Academic Literature

Bridging the Generation Gap: Exploring the Differences between Immigrant Parents and their Canadian-born Children

2005
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Bridging the Generation Gap: Exploring the Differences between Immigrant Parents and their Canadian-born Children

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In the following paper, the importance of recognizing generation as a key differentiating factor in visible minority experiences of integration in Canadian society is discussed. The bulk of both academic and non-academic research has focused on the immigrant experience and the difficulties of acculturation, particularly for immigrants who have been racialized (seen as racially different from the dominant white population or even immigrants of European extraction). For second-generation minorities (the children of immigrants, those who were born and/or arrived in Canada before adolescence), the problems of fitting in are quite different. They do not have the same concerns of acculturation, yet despite their often mainstream appearance and behaviour, they still have to struggle with racism and exclusion, particularly in childhood and adolescence. This article argues that the experience of growing up different is what distinguishes first and second-generation experiences with belonging. Therefore, a great deal more attention needs to be paid to how the concept of generation radically affects visible minority negotiations with Canadian society.

Rajiva, M. (2005). Bridging the generation gap: Exploring the differences between immigrant parents and their Canadian-born children. Canadian Issues, 25-28.

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