Volume 1(1): 2017
MILAGROS B. CALDERÓN MOYA, McGill University
The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the perspectives of skilled Latin American immigrants towards interprovincial migration in Quebec. This entails examining the factors affecting their integration in Quebec in terms of education and employment as well as pointing out policies and educational strategies that could improve relations between new immigrants and Quebec society at large. To achieve this, the study will revise concepts of Systemic Discrimination, the Quebec Educational Model, and Whiteness to establish a theoretical framework for the research. Data will be collected from face-to-face interviews conducted with study participants and other stakeholders residing in Montreal, Laval and Quebec City, from a participatory research method called photovoice, and from my own reflective memos. Moreover, I will use Constant Comparison Analysis to develop a grounded theoretical perspective. This proposed study aims to highlight how the lack of adequate awareness of diversity in public school philosophies has resulted in the othering of minority groups in Quebec, and made their departure towards other more welcoming provinces more likely. This research will provide immigration authorities and education specialists with tools that can provide fair educational and employment opportunities that truly resemble Quebec’s democratic values to Quebec’s current and future newcomers.
Le but de cette étude qualitative est d’examiner les perspectives des immigrants qualifiés venant de l’Amérique latine vers une migration interprovinciale au Québec. Cela implique d’examiner les facteurs qui affectent leur intégration au niveau de leur éducation et de leur emploi, en plus d’identifier les programmes et les stratégies éducatives susceptibles d’améliorer les relations entre les nouveaux immigrants et la société québécoise en général. Pour ce faire, cette étude révisera les concepts de la discrimination systémique, le modèle d’éducation québécois et celui de la blanchitude (whiteness) afin d’établir un cadre théorique de recherche. Les données seront recueillies à partir d’entretiens privés effectués en personne avec les participants de recherche et d’autres personnes concernées résidant à Montréal, à Laval et dans la ville de Québec, et ce à partir d’une méthode de recherche de participation appelée photovoice et de mes propres notes. De plus, j’utiliserai l’analyse de comparaison constante pour développer une perspective théorique solidement ancrée. Cette étude vise à souligner comment le manque de sensibilisation à la diversité au sein de la philosophie des programmes dans les écoles publiques a entraîné la formation de groupes minoritaires au Québec et a augmenté la probabilité de leur départ vers d’autres provinces plus accueillantes. Cette recherche fournira aux autorités d’immigration et aux spécialistes d’éducation des outils qui procureraient aux nouveaux arrivants, actuels et futurs du Québec des possibilités d’éducation et d’emploi équitables ressemblant réellement aux valeurs démocratiques du Québec.
Keywords: Latin Americans, minorities, integration, discrimination, school curriculum.
Successful host societies are mainly measured by how well their immigrants are economically, socially, politically, and culturally integrated into their communities (Picot & Hou, 2010). Such a measurement involves the difficult task of understanding the different social behaviours and phenomena of immigrants and host societies. This is especially true when it comes to the analysis of out-migration, the process of people permanently leaving a place in order to live in another one. Indeed, interprovincial migration, is a nation-wide issue in Canada, which in the case of Quebec has become central to its persistent need for immigration, defined by the international movement of people into a destination which on average has a positive impact on the economy of the host society.
Quebec has shown continuous annual losses in population through interprovincial migration over the past 45 years (Clemens, Labrie, & Emes, 2016). From 2007 to 2012, 40,000 residents left through out-migration (Mehler, 2012), two-thirds of whom were allophones (speakers of languages other than French and English). According to Quebec-based research group Institut de recherche et d’informations socio-économiques (IRIS, 2016), most immigrants to Quebec have higher levels of education than their Canadian-born counterpart. However, statistics from the 2011 National Household Survey report that despite being highly educated, immigrants to Quebec are facing inherent difficulties associated with entering the labour market. This is especially the case for recent immigrants who are considered part of minority groups, namely, immigrants from African, Asian, and Latin American countries (Geva, Gottardo, & Farnia, 2009; Haider, 2013). Moreover, a 2016 report by IRIS revealed that unemployment, low income, and overqualification are higher among newcomers to Quebec (CBC, 2016). Specifically, IRIS reported that 43% of Quebec’s immigrants are overqualified for their jobs (Valiante, 2016). In fact, many decide to settle for low-paying jobs, while others decide to leave for provinces offering greater job opportunities (Omidvar, Richmond, & Laidlaw Foundation, 2003).
Quebec’s out-migration exposes the discrepancy between Quebec’s successful strategies in attracting highly educated immigrants and its disregard for the discriminatory acts minority group immigrants continuously face. Indeed, interprovincial migration has resulted in high economic and social expenditures for Quebec’s government program for integrating immigrants. What is more, such expenditures have contributed to the older age structure of the province’s population.
Research on immigration issues in Canada has revealed that there are significant links between race, culture, and education affecting immigrants’ integration (Baklid, 2004). However, while this body of research offers significant findings, we have little understanding about the economic integration experiences of minority group immigrants that result in interprovincial migration from Quebec. More importantly, understanding the distinctiveness of immigrant integration processes requires a focus on the perspectives of the population involved, and how they draw on familial mechanisms and social ideologies to face such a problem. To illustrate, family aspirations, ideologies, and parental roles in care are some of the cultural strengths of the Latin American immigrant group facing integration barriers (Calderon, 2016).
Latin American Immigrant Integration
Research in the social sciences in Quebec explains that a large Latin American ethnic group has faced discriminatory practices in the job market, education, housing, law, and the justice system (Dei, 2011). This is also the case in the TV, and film industry in Quebec (Fundira, 2016). Such practices have resulted in social, economic, and political marginalization (Verkuyten & Martinovic, 2006). Indeed, the Latin American community, which encompasses 20 different nationalities, represents the second non-official language group in the province of Quebec, especially in the city of Montreal (Statistics Canada, 2016). In addition, much of this immigration comes from low-and middle-income countries, and most of these immigrants and their children differ from non-immigrants in appearance, language, religion, and culture (Masten, Liebkind, & Hernandez, 2012). One specific example is Julio Zuñiga, a Chilean-born computer technician who successfully fought cultural discrimination twice at the Human Rights Commission (Lalonde, 2014, 2015). His first complaint was in 1988 when he was fired from a Montreal school board for speaking French with a Spanish accent. The second complaint was against two coworkers in Quebec’s Department of Culture and Communications for repeated harassment over his ethnic background in 2000.
While Quebec has long supported legal protection for equality and antidiscrimination legislation, these laws cannot regulate social attitudes in decision makers nor can they regulate the attitudes of citizens at large. Quebec’s interculturalism model, which implies building coherent support for cultural diversity within the framework of the French language, supports the establishment of equality and the prevention of discrimination and racism. Nevertheless, it has been the subject of scholarly and societal critique as its main aim has been the linguistic and cultural assimilation of minority groups into the francophone society (Ghosh & Abdi, 2013; Talbani, 1993). In 2015, Jacques Frémont, the president of Quebec’s Human Rights Commission, severely criticized the government for not acknowledging that racism and systemic discrimination is present in the province’s workplaces (Authier, 2015). Frémont specifically pointed out how such issues have not been adequately addressed thus fracturing the confidence between the dominant society and the immigrant population. Following this assertion, the voices of various activists from community groups in racialized zones in Montreal, such as Montreal Nord, and ethno-cultural associations gathered to collect signatures for a petition to launch a public commission into systemic racism in Quebec in 2016 (Shingler, 2016). Sociologist Gérard Bouchard and political philosopher Charles Taylor, who were responsible for conducting Quebec’s Commission on Reasonable Accommodation in 2007, also raised their concerns (Shingler, 2016). These calls for a public commission have resulted in the province’s public consultation on systemic discrimination and racism that is currently taking place and will continue through the fall of the present year (Bellemare, 2017). These calls for a public commission have resulted in the province’s public consultation on systemic discrimination and racism that was announced to take place in the fall of the present year (Bellemare, 2017). However, Quebec’s government has recently decided to cancel the hearing process and opted for a one-day forum on the fight against immigrant unemployment in December (Fletcher, 2017; Authier, 2017).
In this context, interviewing Latin American immigrants on their integration experiences will produce useful data about how systemic discrimination may or may not influence their attitudes towards out-migration. This study will be the first in Canada to examine the perspectives of the Latin American minority group towards interprovincial migration. It will provide up-to-date information that may be applicable to other minority groups in Quebec, and could be used to gain new insights into the phenomenon of out-migration to avoid future social and economic divisiveness.
In order to fully understand the context of this situation, it is important to review some of the key factors such as, Systemic Discrimination, the Quebec Educational Model, and Whiteness that provide a framework for this research.
Immigration policy is the most common form of regulating populational growth. Canadian immigration policies were undoubtedly discriminatory for many decades as “[t]he institutionalized hierarchy of ethnic preferences” plainly excluded non-white applicants (Potvin, 2010, p. 269). In general, the immigration restrictions were based on race, language and national origin until the 1960s. These laws and policies mainly sought individuals from Britain, America and Northern European nations, tolerated those from Southern European nations but excluded those from other nationalities (Potvin, 2010). However, in 1967, immigration policy became “technically non-racial” (Ghosh & Abdi, 2013, p. 88) when it welcomed immigrants from non-European nations, such as those from Asian and Latin American countries. In addition, despite the political tensions between the federal and the provincial governments over issues of belonging for immigrants (Banting & Soroka, 2012), Quebec, like its federal counterpart, has aimed to remedy discriminatory practices over the past decades. For instance, Quebec’s adoption of The Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms in 1976, which prohibited discriminatory acts in employment and housing in the province (Sheppard, 2010).
Nevertheless, critical gaps between the government’s normative discourse and inter-group relations have persisted in Quebec society and have considerably affected the social and economic integration of immigrants, especially members of visible minority groups (Potvin, 2010). Research by IRIS contends that discrimination in the labour market has resulted in the unsatisfactory employment situation of immigrants in Quebec. It also points out that “the increasing racialization [social process by which people come to be defined as being of a particular ‘race’ and thus subjected to negative treatment] of immigrants in Canada has intensified discrimination on the part of employers” (“Quebec immigrants,” 2016, para. 12). These rates, mainly measured by unemployment, over-qualification and under-representation in public sector agencies, are particularly high in the case of immigrants from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Indeed, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse’s reports that minority group immigrants have been “under-represented, subject to inequalities in remuneration, and professionally segregated” (as cited in Labelle, 2004, p. 11). Therefore, despite the government’s actions to ensure equality and antidiscrimination, reports of racism and lack of diversity in the workforce demonstrate that major issues still prevail in the effective integration of immigrants.
Indeed, Quebec has created strategies that promote several job creation and ethnic community funding programs in an effort to eradicate racism. In this regard, numerous studies have pointed out that the socio-demographic characteristics of immigrants as well as the historical and political context of host societies are all factors active in systemic discrimination (Feagin, 2013; Pager & Shepherd, 2008; Portes & Rumbaut, 2006). This is especially concerning because institutions take a passive role by overseeing how racial minority groups are affected by the under-utilisation of skills as well as the tensions between ethnic groups that may result from this prejudice (Reitz, 2005). Furthermore, many immigrant and minority group communities criticize the gap between the government’s rhetoric and the constant discrimination that many of them have been forced to face (Labelle, 2004).
The Quebec Educational Model
Public education in liberal multicultural societies is at a critical position today. Critical approaches point out the failure of the education system to build a nation based on democratic values that unite its diverse ethnic, cultural, and religious members (McDonough & Feinberg, 2003). As such, the fact of not adequately addressing and/or overseeing inequalities portrays the state as “the agent. . .of colonialization and oppression” (p. 2). In addition, critical pedagogical theories state that the structures and markers of difference, such as language and ethnicity, that perpetuate inadequate concepts and practices of equity result in the impediment of learners to be able to become analytical and critical enough to evaluate situations that go against the rights typical of a democracy (Giroux, 1992). Consequently, learners develop a partial and harmful understanding of complex societal issues such as segregation, marginalization, and xenophobia, thus compromising the development of positive contributions for their lives and society at large.
With the passing of the Charter of the French Language in 1977, Quebec’s public education became provincially mandated and Quebec’s intercultural education became the main agent in educational politics (Ghosh & Abdi, 2013). Quebec’s model has been subject to social and scholarly critique as its main aim has been the linguistic and cultural assimilation of minority groups into francophone society (Ghosh & Abdi, 2013; Talbani, 1993). Indeed, Quebec public schools do not provide learners with the tools to challenge oppression through curriculum or the school environment (Arshad-Ayaz, 2011; Ghosh & Abdi, 2013). Eurocentric values in education perpetuate the idea that the Western culture is superior to all other cultures, and reduce race and ethnicity “to a discourse of the Other” (Giroux, 1991, p. 220). The philosophy of education certainly misrepresents and marginalizes the presence of minority cultures other than those that are dominant in Quebec. Thus, the homogenizing influence of the Quebec government in public schools, as a result of Bill 101, which relegated Anglophone and Allophone languages to secondary status, highlights its responsibility in the spread of a message of francophone dominance.
In light of those pervasive issues, if the aim of Quebec’s interculturalism model is to promote liberal democratic values (as we believe they are) in the public education system, then these values need to be shaped within the various associations of minority groups. In this regard, the newest phase of liberalism, called affiliation liberalism by McDonough and Feinberg (2003) is characterized by its emphasis on cultural groups and the need for the state to secure the positive development of vulnerable groups within a congruent cultural context. As such, affiliation liberalism in an educational framework focuses on cultural sensitivity, awareness and respect from educators. Educators not only need to raise their awareness of the cultural, linguistic and ethnic differences between students but also empower students to challenge the practices and institutions of the dominant society which will help them develop a sense of self-confidence necessary to preserve their culture (Ghosh & Abdi, 2013; McDonough & Feinberg, 2003).
Although race is a social construct that lacks biological foundation (Yudell, Roberts, DeSalle, & Tishkoff, 2016), it remains a problematic and an inextinguishable concept that is present in today’s race-conscious world (Mo & Jandt, 2004). Whiteness, whether acknowledged or not, is “intrinsically linked to unfolding relations of domination” (Frankenberg, 1993, p. 6). Since notions of whiteness are based on Eurocentric discourses resulting from colonialism and neocolonialism, they go beyond discriminatory practices based on skin colour and have expanded to normative prejudice against other ethnocultural group (Shome, 1999) members of which are usually seen as inferior (Henry & Tator, 2006). While studies on whiteness have emerged in historical research on racial discrimination and racialized/colonized subjects such as African Americans and Native Americans, the impact of whiteness has also been recognized by sociology and cultural studies scholars, such as Giroux (1997) and Sleeter (1993). These scholars focus on the critical relations of whiteness with the political formation of American and European institutions where schools have substantial cultural gaps between immigrant children and teachers (Sleeter, 2016). With this in mind, the lack of awareness on this matter in public school philosophies can certainly impede future adequate responses from new generations towards the issues of equity, power relations, and social justice that minority groups have to confront.
It is essential to consciously recognize whiteness as “privilege, power, authority, normalcy, legitimacy, beauty, purity, and refinement” (Mo & Jandt, 2004, p. 59) that contributes to institutional problems. Some critical aspects in education that need to be analytically reviewed are the limited representation of minority groups in the teaching profession, the growing diversity of the student population, as well as teachers’ assumptions about non-white students’ learning difficulties (Mo & Jandt, 2004). Currently, multicultural pedagogy and programs are not adequately designed to equip white teachers to reflexively analyze the power of their roles as educators and representatives of a predominantly white host society (Sleeter, 2016). In addition, educational institutions need to question the adequacy of their treatment of cultural diversity in their programs as well as acknowledge their privilege from an unspoken position of power (Frankenberg, 1997). It is equally important to address early constructions of social identity in learners as a mechanism through which discriminatory practices manifest (Ali & Sonn, 2009; Green, Sonn, & Matsebula, 2007). In essence, Quebec’s intercultural education needs to develop broad-based understanding of the multi-layered issues that continue to enhance “otherness” (Arshad-Ayaz 2011) in order to provide school students with the tools to challenge oppression through curriculum and school environment.
The purpose of this study is to: a) identify the factors affecting immigrant integration in Quebec in terms of education and employment, and b) point out policies and strategies that could improve the relations between new immigrants and the Quebec society at large. This study is driven by three research questions:
- What are the perspectives of skilled Latin American immigrants regarding Quebec culture through the processes of entering the labour market, and how have these influenced their decisions towards settling in the province of Quebec?
- How, if at all, are skilled Latin American employment experiences influencing interprovincial migration in Quebec?
- What are their suggestions for providing fair opportunities to newcomers that could prevent the demographic and economic consequences of interprovincial migration?
Qualitative research, as opposed to quantitative research, is especially effective in gaining the greatest amount of data when exploring culturally specific information about particular populations (Denzin & Lincoln, 2008; Mack, Woodsong, MacQueen, Guest, & Namey, 2005). Given the nature of the inquiry and the purpose of my research, this is the most appropriate approach to understand this situation within a particular context (Patton, 1985) and to grasp the underlying reasons and motivations. I will conduct a qualitative study for gaining insight into the dynamics of the Latin American minority group in Quebec. I will use face-to-face, semi-structured interviews for data collection to elicit responses to my research questions while permitting “topics and issues to be covered in the order most suited to the interviewee” (Ritchie, Lewis, Nicholls, & Ormston, 2013, p. 141). Some specific examples of questions are, “How did you find your first job in Quebec?” “How would you describe that experience?” “How would you describe the Quebec culture in the work environment?”In addition, I will use photovoice to further enhance the richness of the data collection as well as participants’ representation of the “strengths and concerns” (Wang & Burris, 1997, p. 369) of their cultural group. Photovoice is a process by which community members take photos that can identify, tell stories, and inform policymakers about issues of concern at the grassroots level (Wang, Cash, & Powers, 2000). Lastly, the use of memos will also be an important aspect of the research methodology to record the researcher’s immediate reactions and impressions, and include details that might not be explicitly stated during the interviews (Glaser, 1978). Reflective memos will be written on an ongoing basis to question the researcher’s biases and assumptions, as well as keep track of questions that could arise throughout the research process (Birks, Chapman, & Francis, 2008; Creswell, 2007; Glaser, 1978).
Participants and Selection
The participants in this study will comprise of 15 to 18 individuals as primary data sources and five stakeholders as secondary data sources. For the selection of primary data participants, I will use inclusion criteria based on Patton’s (1999) purposeful sampling. This is a type of ‘criterion sampling’ which ensures that the researcher selects participants who meet specific criteria. For this study, participants will be selected through a demographic survey form that will determine their eligibility. In addition, the purposeful sample will be based on accessibility of participants with the aim of including a varied range of Latin American nationalities, work domains, and time lived in Quebec.
For this study, the participant selection criteria will include the following:
- Participants who arrived in Canada as Quebec-selected skilled workers in the last 10 years from any Latin American country.
- Participants who are men or women, over 25 years of age.
- Participants who live in Montreal, Laval, and Quebec City or participants who left Quebec for another Canadian province.
Similarly, the collection of secondary data will serve to corroborate or confirm what emerges from the study (McMillian, 2000). As previously mentioned, secondary data will be obtained from five stakeholders. These will include:
- Spokespeople from cultural community groups and/or community associations.
- Latin Americans who arrived in Quebec as immigrants more than 20 years ago and currently live in the province.
In order to access the primary data source participants for my study, I will post an advertisement at institutions such as community centers, cultural associations, universities and/or colleges in the cities of Montreal, Laval and, Quebec City. Referrals will also be an important form of recruitment of interview subjects, and will be an exclusive recruitment process for the collection of secondary data (stakeholders). It is hoped that word of the study will spread among friends and colleagues who will voluntarily refer the researcher to other potential recruits.
As previously mentioned, data collection for this study will be based on qualitative approaches from interviews, photovoice, and reflective memos.
As the researcher, once I receive the contact information of voluntary respondents, I will immediately seek to establish a comfortable and trustworthy rapport with potential participants by answering all questions related to the purpose and nature of the study. For instance, the researcher will indicate the importance of using the demographic survey form to determine the adequacy of their participation in the study. As previously mentioned, surveys will verify eligibility for participation as well as give an overview of the pertinent demographic and contextual information such as age, sex, and, nationality, length of work experience in Quebec. Data from the completed surveys will be summarized and used to determine the purposeful sample of 15 to 18 individuals who meet the criteria of the study. Second, participants will then be sent a consent letter which includes a description of the purpose of the research and the requirements of participation, such as commitment to one 90-120-minute interview and follow up conversations as needed. The letter will also present potential risks and benefits of participation, information regarding privacy and confidentiality, details of how photovoice works as a research methodology, and an assurance that participants can withdraw from the study at any time and for any reason without penalty. This consent letter will be carefully developed and will outline the research process in language that can be easily understood by the participants. In addition, participants will also have to give their consent to use a digital audio recorder to preserve a verbatim version of the interview, which will be transcribed to provide the research data.
Prior to conducting the interviews, I will develop an interview guide with questions to help facilitate the interviewing process. In addition, I will use open-ended questions to ensure that all questions or topics are explored with each interviewee (Patton, 1999). In order to obtain rich data from the participant interviews, I will apply a three-part interview protocol approach as advocated by Seidman (2013). This approach involves three separate interactions with each participant. The first exchange “establishes context of participants’ experience,” the second “allows participants to reconstruct experience within context,” and the third “encourages participants to reflect on meaning of experience” (p. 11).
In this study, this first exchange will be introductory and will be done via telephone. I will seek to establish a comfortable and trustworthy rapport with participants by explaining and answering all questions related to the purpose and nature of the study. For instance, I will explain that I am conducting a qualitative study to explore the perspectives of Latin American immigrants on interprovincial migration in Quebec. I will explain to participants that the interviews will be audiotaped, and the audiotapes and interview transcriptions will be secured throughout the duration of the study. Furthermore, I will share with participants the importance of their roles in photovoice to create the critical dialogue necessary to raise knowledge of the problems related to education and the labour market in their cultural group (Wang & Burris, 1997).
The second part of the interview protocol will be in the form of semi-structured face-to-face interviews which will take approximately 2 hours to complete, as mentioned before. For this, participants will be invited to set a date and time that is convenient for them as well as suggest a public setting where they feel physically and psychologically comfortable to conduct the interviews (King & Horrocks, 2010). I will do my best to ensure that the public spaces chosen provide safety, comfort, and privacy. Once data collection begins, interviews will be carefully transcribed. Next, I will review the transcriptions by following the recordings of the interviews to ensure that everything is transcribed as completely as possible. Transcriptions will be dated, labeled, and the lines numbered. Lastly, transcripts will be printed and placed in a binder that will be securely locked and stored at my place of residence. It is important to note that I will travel to conduct the face-to-face interviews with participants living out of the province. Participants living out of Quebec will also be invited to set the date, time as well as public setting, however, this will occur one month in advance of the interview.
For the last exchange with participants, they will be invited to review their interview transcriptions and corroborate preliminary findings. Since it can be difficult to retain participants for the duration of a study, this last protocol will be conducted by email after transcriptions are sent, and provide follow-up questions that are specific to individual participants (Turner, 2010).
As previously mentioned, interviews with other stakeholders will be used as secondary data sources. These will be conducted using the third research question of this study (i.e., What are their suggestions for providing fair opportunities to newcomers that could prevent the demographic and economic consequences of interprovincial migration?) as well as questions that emerge from the primary data collection. A three-part interview protocol approach (Seidman, 2013) will also be applied. Interviews with stakeholders will be conducted at the end of the final data gathering phase so as to not influence the researcher’s understanding of the perspectives of participants.
At the end of the second step of the interview protocol, immigrant participants will be asked to capture scenes that are relevant to their everyday lives. The researcher will make recommendations to participants on photographic ethics and power dynamics. These will include discussions on, for instance, the acceptability of photographing someone and, more importantly, the reasons why it is necessary to have someone’s written form permission before having him or her photographed (Haldenby, n.d.). Considering that the photovoice technique is highly flexible as it can be “adapted to the needs of its users” (Wang & Burris, 1997, p. 383), participants will not need to receive intensive training in photographic concepts. It is important to note that due to the widespread coverage of digital photography via cameras, cellphones, and other devices including tablets, participants will be asked to use their own devices. However, if any of the participants does not have such device, the researcher will provide one to them.
The use of memos will help to address any assumptions and/or biases the researcher might hold prior to undertaking the study. A specific example would rely on the fact that I am a member of the Latin American community in Montreal and thus acknowledges I have certain biases regarding integration. Memos will be hand-written in a journal after each interview. They will be dated, filed, and subsequently perused for insights as the analysis progressed.
As previously mentioned, before starting the process of data analysis, all participants will be sent a copy of their transcribed interview electronically to verify the accuracy of their answers (Morrow, 2005). To analyze the interview data, the researcher will use a well-established approach known as the constant comparison analysis (CCA). This analytic approach ensures that the researcher develops an interpretation of the data inductively since “what becomes important to analyse emerges from the data itself” (Maykut & Morehouse, 1994, p. 127; Thomas, 2006). It is a rigorous means of unitizing the data, placing the units into categories, such as “getting a job interview” and “dealing with exclusion”, as patterns emerge, and assigning codes to categories. In a careful process of comparing and contrasting categories, these will be expanded and/or contracted until saturation, and then recombined in larger conceptual themes such as “Quebec culture” and “work environment”. Themes will be grounded in the data and provide a persuasive and trustworthy explanation of the topic being studied (Merriam, 2002).
After the second step of the interview protocol, the researcher will receive the photographs taken by primary data participants electronically. After the images have been printed, the researcher and participants will meet individually for an audio-recorded discussion. As mentioned before, the researcher will travel to conduct the interviews with participants living out of the province. The purpose of this discussion is to encourage participants to tell the story behind each photograph. Issues in the images will be defined and codes will be assigned to categories as they appear. Next, photovoice themes will be identified, analysed and then they will be compared with those that emerged in the 15 to 18 face-to-face interviews (second step of interview protocol). It is important to note that all additional exchanges necessary to clarify findings with participants will be done via Skype.
To conclude, the themes that result from the interviews with stakeholders will be compared with the themes that emerged in the interviews with immigrant participants and photovoice. Initial categories will be collapsed into a smaller number of categories within larger and more conceptual themes that will answer my research questions. Similarly, the researcher will revise the initial memos written after each interview to cross-check them with those written during the data analysis in order to elaborate on emerging issues (Strauss & Corbin, 1990).
Significance of Research
The findings of the proposed research will add qualitative and empirical insights to the existing body of literature about the Latin American cultural group in Quebec, and interprovincial migration from Quebec. By representing skilled Latin American immigrants’ experiences of integration in Quebec, it is anticipated that this research will provide immigration authorities, academics, and other education specialists with information that may lead to further development and implementation of policies that build towards equality. In addition, through the analysis of aspects of the Quebec culture that might be causing widespread discrimination in areas such as labour, education, and housing, the potential inadequacy of curriculum philosophies and school culture could be determined and combatted. Such changes could certainly result in a culturally sensitive education that prevents future discriminatory acts, strengthens the Quebec values of democracy, and rebuilds confidence within Quebec’s cultural diverse society.
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