Master of Arts
Migration and Ethnic Relations
Clark, A. Kim
London, Ontario presents itself as a multicultural city with a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion. My thesis examines London’s diversity agenda through the everyday practices of the work of immigrant integration which are situated against the historical trajectory of Canada and Ontario’s immigration policies. Based on personal interviews, participation in events hosted by immigrant-serving organizations, and visits to related offices at City Hall, my research investigates the framework applied to realize the social inclusion of immigrants in London. A look at the work of governing and the impact of neoliberal policies shows that responsibility for successful integration falls on immigrants themselves. This work tends to be supported by the same group of institutional and individual actors who are already connected by overlapping networks. Even though London actively pursues a diversity agenda, a disconnect exists between official policies and their actual implementation that particularly impacts how visible and religious minority immigrants perceive London as a welcoming community.
Summary for Lay Audience
Canada relies on immigration for its social and economic success. Since Canada embraces the value of multiculturalism, many cities (such as London, Ontario) have adopted policies to help welcome and include newcomers. The need for such strategies is intensified because of the low birth rate in Canada, meaning the future of the country depends strongly upon the successful integration of immigrants.
My research focuses on the diversity agenda of London, Ontario, by looking at the everyday practices of immigrant integration and diversity work carried out in the city. This is done through personal interviews, participating in immigrant-centered events, and visiting City Hall. My research finds that in general the work of integration is done by immigrants themselves, as well as by the same circle of agencies and individuals who are already involved in and dedicated to doing this work. London’s diversity agenda is not always effectively implemented, meaning that the City and the wider community need to use better strategies to reach newcomers, especially visible and religious minority immigrants, in welcoming and including them in the community.
Zeller-Beier, Jutta, "Newcomer Integration Programs and London, Ontario’s Diversity Agenda: Views from within and without" (2020). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 6916.
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