Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Based on the 1971 Census of Canada, the extent of fertility differentials as well as possible sources of variation in fertility behaviour of the major Asian ethnic groups--Chinese, Japanese, East Indian and other--are studied. Ethnic fertility differentials are examined in their socio-economic and historical context, based on a historical review of Asian ethnic groups in Canada. It is found that each of these ethnic groups have experienced inequality of treatment and discrimination in areas such as employment and services. Also documented are differences in socio-economic characteristics which are shown to be related to family size differences. It is indicated that Japanese are better integrated in the majority society in terms of their socio-economic characteristics. This examination suggests that the lower family sizes of characteristics. This examination suggests that the lower family sizes of Japanese women compared to the Chinese and East Indians may in fact reflect their structural assimilation in Canadian Society. Chinese tend to have larger family sizes and are low on socio-economic indicators. The East Indians are intermediate in their fertiltiy behaviour and have a young age structure.;The theoretical perspective used for explaining the differential fertility among Asian groups is the minority group status hypothesis. Since there has been no consensus regarding the validity of this hypothesis, it has been revised based on comments and criticisms that were available. The revision of the hypothesis tries to distinguish between the two explanations, one involving reduced minority fertility based on structural factors and another involving high minority fertility due to subcultural factors. The revised hypothesis also includes the introduction of new concepts such as "ascribed" and "perceived" minority status. The minority which is conscious of its minority status is referred to as the "perceived" minority and the one which is not conscious of its status is called an "ascribed" minority. The reconceptualization of the hypothesis also emphasizes the measurement of key theoretical concepts including the new concepts introduced. The revised hypothesis has been used to explain the family size differences of Chinese and Japanese in Canada. The results suggest stronger support for the minority status hypothesis among the Chinese indicating further declines in their fertility due to structural factors and similar weaker support among the Japanese is due to their perceived mobility.



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