Between Conformity and Contestation: South Asian Immigrant Women Negotiating Soft Skill Training in Canada


  • Srabani Maitra York University


Adult learning, soft skills, immigrant, agency, work-related training


In the current Canadian neoliberal labour market, work-related learning and training are considered key strategies for developing workers’ economic productivity as well as expediting their integration to the labour market. An important aspect of such training and learning now consists of soft skills. Yet some scholars are ambivalent about the nature of such soft skill training as their curriculum are often suffused with cultural and racial values geared towards assimilating immigrants of colour to the dominant and normative national culture of the country. This paper further problematizes soft skill training by examining the training/learning experiences of highly educated South Asian women trying to enter the Canadian labour market after immigration. In particular, it highlights these women’s engagement with such soft skill training and their negotiation processes, thereby analyzing their agency in the context of work-related learning. 

Author Biography

Srabani Maitra, York University

Course Director, Dept. of Equity Studies


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How to Cite

Maitra, S. (2015). Between Conformity and Contestation: South Asian Immigrant Women Negotiating Soft Skill Training in Canada. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 27(2 SE), 65–78. Retrieved from