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Integration Trajectories of Immigrant Families

Project Overview:

The Conferences at which we shared the preliminary results of the project include:

This partnership between academic researchers and community partners is spearheaded by the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS). The overarching goal of the partnership is to explore the role families play in the integration trajectories of immigrants. In particular, the partnership addresses research questions, such as:

  • How do all members of the family facilitate or impede the integration of immigrants?
  • How immigrant families draw upon and contribute to diasporic communities and to the receiving society?
  • What contributions do family members make to the immigrant family’s financial well-being and to the receiving country’s economy?
  • What are the social, political, and economic costs and benefits of family members interacting and relocating across international borders?
  • What are the impacts of split families at the individual, group, and societal levels?
  • How might the family context be mobilized on a practical level to facilitate the successful integration of newcomers?

The partnership uses a two-fold approach. First, it focuses on integration trajectories, referring to the fluid process that extends from newcomers’ initial reception to their deep involvement in and attachment to their receiving society. Second, it examines the issue of intersectionality by addressing the five interrelated themes of (1) policy context, (2) children and youth, (3) violence against women, (4) labour and work, and (5) community support. This approach will enable research partners to tackle the complex relationship between family and integration through a number of thematic perspectives.

These various research themes can best be coordinated and their intersectionality examined at the local scale. The partnership therefore initially focuses on the Greater Toronto Region, which is the most significant destination of immigrants to Canada. Building on existing networks and collaborations, this research partnership includes community-based, not-for-profit agencies as well as academic collaborators with expertise in the integration trajectories of immigrant families. The project’s non-hierarchical governance structure and partnership development plan ensure that community-based and academic partners are equal collaborators and beneficiaries of all results. Over the life-span of the project, additional partners will be identified and invited to participate in ongoing activities. The long-term goal is to expand the partnership into a sustainable, comprehensive research collaboration with national and international representation on the integration trajectories of immigrant families.

We thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for funding this project through a Partnership Development Grant.

You can watch Tiffany Landau’s video about the project "Integration Trajectories of Immigrant Families".