Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Sociology

Supervisor

Wolfgang Lehmann

Abstract

Drawing upon qualitative interview data, this dissertation critically examines the integration experiences of immigrants from Turkey to Canada, who comprise an understudied immigrant group. I am interested in how immigrants access and develop social networks, how they integrate into the labour market, and how being an immigrant affects their workplace experiences. Relying theoretically on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, I aim to address social inequalities existing among Turkish immigrants in particular and in Canadian society in general.

The first manuscript (Chapter 2) examines immigrants’ intra- and inter-group differences and hierarchies, and their impact on study participants’ access to and development of social networks in Canada. The findings highlight the importance of going beyond a simplistic binary between bonding and bridging networks to better understand a complex process of network development in which such various factors as social class, ethnicity, habitus, and different forms of capital jointly shape the opportunities to access network, as well as the nature of such social networks.

The second manuscript (Chapter 3) examines the labour market integration experiences of Turkish immigrants. The findings show that capital and habitus traveled with participants from Turkey, and that the intersection of their immigration status with the set of written and unwritten rules of the Canadian labour market and its subfields (both professional and non-professional) shaped their integration experiences.

The third and final manuscript (Chapter 4) focuses on how immigrants with professional jobs perceive, experience and interpret their workplace experiences. The findings show that participants encountered challenges that stemmed from a lack of fit between valued capital and their habitus. They managed to overcome the former challenge, however transformation or adjustment of dispositions constituted the most difficult part of integration into the workplace and became the markers of racialised/ethnic immigrant identity. My analysis suggests that immigrants experience a slower form of assimilation in workplaces, despite the increasing ethno-racial diversity in the Canadian workplaces.

The manuscripts presented in this dissertation demonstrate that the ways in which immigrants experience integration in the host country are dependent on the intersection between their immigration class, socio-economic background, habitus, and forms of capital, as well as the segment of the labour market.

Available for download on Thursday, March 15, 2018


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