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Religious and Secular Voluntary Participation by Immigrants in Canada: How Trust and Social Networks Affect Decision to Participate

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Abstract

Participation in voluntary associations is an important part of an immigrant’s integration into a host country. This study examines factors that predispose an immigrant’s voluntary involvement in religious and secular organizations compared to non-immigrants (“natives”) in Canada, and how immigrants differ from natives in their voluntary participation. The study results indicate that informal social networks, religious attendance, and level of education positively correlate with the propensity of both immigrants and natives to participate and volunteer in religious and secular organizations. Immigrants who have diverse bridging social networks, speak French and/or English at home, and either attend school or are retired are more likely to participate and volunteer for secular organizations. Further, social trust matters to native Canadians in their decision to engage in religious and secular organizations but not to immigrants. Pride and a sense of belonging, marital status, and the number of children increase the likelihood of secular voluntary participation of natives but not of immigrants. These findings extend the current understanding of immigrant integration and have important implications for volunteer recruitment.

Résumé

La participation aux associations bénévoles représente un élément important de l’intégration d’un immigrant au sein d’un pays d’accueil. Cette étude examine les facteurs prédisposant l’engagement bénévole d’un immigrant en faveur d’organisations religieuses et laïques, par comparaison aux non-immigrants. Au Canada, si l’on se reporte aux données issues de l’Enquête canadienne Égalité, Sécurité et Communauté, les résultats indiquent que les réseaux sociaux informels, la pratique religieuse et l’éducation contribuent à accroître la propension des immigrants comme des ressortissants à participer à une action bénévole en faveur des organisations religieuses et laïques. Les immigrants dont les réseaux sociaux sont favorables à la diversité, qui pratiquent le français et/ou l’anglais au sein de leur foyer, suivent des études ou sont retraités sont plus susceptibles de faire du bénévolat pour les organisations laïques. La confiance sociale est un point important pour les ressortissants canadiens quant à leur décision de participer à des actions bénévoles religieuses ou laïques, mais il n’en est pas ainsi pour les immigrants. La fierté/le sentiment d’appartenance, la situation familiale et le nombre d’enfants rendent plus vraisemblable pour les ressortissants et non pas pour les immigrants, le fait de participer à un bénévolat laïque. Les conclusions permettent d’élargir la connaissance actuelle de l’intégration des immigrants et présentent des implications importantes pour le recrutement des bénévoles.

Zusammenfassung

Die Mitwirkung in gemeinnützigen Vereinigungen ist ein wichtiger Bestandteil der Integration von Einwanderern im Gastland. Diese Studie untersucht die prädisponierenden Faktoren für eine ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit von Einwanderern bei religiösen und säkularen Organisationen gegenüber Nichteinwanderern in Kanada und stützt sich dabei auf die Daten der kanadischen Umfrage zu Gleichheit, Sicherheit und Gemeinschaft (Equality, Security and Community Survey). Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass informelle soziale Netzwerke, die Teilnahme an religiösen Veranstaltungen und die Bildung Faktoren sind, die die Bereitwilligkeit zur ehrenamtlichen Arbeit bei religiösen und säkularen Organisationen sowohl bei Einwanderern als auch Einheimischen erhöhen. Einwanderer mit diversen überbrückenden sozialen Netzwerken, die zu Hause Französisch oder Englisch sprechen, eine Schule besuchen oder in Rente sind, üben mit höherer Wahrscheinlichkeit eine ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit bei säkularen Organisationen aus. Soziales Vertrauen ist für gebürtige Kanadier bei ihrer Entscheidung zur Ausübung einer ehrenamtlichen Tätigkeit bei religiösen und säkularen Organisationen wichtig, nicht jedoch für Einwanderer. Stolz und ein Gefühl der Zugehörigkeit, der Familienstand und die Anzahl von Kindern erhöhen die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass gebürtige Kanadier, nicht jedoch Einwanderer, eine ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit bei säkularen Organisationen ausüben. Die Ergebnisse erweitern das gegenwärtige Verständnis der Einwandererintegration und haben wichtige Implikationen für die Anwerbung ehrenamtlicher Mitarbeiter.

Resumen

La participación en asociaciones voluntarias es una parte importante de la integración de los inmigrantes en el país anfitrión. El presente estudio examina los factores que predisponen a la implicación voluntaria de un inmigrante en organizaciones religiosas y seculares, en comparación a los no inmigrantes, en Canadá, utilizando datos de la Encuesta sobre Igualdad, Seguridad y Comunidad. Los resultados muestran que las redes sociales informales, la asistencia a actos religiosos, y la educación aumentan la propensión tanto de los inmigrantes como de los oriundos a participar como voluntarios en organizaciones religiosas y seculares. Los inmigrantes con redes sociales puente diversas, que hablan francés y/o inglés en casa, que asisten a la escuela o jubilados son más propensos a participar como voluntarios en organizaciones seculares. La confianza social importa a los canadienses oriundos cuando deciden implicarse en voluntariado religioso y secular, pero no a los inmigrantes. El orgullo/el sentido de pertenencia, el estado civil y el número de hijos aumenta la probabilidad de que los oriundos hagan voluntariado secular, pero no los inmigrantes. Los hallazgos amplían la comprensión actual de la integración de los inmigrantes y tiene importantes implicaciones para el reclutamiento de voluntarios.

摘要

参加志愿者社团,是一个移民融入所在国家的重要渠道。本研究利用源于“加拿大平等、安全、社区大调查”的数据,通过与加拿大的外国旅客做比较,调查促使移民志愿参加宗教与世俗组织的因素。研究结果显示,非正式的社会网络、出席宗教活动、教育等因素增加移民与本地居民志愿参与宗教与世俗组织的倾向。移民中,具有多样化社会网络的、在家使用法语与/或英语的、在学校学习的、或退休的,志愿参与世俗组织的可能性更大。在决定志愿参与宗教与世俗活动时,加拿大本地居民很看重社会信任,但移民却不太看重。归属感/归属自豪感、婚姻状况、孩子的数量等因素增加本地居民参与世俗志愿活动的可能性,但这些因素并不影响移民的倾向。本研究结果加深了对“移民融入本地社会”课题的理解,对志愿者招募亦有重要的参考作用。

ملخص

المشاركة في الجمعيات التطوعية هو جزء مهم من إندماج المهاجر في البلد المضيف. تتناول هذه الدراسة العوامل التي تجعل المهاجر يميل إلى المشاركة في التطوع في المنظمات الدينية والعلمانية ، مقارنة مع غير المهاجرين ، في كندا باستخدام بيانات من إستطلاع رأي المساواة والأمن و المجتمع الكندي. تبين النتائج أن الشبكات الغير رسمية الإجتماعية ، الحضور الديني ، التعليم يزيد ميل كل من المهاجرين و السكان الأصليين إلى التطوع في المنظمات الدينية والعلمانية.المهاجرين مع سد فجوة الشبكات الاجتماعية، الذين يتحدثون اللغة الفرنسية و/أو الإنجليزية في المنزل، يذهبون إلى المدرسة أو متقاعدين هم أكثرعرضة للتطوع في المنظمات العلمانية. الثقة الإجتماعية للكنديين من أصل كندي شئ هام في قرارهم في المشاركة في العمل التطوعي الديني والعلماني ، لكن ليس للمهاجرين. فخر/الشعور بالإنتماء، الحالة الإجتماعية ، عدد الأطفال يزيد مشاركة سكان كندا الأصليين ٬ لكن ليس المهاجرين؛ إحتمال التطوع العلماني. النتائج توسع نطاق الفهم الحالي لإندماج المهاجرين ولها آثار هامة لتجنيد المتطوعين .

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Notes

  1. Voluntary participation refers to involvement with and volunteering through formal organizations and not informal help such as helping neighbors or a stranger on a personal level.

  2. The Survey was completed at the Institute for Social Research of York University.

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Acknowledgments

The authors appreciate Dr. Richard Johnston of the University of British Columbia for sharing the dataset. The authors also appreciate Kate Samuelson for her research assistance.

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Wang, L., Handy, F. Religious and Secular Voluntary Participation by Immigrants in Canada: How Trust and Social Networks Affect Decision to Participate. Voluntas 25, 1559–1582 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-013-9428-8

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