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Calgary’s Chinese Kinship Associations: Their Role in Chinese Canadian Integration

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Abstract The kinship associations in Calgary’s Chinese community were formed to assist Chinese immigrants in meeting their needs, such as housing and moral support, in the face of the discrimination they encountered during their early days of settlement in the city. In providing for these needs the kinship associations helped Chinese immigrants establish themselves, and thus, integrate into Canadian society. However, over time the opportunities to integrate into the Canadian society have increased and the question arises whether the kinship associations have been willing or able to take advantage of these opportunities. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether kinship associations in Calgary’s Chinese community are effectively promoting Chinese Canadian integration into mainstream society. Personal face-to-face interviews revealed the records of the kinship associations in integrating their members into Canadian society; these records were then compared with those of newer, non-kinship Chinese Canadian associations. The authors conclude that the integration efforts by the kinship associations are inadequate as compared to newer Calgary Chinese organisations, and that the integrative role of these kinship associations has diminished over time.


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