Participation Of Immigrants And Ethnocultural Minorities Sociology Essay

Voter engagement among new immigrants and seeable or cultural minorities continues to be a topic of probe within the political research field. Changing instance surveies have shown similar consequences in that established citizens tend to hold lower elector turnout rates than native-born citizens. The aim of the survey in this research proposal is to detect what factors determine whether Canadian immigrants and ethnocultural communities ballot and demo political involvement in federal elections. As will be discussed in the literature reappraisal of this proposal, past surveies have narrowed down many of the factors that have possible influence on elector engagement among such communities, nevertheless there are certain spreads in current research on this subject. This survey aims to lend to the scholarship that is already available by concentrating on more recent information that is more relevant to Canada ‘s everchanging multicultural populations. The informations used in this research will be from the 2008 Canadian federal election.

Footings and Definitions

The undermentioned footings must be defined for the interest of lucidity and consistence within this proposal:

Ethnocultural – refers to cultural group in which a distinct, identifiable civilization exists. As defined by Statistics Canada. Therefore, ‘ethnocultural minorities ‘ refers to minority cultural groups with distinguishable civilization. It is of import to observe that non all ethnocultural minorities are seeable minorities, as is seen with many Eastern-European immigrants in Canada.

Review of Related Literature

This reappraisal of literature focal points on surveies that have observed political battle within Canada ‘s immigrant and ethnocultural minority communities. This subdivision aims to critically analyse the Canadian research that is in topographic point. It will besides analyze how the proposed survey may lend to the betterment of the discourse of civic battle within Canadian immigrant and ethnocultural minority communities.

A few repeating subjects appear in the Canadian research done by commissioned bookmans and authorities bureaus. These subjects include ( 1 ) integrating and assimilation forms ( 2 ) the person ‘s societal and demographic properties, and ( 3 ) community factors. Settlement forms and integrating forms pertains to immigrants and ethnocultural minority communities who are affected by their environing countries. This refers to a scope of factors including the timing of reaching, lingual integrating, and interaction with people outside the several cultural community. The person ‘s societal and demographic properties refers to factors such as race, age, ethnicity, faith, instruction, employment, and economic position upon reaching to Canada. Lastly, community factors refer to a more general orientation towards political engagement. Theorists argue that the attempts of political histrions and voluntary associations within the community history for fluctuations in elector turnout every bit good as alterations in political involvement among new immigrants and minorities.

1. Forms of Integration and Assimilation

Most of the comparings refering to this subject have been between the political battle of immigrants and Canadian-born, and between the political battle of citizens of non-European and European heritage. Both comparings have been structured around two interesting, yet wide statements. Theorists who argue for assimilation and integrating propose that the political behavior of immigrants converges with the bulk group as the immigrants pass more clip in their new scene.

This thought is perpetuated in a study by Statistics Canada, every bit good as in older surveies done in 1971 and 1981, severally by research workers Quo and Wood. The Statistics Canada study concluded that the sum of clip spent in Canada is associated with immigrant turnout rates. The study suggested that after 20 old ages of life in Canada, the turnout spread disappeared among immigrants who arrived to Canada in 1981. ( Statistics Canada 2003 ) . In Quo ‘s survey, a focal point on Chinese-Canadians life in Lethbridge, Alberta showed that the electoral engagement of Chinese immigrants improved after old ages of life in the community. Quo attributed this to the fact that the immigrants were incorporating into their new society at a steadfast rate, leting them to absorb to the present civilization ‘s vote norms ( 1971 ) . Wood ‘s research, based on a study of strong elector turnout in Vancouver ‘s East Indian community, found that the interaction between East Indians and non-East Indians assisted in greater electoral engagement. While both surveies support the function of colony, integrating and assimilation in elector turnout outcomes, each used highly little sample sizes and limited the geographical coverage. Research in this field would profit from larger sample sizes every bit good as greater geographical coverage because these two surveies show that premises based on a little sum of informations are non the most legitimate.

A 2005 study by British Columbia ‘s elections community affair examined the factors that may hinder new citizens or minorities from voting. A communicating barrier was found to be a important hindrance for electoral engagement among Chinese organisations. The community liaison officer cited linguistic communication troubles among new Canadian citizens, which so led to misinterpretations about Canada ‘s electoral procedure ( Election ) . Similar consequences appeared in the Indo-Canadian community, where linguistic communication troubles discouraged members from voting. The officer stated that many members of the Indo-Canadian community did non grok the electoral procedure. There was confusion in the distinction between provincial and federal elections, and many believed that the Elections BC office was straight affiliated to specific political parties. ( Gill )

2. Social and Demographic Attributes

The same study for British Columbia ‘s elections community affair officers reported that new Chinese citizens were “ working hard to last, ” and therefore had small involvement in voting. These citizens besides felt that vote was to be avoided, keeping a traditional position on political activity. The study estimated that political indifference dissolves as immigrants feel more secure with their employment or economic position. ( Elections BC 2005 ) .

In newer surveies, there seems to be a important displacement towards sing faith more as a variable in elector turnout among immigrants. Where older surveies tend to pretermit the function of faith and its cultural importance among both Canadian-born and nonnative citizens ( Abu-Laban, 278 ) , newer surveies focus more on this factor. For illustration, the 1997 Canadian Election Survey ( CES ) found that non-Christian immigrants were less likely to vote than Christian immigrants ( Nevitte et al 2000, 161 ) .

3. Community Factors

In 2005, the Canadian Islamic Congress published an article about the 2004 federal election. The article discussed the influence of community elites, like imaums, in mobilising the immigrant Muslim community to take part in the election. Elites were able to discourse which members of Parliament supported issues of involvement to the Muslim community, leting their members to do informed determinations on how to vote. ( Hamdani, Bhatti and Munawar 2005, 28 ) .

In an earlier survey, research workers compared the turnout rates of European and West Indian immigrants populating in Toronto to the turnout rates of Canadian-born citizens of British heritage. The survey found that the West Indian immigrants voted at lower rates than the Canadian-born citizens, while the European immigrants voted at an equal rate to the Canadian-born citizens. The survey proposed that the engagement equality among the European electors could be attributed to elite mobilisation among European communities based in Toronto ( Black, 1991 ) .

The Relevance of the Proposed Survey

The three repeating subjects that appear in these past surveies associating to political engagement among immigrants and ethnocultural minorities, ( 1 ) integrating and assimilation forms ( 2 ) the person ‘s societal and demographic properties, and ( 3 ) community factors, are relevant to this field of survey as they do act upon vote forms. However, each survey reviewed failed to admit the function of gender as a factor in finding whether immigrants and minority populations assert their political voices. The proposed survey will follow a women’s rightist epistemology in which gender will be a greater focal point of survey. The attack of the survey will be based on feminist empiricist philosophy. It will concentrate on adhering to the conventional facets of methodological research by utilizing positive methods for the interest of keeping clear objectiveness.

The intent of following a feminist epistemology is to offer a newer position to research environing immigrant and ethnocultural minority electoral engagement. Most of the surveies reviewed took a kind of ethnographic attack to research, and frequently disregarded gender ‘s influence in new immigrants ‘ socialisation prior to populating in Canada, every bit good as while they are incorporating into a new society. Work force and adult females who immigrate to Canada make non needfully see the same social integrating or assimilation. Besides, Canadian work forces and adult females of ethnocultural communities do non needfully portion the same experiences, which can be attributed to a assortment of factors such as faith and cultural values. These can all be lending factors that determine whether immigrant and ethnocultural minority communities experience high or low electoral engagement.

The proposed research chooses to follow feminist empiricist philosophy as opposed to standpoint epistemology as it wants any possible findings to be focused on replying the research inquiry entirely. The attack taken is meant to research constructs that past surveies have disregarded ; it will non supply societal commentary based on feminist political orientation. Its aim is to get the better of possible endocentric prejudices that may look in past surveies while adhering to established methods in qualitative research.

Research Design

This subdivision of the proposal will supply insight as to how the proposed survey will be structured. Data of the 2008 Canadian federal election elector turnout rates must be gathered and collated in order to help in the observation methods.

The survey will be cross-sectional in that it will detect immigrants who became official Canadian citizens within five old ages prior to the 2008 federal election. The survey keeps the clip restraint to five old ages because it takes into history the sum clip of the citizens lived in Canada as lasting occupants. Permanent occupants are allowed to use for Canadian citizenship after a lower limit of three old ages of life in Canada, ( ) , hence three to eight old ages is thought to be a sufficient sum of clip for citizens to hold sentiments on their political involvements. The sample size must be big and diverse plenty to supply more accurate information in comparing to the past surveies reviewed in this proposal. For that ground, the survey will concentrate on major Canadian metropoliss such as Vancouver and Toronto. The unit of observation will be the single immigrant, nevertheless the unit of analysis will be at the gender and ethnocultural degree, upon which the survey will pull decisions on voting forms of immigrants and ethnocultural communities.

The research worker will seek interviewees through community Centres and groups, every bit good as spiritual installations. Observation will take topographic point through semi-structured interviews, where inquiries based on gender, individuality and political involvement will be discussed. Data will besides be collected through moderated group treatment among persons of the same gender and ethnocultural background. It will besides be collected through questionnaires. Wherever possible, the research worker will carry on engagement observation in which she will be able to derive farther penetration into specific ethnocultural patterns, values, or motives. This will besides let for more reflexiveness in the feminist empiricist philosophy attack that is being used.

The informations collected from the interviews will hopefully supply adequate information to organize dependent variables based on the independent variable of what determines electoral engagement among immigrants and ethnocultural minorities. Most data analysis will be done by manner of graphs and coding. From this, ideal types will be formed and certain research aims will go clearer.


It is anticipated that research taken from a feminist empiricist attack will take to a new, challenging findings to this country of survey. Because it is hard to speculate what precisely these findings will be at such an early phase in research, the undermentioned thoughts are probationary. Knowing that immigrants and ethnocultural minority communities are affected by the three repeating subjects, ( 1 ) integrating and assimilation forms ( 2 ) the person ‘s societal and demographic properties, and ( 3 ) community factors, they are likely to look in this survey and will go on to hold great influence on elector turnout. However, because this survey is following a feminist epistemology, it is likely that many of the findings will offer a new position to voter turnout surveies.

It is hypothesized that the information collected will uncover that electoral engagement is non merely linked to the repeating subjects, nevertheless it is greatly dependent on matrimonial position of adult females and whether immigrants and ethnocultural minorities feel attached to Canada. The latter point is similar to assimilation, nevertheless many immigrants can incorporate and absorb themselves with Canadian civilization while maintaining their place states cultural and social values at the head of their individualities. This can greatly impact elector turnout depending on whether immigrants experience attached Canada or non. Marital position may hold an influence as both adult females and work forces are greatly influenced by their important others non merely in footings of political involvement, but in footings of exercising it every bit good.

Potential Restrictions to the Study

The survey will be to a great extent influenced by how immigrants and ethnocultural minorities are classified. These categorizations may be limited if they do non correlate to how the immigrants or members of ethnocultural minorities perceive themselves and their individualities.

Besides, because the survey aims to interview the new immigrants who voted in the 2008 Canadian Election, clip may be restricting to the informations that can be collected. What a individual may experience two old ages ago is non the same manner they may experience now, hence informations taken from interviews will depend to a great extent on how automatic the interviewees can be when believing about their past emotions, sentiments and sentiments on electoral engagement.

Another possible restriction is the possible linguistic communication barrier that may originate between the interviewer and the interviewee. Different readings of certain words or phrases may turn out to be an issue, therefore the interviewer must be certain to be as clear and concise as possible in inquiring inquiries. The research worker does non believe that following a feminist epistemology will take to any important restrictions, as its focal point will help in broadening the informations that can be collected.


In footings of lending to scholarship, this survey will assist to convey a different position to voter turnout and immigrant integrating surveies. Many times, such surveies are done with the intent of explicating recommendations for organisations that perform outreach directed to the immigrant populations in Canada. Findingss from this survey will solidify how of import it is to set resources into outreach attempts that encourage new immigrants to vote. It will besides stress the importance of researching the significance of gender in epistemic surveies.


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