UBC Theses and Dissertations
Re-defining ’woman’ in Canada : gender and social planning in support services for immigrant women Mahaffey, Rebekah Patricia Trowe
In Canada’s increasingly poly-ethnic society, questions of how to define and build an inclusive society are becoming particularly important. Within social planning one of the key areas of debate is how to construct and provide appropriate and responsive social/economic support services for the immigrant community, especially for visible minority immigrant women. In this context, what is inclusion? How and where does inclusion matter? The differing roles that gender considerations play in the personal experience of immigration are too seldom recognized within immigrant services policy and program planning. It is simply not the same to move to Canada as a woman as it is for a man. Particularized instances of gender difference can influence a whole range of experiences for female immigrants, including the accessibility of support services. Chapter 1 of this study discusses how Canadian immigrant women are currently accessing existing social services and outlines some of the contemporary discourse surrounding Canadian multiculturalism. Chapter 2 details the narrative-oriented methodological framework, and emergent method(s) of analysis that were utilized in conducting this research. This chapter also presents pertinent details regarding the research participants as well as the immigrant serving agency along with its ethno-specific service partner that was examined as a case study. Chapter 3 narrates some of the current experiences of ’place’ for immigrant women in Canada, and discusses contemporary practices of how existing immigrant service organizations plan social programs for immigrant women. Chapter 4 presents the implications and considerations for social planning practice, particularly with non-Canadian born women, that emerged out of the field-work conducted for this study. The research then concludes with a narrative overview of my perspectives on this project, as well as personal and practice-oriented lessons learned.
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