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The attitudes of leaders of ethnic minority groups in Vancouver towards the integration of their people in Canada. Lawless, David Joseph

Abstract

In this study an attempt was made to discover and compare some of the basic elements of the process of integration or Canadianization as expressed in the attitudes of leaders of ethnic minority groups in Vancouver. The role of leadership was emphasized because the leaders of ethnic minority groups are the mediators between their respective groups and the cultural majority. Their views represent the views of the members of their groups and they are the communicators and interpreters of the ways of living for both minority and majority groups. Personal interviews were conducted with the constituted leaders of thirty-six ethnic societies in Vancouver. In the interviews a non-directive approach was taken and the technique of open-ended questioning was employed with information being funnelled into expressed attitudes. Eleven major areas pertinent to the process of integration were investigated. These major areas were: the nature of the societies, language, marriage, district of residence, general adjustment or orientation, acceptance by Canadians, feelings toward the homeland and Canada, permanent residence in Canada, retention of ethnic customs, governing bodies in Canada, and further immigration to Canada. Conclusions relative to certain aspects of the integration process were drawn from the findings that illustrate much agreement but also a great deal of diversity in attitudes and opinions of the leaders of ethnic societies. Suggestions were made for further study. Especially recommended were similar studies to present a comparison. It was also suggested that further research concentrate on one or a few of the more important areas dealt with in this study and that similar research be carried out with non-leaders of ethnic minority groups and with members of the majority groups.

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