Practices on the Periphery: Highly educated Chinese immigrant women negotiating occupational settlement in Canada
Employing a situated learning framework, I examine how 10 Chinese immigrant omen negotiated their occupational settlement in Canada. I argue for a mutually constitutive relationship between the women’s employment strategies and Canadian workplace practices, the accessibility and receptivity of which are shaped by social relations such as gender, race, and perceived language differences. Specifically, I examine the women’s practices in positioning themselves vis-à-vis the Canadian labour market and their “legitimate” peripheral practices in Canadian workplaces. I show that central to the women’s labour market positioning practices is a process of identity construction that is in ongoing interplay with exclusionary labour market practices. Further, provided with little support at their new workplaces, the women often resorted to strategic tolerance, relied on prior knowledge and expertise, and became agents of change. The legitimate space presupposed in situated learning was an entitlement that the women had to earn in Canada.Résumé
En partant d’un cadre conceptuel d’apprentissage contextualisé, j étudie un groupe de 10 chinoises immigrantes qui négocient leur adaptation professionnelle au Canada. Je me base sur l hypothèse d’une relation constitutive mutuelle entre les stratégies d emploi des femmes et les pratiques d’emploi sur le marché canadien où les questions d accessibilité et de réceptivité sont sujettes aux relations sociales telles que le sexe, la race et les différences langagières perçues. Spécifiqueme j’étudie la façon dont ces femmes se positionnent vis-à-vis le marché du travail canadien et leurs pratiques parallèles légitimes au sein de leurs lieux de travail. Je démontre qu au centre des efforts d’adaptation professionnelle de ces femmes se déroule un processus de construction identitaire continuel tributaire des pratiques d’exclusion du marché du travail. De plus, les immigrantes chinoises, laissées à elles-mêmes dans leur nouveau poste de travail, sans un réseau de soutien, ont développées des stratégies de tolerance. Elles ont dù se fier à leur bagage de connaissances et a leur expériences acquises antérieurement et sont devenu des agentes de changement.La place légitime présumée dans la situation d apprentissage contextualisé est un droit que les femmes ont du gagner d ellemêmes au Canada
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