【RIEM Seminar Series No.310】Does Multiculturalism Work? Language, Friendship Homophily, and Well-being of Immigrants in Canada

RIEM Apr 6, 2017

Title: Does Multiculturalism Work? Language, Friendship Homophily, and Well-being of Immigrants in Canada

Speaker: Qiang Li, Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore

Host: Wei Xiao, Associate professor, RIEM, SWUFE

Time: 14:00-15:30, November 25, Friday

Venue: Yide building H503, Liulin Campus


Abstract: Multiculturalism is under attack in its birthplace, Canada. I revisit the connection between the two pillars of Canadian multiculturalism, namely acceptance of English and French as the official languages and equal respect of all cultural groups. A unique dataset, the 2002 Canadian Ethnic Diversity Survey, is used to analyze how learning more languages affects ethnic composition of people’s social networks, which I propose as an indicator for social integration of new immigrants. I find that learning the official languages or learning more languages in general increases the ethnic diversity of a person’s network. The wellbeing, attitudes, and social behavior are related to ethnic composition of immigrants’ networks. The findings are generally in favor of advocates for multiculturalism.

 

Keywords: Multiculturalism, Integration of Immigrants, Friendship Homophily, Ethnic Diversity


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