Getting a job in Canada, social networks and Chinese immigrant integration

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Young, Jim
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The target group of this study is a subgroup of the recent Mainland Chinese immigrants in Canada. The members of this subgroup are distinctive in terms of their migration experience and higher education and qualifications. They came to his country as graduate students and obtained permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship afterwards. This study concerns their experience in seeking employment in the host country. A snowball sampling method was employed to locate 51 respondents for this study. Most of the respondents are located in Winnipeg. An open-ended interview and a questionnaire were utilized as the major techniques to gather research data. The basic theoretical framework is that of social networks, and the "strength of weak ties" theory is adapted to probe the relationship between social networks and immigrant integration. This study found that informal networks and weak ties are not necessarily the best method of job-hunting for this specific group. Due to the lack of the necessary weak ties,new immigrants from Mainland China have no choice but to use other job-hunting methods. This study found that weak ties are the least used job-hunting method. This result supports the idea that the utility of informal networks and weak ties in job-hunting are a function of their availability, appropriateness for gaining access to a particular job, and the availability of alternative resources. The various structural barriers in the host society and the individual disadvantages of members of the immigrant group are probed in this study, and the corresponding coping strategies of this particular immigrant group are also identified.