Immigrant residential geographies and the ‘spatial assimilation’ debate in Canada, 1997–2007

Article

Abstract

This paper discusses research published between 1997 and 2007 on the residential concentration of immigrants and ethnic and visible minority groups in Canadian metropolitan centres. Specifically, it reviews findings and conclusions that relate to the ongoing debate over the validity of assimilationist perspective assumptions regarding the typical social and spatial trajectory of newcomers. A Canadian immigrant underclass thesis is generally rejected, but some evidence emerges to suggest a potential bifurcation of the assumed pattern of sociospatial mobility. The traditional assumptions would hold for most groups, yet significant exceptions would justify an alteration of the model, essentially de-linking social from spatial mobility in the case of certain groups. Methodological considerations underlying this proposition are discussed.

Keywords

Assimilation Immigrants Residential concentration Canada 

Résumé

Cet article entreprend une lecture des études publiées entre 1997 et 2007 au sujet de la concentration résidentielle des immigrés et des groupes éthniques dans les agglomerations métropolitaines du Canada, et examine en particulier leurs conclusions concernant la validité des idées assimilassionistes, c’est-à-dire celles visant à définir une trajectoire résidentielle typique des immigrés. L’hypothèse de l’existance d’une ‘underclass’ au Canada est généralement rejettée, mais par contre on remarque la possible bifurcation du modèle assimilationiste sur la mobilité socio-spatiale. Les assises traditionelles du modèle seraient valables pour la plupart des groupes, mais avec d’importantes exceptions, en vue particulièrement d’une dislocation entre la mobilité sociale et la mobilité spatiale parmi certaines populations. Des questions de méthodologie font aussi partie de la discussion.

Mots clés

assimilation immigrés concentration résidentielle Canada 

References

  1. Alba, R. (2005). Bright vs. blurred boundaries: second-generation assimilation and exclusion in France, Germany, and the United States. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28(1), 20–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Auletta, K. (1982). The underclass. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  3. Balakrishnan, T. (2001). Residential segregation and socio-economic integration of Asians in Canadian cities. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 33(1), 121–136.Google Scholar
  4. Balakrishnan, T., & Gyimah, S. (2003). Spatial residential patterns of selected ethnic groups: significance and policy implications. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 35(1), 111–125.Google Scholar
  5. Balakrishnan, T., & Hou, F. (1999a). Socioeconomic integration and spatial residential patterns of immigrant groups in Canada. Population Research and Policy Review, 18, 201–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Balakrishnan, T., & Hou, F. (1999b). Immigration and the changing ethnic mosaic of Canadian cities. In S. Halli, & L. Driedger (Eds.), Immigrant Canada: demographic, economic and social challenges. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  7. Balakrishnan, T., Maxim, P., & Jurdi, R. (2005). Residential segregation and socio-economic integration of visible minorities in Canada. Migration Letters, 2(2), 126–144.Google Scholar
  8. Bauder, H., & Sharpe, B. (2002). Residential segregation of visible minorities in Canada’s gateway cities. The Canadian Geographer, 46, 204–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Beavis, M. (1995). Housing and ethnicity: literature review and select, annotated bibliography. Winnipeg: Institute of Urban Studies, The University of Winnipeg.Google Scholar
  10. Bloemraad, I. (2006). Becoming a citizen: incorporating immigrants and refugees in the United States and Canada. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bloemraad, I. (2008). Citizenship and immigration: multiculturalism, assimilation, and challenges to the nation-state. Annual Review of Sociology, 34. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.34.040507.134608.
  12. Borjas, G. (1998). To ghetto or not to ghetto: ethnicity and residential segregation. Journal of Urban Economics, 44(2), 228–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Borjas, G. (1999). Heaven’s door: immigration policy and the American economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Boyd, M. (2002). Educational attainments of immigrant offspring: success or segmented assimilation? International Migration Review, 36(4), 1037–1060.Google Scholar
  15. Boyd, M., & Grieco, E. (1998). Triumphant transitions: socio-economic achievements of the second generation in Canada. International Migration Review, 32(4), 853–876.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Brubaker, R. (2001). The return of assimilation? Changing perspectives on immigration and its sequels in France, Germany, and the United States. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 24(4), 531–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2003). Facts and figures 2003. Immigration overview: permanent and temporary residents. Ottawa: Citizenship and Immigration Canada Retrieved December 17, 2005, from http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pub/facts2003/foreword/index.html.Google Scholar
  18. Clark, W. (1998). The California cauldron: immigration and the fortunes of local communities. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  19. Collacott, M. (2002). Canada’s immigration policy: the need for major reform. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, Public Policy Sources Occasional Paper No. 64.Google Scholar
  20. Driedger, L. (1999). Immigrant/ethnic/racial segregation: Canadian Big Three and Prairie metropolitan comparison. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 24(4), 485–509.Google Scholar
  21. Duncan, J., & Duncan, N. (2004). Landscapes of privilege: aesthetics and affluence in an American suburb. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Fong, E. (1997). Residential proximity with the charter groups in Canada. Canadian Studies in Population, 24(2), 103–123.Google Scholar
  23. Fong, E., & Gulia, M. (1999). Differences in neighborhood qualities among racial and ethnic groups in Canada. Sociological Inquiry, 69, 575–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fong, E., & Gulia, M. (2000). Neighbourhood change within the Canadian ethnic mosaic, 1986–1991. Population Research and Policy Review, 19, 155–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fong, E., & Shibuya, K. (2000). The spatial separation of the poor in Canadian cities. Demography, 37(4), 449–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fong, E., & Shibuya, K. (2005). Multiethnic cities in North America. Annual Review of Sociology, 31, 285–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fong, E., & Wilkes, R. (1999). The spatial assimilation model reexamined: an assessment by Canadian data. International Migration Review, 33, 594–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fong, E., & Wilkes, R. (2003). Racial and ethnic residential patterns in Canada. Sociological Forum, 18(4), 577–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Francis, D. (2002). Immigration: the economic case. Toronto: Key Porter Books.Google Scholar
  30. Ghosh, S. (2007). Transnational ties and intra-immigrant group settlement experiences: a case study of Indian Bengalis and Bangladeshis in Toronto. GeoJournal, 68(2–3), 223–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Goldberg, M., & Mercer, J. (1986). The myth of the North American City. Continentalism challenged. Vancouver, Canada: University of British Columbia Press.Google Scholar
  32. Gordon, M. (1964). Assimilation in American life. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Guarnizo, L., Portes, A., & Haller, W. (2003). Assimilation and transnationalism: determinants of transnational political action among contemporary migrants. American Journal of Sociology, 108(6), 1211–1148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Haan, M. (2005). Are immigrants buying to get in? The role of ethnic clustering on the homeownership propensities of 12 Toronto Immigrant Groups, 1996–2001. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.Google Scholar
  35. Haan, M. (2007). The homeownership hierarchies of Canada and the United States: the housing patterns of white and non-white immigrants of the past thirty years. International Migration Review, 41(2), 433–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hiebert, D. (1999). Immigration and the changing social geography of Greater Vancouver. BC Studies, 121, 35–82.Google Scholar
  37. Hiebert, D. (2000). The social geography of immigration and urbanization in Canada: a review and interpretation. Vancouver: RIIM Working Paper No. 00-12.Google Scholar
  38. Hiebert, D. (2003). Immigrant and minority enclaves in Canadian cities. Canadian Issues, April.Google Scholar
  39. Hiebert, D. (2005). Migration and the demographic transformation of Canadian cities: the social geography of Canada’s major metropolitan centres in 2017. Vancouver: RIIM Working Paper No. 05-14.Google Scholar
  40. Hiebert, D., & Ley, D. (2003). Assimilation, cultural pluralism, and social exclusion among ethnocultural groups in Vancouver. Urban Geography, 24(1), 16–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hou, F. (2004). Recent immigration and the formation of visible minority neighbourhoods in Canadian cities. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Business and Labour Market Analysis Division.Google Scholar
  42. Hou, F., & Milan, A. (2003). Neighbourhood ethnic transition and its socioeconomic connections. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 28(3), 387–410.Google Scholar
  43. Hou, F., & Picot, G. (2003). Visible minority neighbourhood enclaves and labour market outcomes of immigrants. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.Google Scholar
  44. Hughes, M. (1990). Formation of the impacted ghetto: evidence from large metropolitan areas, 1970–1980. Urban Geography, 11, 265–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kazemipur, A., & Halli, S. (1997). Plight of immigrants: the spatial concentration of poverty in Canada. Canadian Journal of Regional Science, 20(1,2), 11–28.Google Scholar
  46. Kazemipur, A., & Halli, S. (2000). The new poverty in Canada: ethnic groups and ghetto neighbourhoods. Toronto: Thompson Educational.Google Scholar
  47. Leloup, X. (2008). Towards the Pluralist city? Distribution and localisation of visible minorities in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver in 2001. Paper presented at the Metropolis National Conference, Halifax, 3–6 April.Google Scholar
  48. Ley, D. (1999). Myths and meanings of immigration and the metropolis. The Canadian Geographer, 43(1), 2–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ley, D. (2007). Countervailing immigration and domestic migration in gateway cities: Canadian and Australian reflections on an ‘American Dilemma’. Economic Geography, 83(3), 231–254.Google Scholar
  50. Ley, D., & Smith, H. (1997). Immigration and poverty in Canadian cities, 1971–1991. Canadian Journal of Regional Science, 20(1,2), 29–48.Google Scholar
  51. Ley, D., & Smith, H. (2000). Relations between deprivation and immigrant groups in large Canadian cities. Urban Studies, 37, 37–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lo, L., & Wang, S. (1997). Settlement patterns of Toronto’s Chinese immigrants: convergence or divergence? Canadian Journal of Regional Science, 20(1,2), 49–72.Google Scholar
  53. Logan, J., Zhang, W., & Alba, R. (2002). Immigrant enclaves and ethnic communities in New York and Los Angeles. American Sociological Review, 67(2), 299–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Marois, C. (1998). La population montréalaise. In C. Manzagol, & C. Bryant (Eds.), Montréal 2001: Visages et défis d’une métropole. Montréal: Presses de l’Université de Montréal.Google Scholar
  55. Massey, D., & Denton, N. (1988). The dimensions of residential segregation. Social Forces, 67, 281–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Massey, D., & Denton, N. (1993). American Apartheid: segregation and the making of the underclass. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Mendez, P. (2009). Age-at-arrival differences in home-ownership attainment among immigrants and their foreign-born offspring in Canada. Population, Space and Place, in press.Google Scholar
  58. Murdie, R. (1998). The welfare state, economic restructuring and immigrant flows: impacts on sociospatial segregation in Greater Toronto. In S. Musterd, & W. Ostendorf (Eds.), Urban segregation and the welfare state: inequality and exclusion in western cities. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. Murdie, R. (2008). Diversity and concentration in Canadian immigration: trends in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, 1971–2006. Research Bulletin 42, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  60. Murdie, R., & Teixeira, C. (2003). Towards a comfortable neighbourhood and appropriate housing: immigrant experiences in Toronto. In P. Anisef, & M. Lamphier (Eds.), The world in a city. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  61. Myles, J., & Hou, F. (2003). Neighbourhood attainment and residential segregation among Toronto’s visible minorities. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.Google Scholar
  62. Myrdal, G. (1963). Challenge to affluence. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  63. Nagel, C., & Staeheli, L. (2005). “We’re just like the Irish”: narratives of assimilation, belonging and citizenship amongst Arab-American activists. Citizenship Studies, 9(5), 485–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Park, R., Burgess, E., & McKenzie, R. (1967). The city (4th ed.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 1925, 1st edition.Google Scholar
  65. Peach, C. (1996). The meaning of segregation. Planning Practice and Research, 11(2), 137–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Qadeer, M. (2005). Ethnic segregation in a multicultural city. In D. Varadi (Ed.), Desegregating the city. Ghettos, enclaves, and inequality. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  67. Ray, B. (1999). Plural geographies in Canadian cities: interpreting immigrant residential spaces in Toronto and Montreal. Canadian Journal of Regional Science, 22(1,2), 65–86.Google Scholar
  68. Ray, B., Halseth, G., & Johnson, B. (1997). The changing ‘face’ of the suburbs: issues in ethnicity and residential change in suburban Vancouver. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 21(1), 75–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Reitz, J. (1998). Warmth of welcome: the social causes of economic success for immigrants in different nations and cities. Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
  70. Ricketts, E., & Sawhill, I. (1988). Defining and measuring the ‘underclass’. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 7, 316–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Rose, D., Beaudry, M., Marois, C., Ray, B., & Giroux, S. (1999). Atlas de l’immigration à Montréal, 1996—phase II. Montreal: Immigration et métropoles.Google Scholar
  72. Singer, A., Hardwick, S., & Brettell, C. (Eds.) (2008). Twenty-first-century gateways immigrant incorporation in suburban America. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  73. Smith, H. (1998). Spatial concentration—residential patterns and marginalization. Vancouver: RIIM Commentary Series, No. 98-03.Google Scholar
  74. Smith, H. (2004). The evolving relationship between immigrant settlement and neighbourhood disadvantage in Canadian cities, 1991–2001. RIIM, Working Paper No.04-20.Google Scholar
  75. Stanger-Ross, J. (2005). The choreography of Community: Italian ethnicity in postwar Toronto and Philadelphia. Unpublished dissertation at University of Pennsylvania, Department of History.Google Scholar
  76. Stoffman, D. (2002). Who gets in? What’s wrong with Canada’s Immigration Program—and how to fix it. Toronto: Macfarlane Walter Ross.Google Scholar
  77. Vasta, E. (2007). From ethnic minorities to ethnic majority policy: multiculturalism and the shift to assimilationism in the Netherlands. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30(5), 713–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Walks, R., & Bourne, L. (2006). Ghettos in Canada’s cities? Racial segregation, ethnic enclaves and poverty concentration in Canadian urban areas. The Canadian Geographer, 50(3), 273–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. White, M., Kim, A., & Glick, J. (2005). Mapping social distance: ethnic residential segregation in a multiethnic metro. Sociological Methods & Research, 34, 173–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wilson, W. (1987). The truly disadvantaged: the inner city, the ‘underclass’ and public policy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  81. Wilson, K., & Portes, A. (1980). Immigrant enclaves: a comparison of the Cuban and Black economies in Miami. American Journal of Sociology, 88, 133–160.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations