Gender Relations in Immigrant Families: Links between Culture and Socialisation of Young Canadian Women

Dr. Marie Drolet
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Throughout the socio-economic integration process, immigrant families confront intergenerational tensions when the older generation is rooted in values and norms of the homeland and the younger one has become more rapidly integrated into the Canadian dominant culture (Mitchell, 2005). There exists scarce research about the transformations immigrant youth undergo (Anisef & Murphy Kilbride, 2003), and even less about the second generation and the role of gender relations in this dynamic. To cast light on the experiences of Canadian families of Somali, Chinese and Lebanese origins (Moscovitch & Mohamoud, 2005), 12 focus groups were held during the winter of 2006. There were four groups per community: one involving fathers; another one involving mothers; a third for young men; a fourth for young women. Their verbatim comments are subjected to content analysis (Huberman & Miles, 1991). Reflecting research in relations between genders (Héritier, 2002), a consensus arises from these 12 focus groups: the process of female socialization differs from that of males. Young women who act in the same fashion as their peers of the dominant culture provoke tensions within their families. Young men seem to enjoy more freedom. The process of education and of socio-economic integration can contribute to a wider range of options available to youth and may thereby reduce the limits to which young women are subjected.

Keywords: Immigrant Families, Socio-economic Integration Process, Socialization, Intergenerational Tensions
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
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Dr. Marie Drolet

Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Following a 15-year career as a social worker, I obtained a Ph.D at University Laval in Quebec in 1994, with a specialization in gender issues. Since then, I have published articles in North America and Europe on the development of adolescents with a focus on young women, on family issues and youth violence. The Presses de l'Université du Québec has just published my jointly authored book on relationships between schools and families, with a particular focus on the mothers of young children. As a senior researcher in two research centres, I am working on the integration of youth in the community, specifically as it pertains to immigrant youth and young visible minority women.

Ref: I07P0232