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Recent immigrants as an "alternate civic core" : providing internet services, gaining "Canadian experiences"

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Recent immigrants as an "alternate civic core" : providing internet services, gaining "Canadian experiences"

Dechief, Diane Yvonne (2006) Recent immigrants as an "alternate civic core" : providing internet services, gaining "Canadian experiences". Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

How are Canada's most recent immigrants coping with our workforce's need for "Canadian experience?" And how do community networks and federal initiatives impact newcomers during their periods of settlement? Through an examination of volunteer interactions at Vancouver Community Network (VCN), this thesis responds to both of these questions. It demonstrates how this charitable internet service provider offers opportunities for individual newcomers to broaden their technical and communication skills as well as their social networks, while contributing to the enhancement of social inclusion at VCN. Recent immigrants are established as a technically savvy "alternate civic core," and indeed major contributors to VCN's volunteer program. Based on research conducted in Vancouver during the Spring and Summer of 2005, this thesis incorporates both ethnographic and quantitative methodologies. Findings are analyzed and contextualized by theories from the fields of community informatics (e.g. Gurstein, 2004; Warschauer, 2003), and immigration studies (e.g. Kunz, 2003; Mwarigha, 2002). Further support is drawn from recent scholarship examining relationships between social capital, social inclusion and the use of ICTs (Caidi & Allard, 2005; Scott-Dixon, 2004). Studying the volunteer contributions of recent immigrants to VCN is valuable because it amplifies volunteers' reflections on gaining "Canadian experience" and broadens awareness of their contributions through civic participation. This thesis concludes that in Canada, a country where immigration and the economy are functionally intertwined, placing the onus of becoming employable on individual immigrants is increasingly ineffective. Recommendations for further efforts to combine the needs of individuals and their communities with federal policies are proposed

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Dechief, Diane Yvonne
Pagination:ix 132 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Communication Studies
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Shade, Leslie
ID Code:9042
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:43
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:56
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