An analysis of ethnic intra-urban migration : the case of Winnipeg

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Thraves, Bernard D.,
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This thesis argues that the assessment of individual migration behaviour underlying ethnic residential segregation has constituted a relatively neglected aspect of migration study. The thesis examines the past and prospective migration behaviour of selected ethnic groups residing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Specific objectives and related hypotheses are linked to: 1 ) the distance and directional properties of past migration; 2) the determinants of past migration; 3) the designation of most and least preferred residential areas in prospective migration; 4) the appraisal of place attributes in prospective migration; 5) the estimation of migration intentions; and, 6) the forecasting of change in the intensity of ethnic residential segregation. The hypotheses are tested using inferential statistical procedures. Analysis of migration behaviour focuses on: 1) a citywide comparison of six of Winnipeg's principal ethnic groups; and, 2) an intra-district comparison of ethnic groups residing in six areas of distinct ethnic identity. Findings indicate that few inter-ethnic differences are evident in the spatial biases of past migration behaviour. Thus, distance bias is common to the migration all ethnic groups, and the respective ethnic core locations appear to have acted as important nodes in influencing the direction of ethnic migration. In addition, few inter-ethnic differences are found in the determinants of past migration. Housing adjustments are identified as the major move determinants of all ethnic groups. Broad similarities in ethnic behaviour are also observed in aspects of prospective migration. Each ethnic group is characterized by: home community bias in the selection of residential place preferences; positive appraisals in the assessment of most place attributes; and, non-mover bias in the specification of both short and medium-term migration intentions. Also, because of shared home community place preference biases, a major medium-term decrease in the intensity of ethnic segregation in Winnipeg is not expected. These findings suggest that the experience and expectations of ethnic migration are characterized by relatively few inter-ethnic differences in behaviour. where differences in behaviour are confirmed, these differences tend to involve groups with distinctive segregation, income or urbanization (familism) characteristics. However, the identification of inter-ethnic variation in these characteristics provides a poor basis for predicting differences in ethnic migration. Overall, the findings indicate that the behavioural attributes of ethnic migration activity are less variable than Winnipeg's sustained patterns of behavioural consistent experienced segregation attributes with the view acculturation might suggest. Such similarity in the absence of integration is that Winnipeg's ethnic groups have experienced acculturation without assimilation.