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Agents of change, colours of resistance : the socio-economic integration of Filipina live-in caregivers in Montreal

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Agents of change, colours of resistance : the socio-economic integration of Filipina live-in caregivers in Montreal

Kapiga, Isabelle (2009) Agents of change, colours of resistance : the socio-economic integration of Filipina live-in caregivers in Montreal. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The current Canadian federal government's Live-in Caregiver program has contributed over the last few decades to the international migration of temporary workers to Canada, particularly those from developing world countries with struggling economies such as the Philippines. The majority of participants in the program are skilled women lured by the opportunity of permanent residency which they can apply for upon completion of two years of work as a live-in caregiver. This is a direct result of the asymmetrical relations from past colonialism and corporate globalization between the developed world and the developing world. Inevitably the Filipino economy has become dependant on transnational corporations and created labour export policies propelling Filipinos to be regarded as a commodity within the global trade system. These relations have allowed the Canadian government to capitalize on the economic inequalities between Canada and the Philippines. The program reflects how Canada's need for cheap and skilled labour influences whether it restricts or slackens its immigration policies in order to procure such immigrant female workers. Regulations such as the requirement for the women to live-in and stay with the employer stated on the issued work permit forces them into precarious and sometimes illegal situations, showing the program is restrictive, discriminatory and anti-woman. The majority of the migrant women in the Live-in Caregiver program (LCP) are visible minority women who are issued temporary status, lack labour rights and often encounter exploitative situations within their workplace. Using an anti-racist feminist approach, this thesis will seek to explore how Canada's LCP has influenced the socio-economic integration and personal experiences of a sample of Filipina live-in caregivers in Montreal, Quebec. This thesis will initially review the available literature on how Canada's immigration policies have affected immigration trends over time. The current socio-economic outcomes for immigrant men and women who have recently arrived will be examined and compared to those of their Canadian-born counterparts. This will be followed by an assessment of the available literature that explores the contextual and explanatory macro-factors that have influenced the procurement of migrant women into the LCP such as Canada's ever-changing immigration laws and ideologies, as well as its historical and economic status. With the use of in-depth qualitative research methods the focus will shift to a micro-level, analysing the personal experiences of a sample number of live-in caregivers within the LCP. A feminist approach is necessary to show how domestic work is devalued by the Canadian government which imposes its Eurocentric ideals and culture on these women whilst demoralizing them by denying them their basic human rights and violating their labour rights. The information gathered from the Filipina live-in caregivers will be analysed and discussed in detail. Based on the findings, the thesis will conclude with suggestions on how to change policies that affect the socio-economic outcomes of these women. Recommendations will be put forward that aim to improve their work and personal experiences as well as protect and empower them

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kapiga, Isabelle
Pagination:ix, 176 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.Sc.
Program:Geography
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Email sent to student -- Aug 17, 2011 re. c.1 & 2 and email sent to DigiStore job no 00581 July 2 and Nash, A
ID Code:976779
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:32
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:43
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