet other men and can learn about job possibilities in the community and outside. One young immigrant explained: I know that many people think that the temple is a political hotbed. And I think that I agree, but I don't think that i t is only that. When I first came I learned a lot there and I met people. That was important because I only knew my relatives. It was O.K., but I needed to meet men my own age. That happened there. And later I bought my house from someone whom I met there, but that was because I needed to buy a house and I would rather go to someone whom I have met than a complete stranger. So what others say about the business aspects I suppose is true in a way but i t also helps. There are two other political organizations which are part of the community in some respects. These organizations are concerned with both Indian and Canadian politics and one organization does do work among working class people. This work involves assisting with grievances, acting as advocates in cases with the Workers Compensation Board and x*ith other government agencies. The work involves men primarily and both organizations have some working class membership. Both organizations have been active in - 180 -presenting the issues around the new Immigration Laws and have worked on consciousness raising around Canadian and Indian politics. The reaction to the organizations is mixed. I think that one organization in particular causes more trouble than they do good. People can't believe the things that they say and I think that they give the community a bad reputation. One of the organizations is very active in the community itself, and although I know a lot of people don't agree with them or some of their tactics I think that they do a good job. They will try to help workers when no one else will, push the unions and so on. But we need more of this not so much external politics. Our problems are right here. For this reason I don't join. Both the organizations are necessary, but I don't think that they have much working class support yet. That is where they have to work so I am going to see. The best thing so far is the union as far as I am concerned. From what I learned about community organizations I found that they did not include a l l members of the community. Moreover they did not in many senses represent the community either. Working class East Indian generally do not belong to organizations except for their unions i f they are in one. It is further clear that organizations are connected in some respects at least to businesses in the community. There are business clubs but other organizations seem to be connected at least with contacting a clientele. This is probably not peculiar to organizations in the East Indian community.. East Indian Business The East Indian business community is varied and quite extensive. It includes sawmills and businesses related to the industry, including trucking and some logging on Vancouver Island and in the interior, real estate brokers, who are normally attached to large real estate firms, li f e insurance agents, again usually part of one of the major insurance companies, travel firms, specialty grocery and clothing stores, small motel and hotel businesses, - 181 -restaurants, and investments in residential and commercial property, small businesses. Many of the investments are quite recent and I did not do very much research on them. I was told that they involve a number of Ugandan businessmen who have come to Canada with capital but I have not done any corporate research in this area. A number of the firms are large, with registered holdings up to $45 million while others are much smaller. In addition to the firms, there are a number of professionals, lawyers, doctors and managerial professionals whom I have included in the business community. The businesses relate to the community in two ways; they secure their labour for their businesses from the community and thus provide jobs to some East Indian immigrants and they have the East Indian community as their customers and clients. East Indian immigrants come to work in the businesses through their contacts in the community. They come to do business with East Indian businessmen also as a result of contacts in the community, largely through the organizations that I have described. This situation is explained by people in various ways: I think that East Indians feel more comfortable with East Indian businessmen. They can use their own language and they can conduct business in a way that they are accustomed. This is very important to them. I don't think i t is a bit peculiar. I mean what does i t matter where you buy your house, i f people want to buy i t from an East Indian that is their business. I think that i t is a matter of preference. I bought my house from a broker, yes East Indian. It was easier. I just told him to find me a house. Then he did, and arranged everything. That is better for me. I don't want to try to do business without knowing who I am dealing with. Although responses varied the explanation was similar; i t is the preference of East Indians to deal with East Indian businessmen. - 182 -A. Real Estate Enterprise Immigrants try to buy houses as soon as they are able to get financing to do so. They get access to housing and to mortgages through East Indian real estate agents. East Indian real estate agents work in large real estate firms or in some cases may have a small firm of their own. They become known in the community through their activities in community associations, an important activity being the temple. As well they may sponsor community events with other businessmen and advertise in the newspapers, telephone book and various other publications of the community businessmen. In these ways they become known as community people, community leaders as well as individuals knowledgeable in real estate. When an individual decides to buy a home he will go to one of the community people. His choice of individual will depend on whom his relatives and friends have bought from and how he assesses the individuals in his con-tact with them through the community media or any personal contact he may have had with them at a community function or event. The real estate broker will help him find a house, arrange financing through a mortgage broker and normally, will conduct a l l the business in Punjabi. The mortgage rates that the individual will get will be the highest and in addition he will pay a brokerage fee to the mortgage broker, normally, around $1,500. Often individuals do not know either that they are paying a brokerage fee or what the total cost of their mortgage is. On the matter of the fee, legally the firm must make a disclosure of the amount of their fee, and they do, in writing and in English. This is of l i t t l e help to an individu-al who does not read English. - 183 -The significance of this is not so much that there is anything dis-honest about this; technically the procedures are legal. However, the indi-vidual considers that the Real Estate agent has done him a favour by arranging the financing and further that the agent is an influential and important man who has been able to provide a very good deal. Neither of these things are true. Rather, the East Indian pays a very high cost to get the home and is tied into an expensive and long term mortgage. In many cases, the individual may have difficulty qualifying for mortgage money and the Real Estate agent is able to show individuals how to qualify technically. Again this is not necessar-i l y a practice that is either illegal or unique to the practices of the East Indian businessman. Rather i t is consequential for the East Indian client in two ways. First the prestige and control of the Real Estate Agent is increased by doing this work, and individuals feel indebted to the broker, and return that indebtedness in a variety of ways including encouraging family and friends to buy houses from him, to support him as a leader of the community, to seek his advice on matters beyond housing and encourage other people to do so as well. Individuals take on financial commitments in these ways often well beyond those they can comfortably handle. This has consequences as we have seen for the family relations and the working practice of the individuals involved. Thus in the securing of homes to live in East Indians do their business with East Indian brokers who depend for their business and their community position on working class East Indian families who bring him their business. What is arranged through Real Estate Brokers are mortgages which are very expensive and which place the family under social obligation to the agent. East Indians do not in general know the details of the arrangements that are made for them and consider themselves indebted to the Real estate brokers. East Indians do - 184 -not explore other sources of money for homes, through banks, or credit unions. This may in fact not give them any better financial arrangement with their mortgage, but i t would cut out the brokerage fee. As well East Indians don't generally get to make private arrangements which are very often done by indivi-duals who sell houses privately and arrange financing themselves. The effect of this is to place East Indian families in a situation where the family is heavily financially committed over a long period of time. Real Estate agents regard this as a 'normal' business arrangement: Everyone is in debt, I get people into houses that is my job. What do you expect when they only have five thousand or less for a down payment. That's the way the system works. Sure they could get better deals i f they had more money, but they don't. They are in debt, who isn't? Q. Do you think that individuals could do better at a bank than through a broker? It depends, I don't know. A lot of people don't qualify except as very high risks so i t is hard to get the money. Q. Do you think that individuals might need some advice, like to x«iit a bit? I think they would just go to someone else, what good would that do me or them? They'd get the same deal. Q. I have been told that there are very serious problems for people making their payments and that their financial commitments are something that they may not have understood when they got into it? Who says? Look, my job is to sell houses. I'm not a welfare office. Q. But people do generally trust you to help them.... Well, that is their business, mine is to sell houses. Q. Are most of your sales to East Indian families? Not a l l . But people come to me. I get them houses and financing. It is easier than with agents who don't know how these people work. Q. But you also advertise in the community media and are generally around the community a lot.... Well that is good business. Besides no one else can deal with these - 185 -people. They don't know anything, they need someone like me. Q. People feel obligated to you when they buy a house from you. They also think that you know about other things, immigration, UIC, things like that. Sure, but I only t e l l them what they ask me, they are different, they s t i l l think they are in India. Q. You don't think that you help them to think that they are obligated to you? How? I just do my job. Q. Well like not telling them about mortgage brokers fees or not making clear what the mortgage involves, letting them think that this is something other than "a business arrangement, that you have done them a favour. Well I have. Most of them couldn't get houses i f I didn't help them. What I want: to point out here is that the obligations that individuals feel are not a figment of their imaginations. The relations do proceed in that way. Real Estate Brokers do expect that people will send their friends and will support him on other ways in the community. Materially i t is possible that East Indians could deal with non-East Indian brokers, but their experience in the society and their lack of knowledge about how the society works is certainly a block to this. As well Canadian brokers do not necessarily want to work with East Indians: East Indians, we got a couple of brokers who deal with them. Q. What happens i f an East Indian is interested in a house you are handling? That hasn't happened. I don't deal with their housing. Q. What does that mean? Well they buy houses in south and certain kinds of housing, we l i s t those houses with people who can sell to them. Q. Well would you work with an East Indian i f they came to you? I don't know really. It has just never happened. I don't know - 186 -what I would do. I'd have to talk i t over with the others. The organization of the housing market and housing listings are also part of how East Indians come to deal with East Indian brokers. It is not sim-ply an individual choice. A set of relations determine that this is the case, and this is not only the preferences or the limitations of East Indians them-selves. Down payments for houses are also a community matter. If possible the individual family will try to save the money for the down payment. It is also common for families to borrow from more established or wealthier relatives. These relations also carry with them social indebtedness. In some instances the family will not agree with the relative that has lent them the money. The disagreement might center around support of a particular leader or a family matter. The relative that lends the money expects that the borrower will always agree with him. When this does not happen bad family Relations develop. Often the lender feels he has been betrayed, law suits have been known to result in some of these situations. As well families who' lend the money may find themselves in financial difficulty and are not able to continue to lend the money. The borrowing family may not be able to repay the money quickly enough. Again family problems result from this situation. Increasingly families are obliged to rent housing, either for short periods of time while they save or borrow a down payment or for longer periods of time because they are unable to get the money together for a down payment. Finding housing has been difficulty: East Indians, I wouldn't rent to them. The rest of the people would move out. It is just practical business. Personally I don't care, but I have to protect my business. Q. There are laws against discrimination you know. - 187 -Well then are there laws against running the business the way you t'fic^y can make money? Look, I can't have a bunch of Hindus in here cooking curry and living three to a room. It would ruin the place. A family explained their rent situation: It was hard to find a house. A lot of people I don't think want East Indians. We had to pay three months rent -in.advance and the house is not very good as you can see. It costs $543, which I think is a lot. So we share i t with another family, we can't afford to live here otherwise. Yes and the guy will probably kick us out i f he knows. He said only us. But well you see we just can't pay the rent alone. Housing that is available for rent is often very expensive for families and many people felt that they were paying more than Canadian families would i f they had rented the place. This perception is borne out in at least one case: Yes, I rent to East Indians, I'm not prejudiced. Q. What is the rent? Depends. Q. Do you charge more? Do you think that they are riskier tenants. I just take into consideration how they live and charge accordingly. I know there is going to be a lot more of them than they say and that the property value will go down. I just look at the fact and charge accordingly. Q. What do you mean the property value will go down? Well after you can't rent to anyone else. No one wants to live in a curry house that those people lived in. Q. But i t seems to me that your property value goes up. You charge more. Only to cover expenses etc. You know how i t is. Increasingly East Indians rent from other members of the community or form individuals or firms that they know will rent to them. Knowledge of this is based on word of mouth and personal experience, which becomes 'common knowledge' in the community. We can see here the beginnings of what is fully - 188 -developed in the case of buying housing. East Indians have difficulty renting housing in part because they lack many of the skills in English, and knowledge of the way to go about finding housing. They also have difficulty in finding landlords who will rent housing to them. Knowledge of who will rent becomes available through the community, and as well East Indian businessmen are able to buy into the rental housing market and have ready made renters. Thus in the future i t may well be that East Indians rent largely from East Indians. This may well be interpreted as another example of how close the ethnic community is, but I think that we can see from the situation which is developing here that this is not necessarily the case. In fact the development of East Indian businessmen who have rental housing will have been accomodated by the relations in the society, and the 'market' will have been produced out of the material difficulties that East Indians have had getting housing. Finally the present rental housing situation for East Indians means that there are real necessi-ties involved in buying a house as quickly as possible, at whatever cost. B. Insurance The insurance business works similarly in the community to the real estate business. To begin, Canadian businessmen in the insurance field are not able to work with East Indians in Punjabi. The large insurance companies have hired East Indians to work for them and these businessmen cover the community. They are able to provide the verbal part of the business trans-action in Punjabi and become known in the community as knowledgeable people and community leaders through the media advertising, participation in cultural and religious organizations and through the relationship that they have with their clients, who also see them about matters beyond insurance. - 189 -Their business covers life insurance, annuity and retirement savings programs, and home insurance. The work of the East Indian Insurance business-men again is increasingly concerned with East Indian families. The 'market' gets produced in a similar way as the real estate market. Canadian business-men leave the East Indian population to East Indian insurance people. They are hired by the large insurance companies and work for them in a similar way to a Canadian Insurance executive. East Indians buy their insurance from East Indians in part because i t is a service offered partly at least in the language with which they are most comfortable and in part because the 'market' is covered by them. C. Travel Business East Indian families do travel home for visits i f they are able. In the case of the working class family few are able to travel as a whole, so that one member of the family will travel. In the case of single men they will travel home as soon as they are settled and have some money, both to visit their families and to find wives. The more significant travel is that of immigrants to Canada, where families will have travel agents make arrangements to bring their parents for visits or make the arrangements for a relative to come as an immigrant. In these situations East Indian travel agents are very important to working class families. The travel agent will assist them with the immigration forms, often will get the appropriate documents, and will assist in making arrangements in India, often through a travel agent who runs a similar operation in India. Fees for these services vary. In India there is a charge to assist perspective emmigrants with their arrangements. In Vancouver accounts varied. Travel agents were very vague about how much - 190 -of this kind of work they do. Individuals said that they used travel agents extensively for this purpose, but were vague about the fees or arrangements. Individuals felt that the arrangements of travel agents were essential in getting their relatives here. They pointed out that they did not know how to make these arrange-ments themselves and that the travel agents had connections which would allow the arrangements to be made easily and quickly. In addition travel agents do a good deal of translation for which they charge nominal fees. They also assist with f i l l i n g in other official forms, UIC, applications, passports, tax rebates. It is not common for them to do income tax or financial forms. Again these are services provided by travel agents which make them more than a business in the strict sense. They are services that a Canadian travel agency probably would not perform. The market is provided to the travel agents in part as a result of Canadian agencies not providing these services and as a result of the place that the travel agents have in the community. The work that is done by travel agents with respect to translation, form completions, etc. is also done by some of the social services so that travel agents are not primarily responsible for these services. However until the agencies were opened, i t was not possible for individuals to get these services except through community people like travel agents. The travel firms have developed as the population of East Indian immigrants has risen and as more immigrants have been able to follow their relatives. The pattern is however the same. The market is produced by the immigration and by the absence of service in Punjabi to recent immigrants in the regular business community. Given the limitations - 191 -on individuals learning English in their everyday lives, the client popu-lation remains somewhat captive. D. Service Businesses The service businesses are movie theatres, grocery stores specializing in Indian foods, and speciality import shops dealing in clothing, furniture and art. These businesses are quite recent in terms of the immigration, and have a dual clientele, Canadian and East Indian. The restaurants are fre-quented by young single men who may be living on their own, and Canadians. It is not a practice for East Indians to eat out in restaurants. The specialty grocery stores, which buy rice, curries, dried vegetables and other spices in the form that people would be able to buy i t in India are also quite recent. These stores have a ready made clientele in women who find i t difficult to shop in supermarkets, and who wish to buy food in forms which are more,familiar to them. This however also means that people pay more for their food, since these shops are more costly. If the shop is hear a neigh-bourhood where a number of East Indian families live i t will make i t possible for women to shop for groceries themselves. If i t is farther away i t probably will not make a great deal of difference to women in their relation to their husbands and the shopping practices. The movie theatres and import shops provide to people access to popular culture and Indian clothes, furniture and art for their homes. Not a l l of this business is either directed toward or exclusively made up of working class East Indian families. The theatres have made a difference in the social lives of East Indian working class families, because there are now some events that can be attended outside the temple and sponsored cultural events. - 192 -Canadian Business Relations with the East Indian Working Class We want to be community minded, to serve the people in the area. In a multi-ethnic area we hire people who can speak the language of the people and can help them get their business done. Other-wise how could we expect to have the ethnic business. This policy is a few years old now. I think i t was done in-formally before, but now we have a formal multi-cultural policy. It is part of being a good citizen. Almost a l l banks and credit unions share this policy in their branch management. The ethnic employees that they hire are either well educated immigrants who are in majority women from the business and professional groups, or are young East Indian Canadians who have been educated here and are sons and daughters of the same families. Their work in these organizations is primarily meeting the public. They are tellers, and office workers and in a few cases loans officers. Their work in the banks and credit unions goes beyond their defined jobs however: Our ethnic staff is invaluable. You are studying who? East Indians, yes we have a lot of East Indian business, a lot live around here. They are good customers, save, pay their loans. Our business has really improved in that area since we have hired East Indian staff. Q. Has your East Indian staff attracted the business? Yes, because these people don't speak English so they can do their business in Indian. Q. Do the East Indian staff members help in loan practices, decisions? Yes, that is a good point. As well as attracting business, the staff also explain these people. They te l l us whom to contact who might know them, help us check them out, creditwise you know. Some of these people are illiterate, so we don't know whether to lend them money, don't knew what they will do i f these lose their jobs. One young lad who works here is very tood. He interviews, translates and advises us whether to proceed. Q. Do you do much mortgage work? No. Funny we don't, I don't know why, mostly we do loans, cars, - 193 -sometimes furniture, other things of that nature. Q. What interest do you charge? That is confidential. What do you mean? Like we have set rates. Cars, you must have \ of the value and we will lend you the rest at 13%% more or less. The car is collateral. Other things i t varies. If you have cash or collateral, well, we could negotiate. Mostly we lend according to our policies which are laid down. East Indian employees in banks and credit unions interpret the community and the place of individuals in the community to the loans officers and management of the bank. The interpretation of the community is from the point of view of the business and professional part of the community. My staff have explained East Indians to me, they are very traditional. They operate as i f they were in India, not a l l but most, those that we deal with at least. They don't trust everyone, but they do have close families, and they stick together,. If we offend one we will be in trouble with lots of them. So we are very careful in our loans policy for example. We check people out within the community and make sure that there is support for them. Just good business practice you know. The staff provide loans officers with community leaders who can te l l the loans officer about the individual and can recommend the individual to the bank. This policy is generally followed not as a formal rule, but as an informal practice among banks and credit unions. One staff member explained: I help the manager and loans officers with East Indian customers. Often customers don't know anything about banks or policies. They think they can get loans by talking to me. In India things are done by 'knowing someone'. They don't understand that i t is not like that here. So I te l l them what they have to do and explain to them the policy. I have to teach them about the statement and about the cheques and in general how the bank is run. Also I explain them to the others, translate, you know. Sometimes I suggest that the loans officers talk to other people in the community who know more than I do. Q. What people for example? Well, people who are businessmen or who know more....Who can assess the situation for us. These people are immigrants you know and are - 194 -fanny sometimes. They don't really understand how things are done. We need to know about them, i f they are reliable, things like that. Q. Is this normal for a l l customers? I don't know, I think i t must be. But i t is different for Canadians. They know more and they can understand. One woman came in and wanted money. The bank account was in her husband's name. We couldn't give her any. She was crying, and I had to te l l her that she had to get her husband or she had to have her own account. She said the money was hers and she wanted i t . I couldn't do anything, she didn't understand why she couldn't get i t . It was a good thing we didn't give i t to her, her husband came in later to say that she was not to have her own account. Things like that. They are different. We must be careful not to upset people or to damage their relation-ships. I asked several bank employees about women: The men do the finances. Often they don't want their wives to know. It is hard sometimes when women come in, I think sometimes that they should be able to know. Often her pay goes into his account. But when the account is in one name, i t is hard to explain. Once I explained to a women that she could have her own account and put her money in i t . Her husband came down here and complained to the manager. I learned i t is better not to interfere. In this way banks support the positions of men in families. Women do not have access to independent bank accounts or to the management of their own money. Summary The East Indian business community and community organizations are tied together in a way that relates the business enterprises to their market. The community organizations provide both the procedures for organizing the market (which has already been organized and isolated by the practices as we have seen) and the basis for businessmen to be visible to the market. Some of the community organizations are not as directly involved in the market organiza-tion as others. Some organizations related more directly to the organization of hegemony of the bourgeoise over the working class in matters of representa-tion to the Vancouver community, cultural display, unity, etc. In either - 195 -case the community organizations are of and for the East Indian business community. The Vancouver business community supports the development of East Indian businessmen as we have seen. As well the business community develops business practices which both reinforce the existing patterns and organize Easd Indians back into the community. These practices can also be seen to support men in relation to women in a l l cases. Thus the Vancouver business practices support and help organize the community. - 196 -CONCLUDING REMARKS I have argued that ethnic relations, at least in the case of East Indian immigrants are a particular form of class relation in this society. Aspects of an individual's culture, biography, geographic location of origin, skin colour, habits, etc. are organized as ethnic characteristics and become attributed to individuals as ethnic characteristics which are aspects of their personalities. Individuals who are part of an ethnic culture are treated differently from other Canadians. Treating them differently I argue is part of concealing the class relation of individuals under the organization of ethnic relations. Thus the ethnic relations, are organized as individuals, are treated differently than other Canadians in the same class position by the state institutions and the labour market. The problem I posed then is to specify these relations in the actual activities of indivi-duals. The legal identification of individuals as immigrants provides an init i a l differentiation between individuals born in Canada or those who are Canadian citizens and those individuals who are not. However a l l immigrants are not equal in Canada and a l l are not treated identically. Certain groups of individuals are singled out for differentiated treatment which is visible in Canadian society as an ethnic community. The examination of the delivery of social services to East Indian immigrants in Vancouver begins to reveal some of the practices which constitute the differentiation among individuals and organize aspects of the relations between men and women in working class families. As well the practices of the delivery of social services to East Indian immigrants conceptualize, interpret, and explain the East Indian immigrants as a community to other agencies and institutions and assist in - 197 -developing practices of differentiation in other institutions. Part of both the conceptualization and organization is of the community as an homogeneous  constituency to which service is delivered. From the location of the home and family the class division in the community itself becomes visible, and i t becomes clear that the school/family, police/family and social agency/family relations are of a class character. When we look at family organization we can see that the schools and social service agencies in particular and to a lesser extent the police are engaged actively in organizing working class families differently than ruling class families. Two aspects of this are important; class is a relation that is not only organized in the labour market, but also in the community relations, that is the institutions of the state are active in the organization of class relations. Further that the family organization and the relation between men and women in the family is organized in part at least, externally to the family and exibits aspects of a class relation. The participation of individuals from the East Indian community in the labour force is organized in such a way that their "ethnicity" is treated as and becomes a relevent feature in their selection and location in the labour force. The practices of employment and promotion which have been described begin to clarify how i t is that East Indian individuals are located in the way they are. What is suggested, but not fully articulated is how the "ethnicity" of an individual appears more relevant than class in the work practices of workers themselves. It is clear however that this inequality in access to jobs and promotion in jobs constitutes a division in the working class itself. Part of the specifications of how the different treatment of "ethnic groups" in the labour market is organized depends on a full historical account of the development of the labour processes and organization of work in - 198 -corporate capitalism, s p e c i f i c a l l y i n B r i t i s h Columbia. In a d d i t i o n , i t depends on an h i s t o r i c a l account of the development and organization of immigration. These at a minimum are necessary to f u l l y develop how the cl a s s r e l a t i o n s are mediated by ethnic r e l a t i o n s . They are not present i n t h i s work. I have described aspects of the hegemony of the East Indian bourgeoise over the East Indian working c l a s s . I have provided an account of how i n the labour force organization and i n the organization of family l i f e the work-ing c l a s s are i n part organized as a market and constituency over which the East Indian bourgeoise can exercise the hegemony. Canadian business organi-zations also p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s as I have suggested. To strengthen t h i s account, the r e l a t i o n s of the East Indian bourgeoise must be explored further and as well the r e l a t i o n s between the East Indian bourgeoise. and the Canadian r u l i n g c l a s s must be a r t i c u l a t e d . Thus I am suggesting that t h i s i s the beginning of work rather than a completed work. I have t r i e d to provide a f u l l account of my method so that i n d i v i d u a l s who read my work are able to see how i t was done and perhaps f i n d i t h e l p f u l i n t h e i r own work. In areas where I have been able to develop aspects of the argument f u l l y I have done so. In other areas, some of which I have j u s t pointed to I have t r i e d to focus the problem. - 198«-BIBLIOGRAPHY Barth, Fredrik 1969 "Introduction" in Ethnic Groups and Ethnic Boundaries: The Social  Organization of Cultural Difference, Fredrik Barth, editor. 9-38, Boston: Little, Brown. Berg, Pierre L. Van Den 1975 "Ethnicity and Class in Highland Peru" in Ethnicity and Resource  Competition in Plural Societies, Leo A. Despres, editor, 73-85. Chicago: Rand McNally. Boulter, A. 1977 "Some Considerations of Class and Ethnicity", paper prepared during graduate work. Unpublished. Campbel, D. and A. Froise, D. Wood 1976 "Social Profile of East Indian Community in Vancouver", sponsored by the Department of Labour, Government of British Columbia, available from authors in mimeograph. Campbell, M. and M. Cassin 1977 "The Making of a Sex Segregated Labour Force", paper presented at the Second Conference on Blue Collar Work, London, Ontario, May. Canive, M. and R. Kazinski 1976 "Migration and Citizenship Patterns of East Indian Immigrants in Vancouver". Report prepared for the Department of the Secretary of State, Ottawa. Despres, Leo A. 1975 "Toward a Theory of Ethnic Phenomena" in Ethnicity and Resource  Competition in Plural Societies. Leo A. Despres, editor, 187-204. Chicago: Rand McNally. Lai, T. 1976 Immigration and Settlement of East Indian Immigrants. Masters thesis, University of British Columbia. Unpublished. Marsden, Lorna and Dorothy E. Smith 1976 "Equal pay for Work of Equal Value", paper presented at meetings of the Canadian Sociological and Anthropological Association, Universite de Laval, May. Marx, Karl and Fredrick Engels 1974 The German Ideology. New York: International Publishers. Marx, Karl undated Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 1. Moscow: Progress Publishers. - 199 -Robbins, Edward 1975 "Ethnicity or Class? Social Relations in a Small Canadian Industrial Community" in The New Ethnicity.' Bennett, J.W., Scanlon, Joseph T. 1975 "The Sikhs of Vancouver: A Case Study of the Role of the Media in Ethnic Relations". Study sponsored by UNESCO, available in mimeograph from author. Singh, David 1975 The Sikhs of Vancouver: Community-Police Relations, Vancouver, B.C. Smith, Dorothy E. 1973 "The Social Construction of Documentary Reality". Paper presented at the meetings of the Canadian Sociological and Anthropological Association, Queens University, Kingston, May. (Note: This paper was used because i t contains some material omitted from the published version. The paper of the same title is published in Sociological Inquiry, Vol. IV, No. 4, 1975.) 1974 "The Ideological Practice of Sociology". Catalyst, No. 8, Winter, 39-54. 1975 "Statistics on Mental Illness (What they do not te l l us about Mental Illness)" in I'm Not Mad I'm Angry, Dorothy E. Smith, Sarah David, editors. Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers. 1977a Lecture on Description, given at University of Southern California, Santa Barbara, April. (Material used is drawn from a tape recording of the session). 1977b Lecture on Women and Class, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. (Material used is drawn from a tape recording of the session). Stolzman, J., and H. Gamberg 1975 "Marxist Analysis, Stratification Analysis as General Approaches to Inequality". Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Summer 1975, 105-125. 

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