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Publisher Description

WORK IS AN IMPORTANT ACTIVITY FOR the majority of youth in Canada. For many, employment is an integral part of their transition to adulthood and the responsibilities associated with becoming a productive and active citizen. Difficulties associated with transitions to the labor market experienced by Canadian-born youth are well documented and include problems with finding well-paid employment, high levels of unemployment, declines in wages, and attaining a reasonable standard of living (Betcherman and Lekie 1997). While there is recognition that the transition processes may differ by gender (Hughes and Lowe 1993; Geller 1996), socioeconomic status (Bellamy 1993), Aboriginal status (Gabor, Thibodeau, and Manychief 1996), and visible minority status (James 1993; Perron 1996), there are no systematic studies of the employment experiences or transitions of immigrant-born or refugee-born youth. This is an important omission, especially because a prevailing assumption of many immigration/ integration theories is that immigrant and refugee youth tend to have greater success in the labor market than their parents (Tsui and Sammons 1988; Hagan, Macmillan, and Wheaton 1996; Isajiw 1999). While this assumption may be true, the extent and characteristics of employment of immigrant and refugee youth is largely unknown. Are there differences between immigrants and refugees? We do know that certain aspects of the integration experience are similar for these two groups. Both will experience the difficulties of settling into a new society, learning a new culture, and many will experience discrimination. However, we do know that there are subtle differences between the two groups. For instance, refugee youth are less likely to know English or French before their arrival. This affects their chances at succeeding in education and employment. The affect of trauma and past experiences is another aspect differentiating refugees from immigrants. Exactly how these experiences influence various aspects of resettlement is largely unknown.

May 1
Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Assn.
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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