Second Migration Matters talk explores social mobility of Filipino youth in Canada

Earth featured picture for YFile front page

The second seminar in Migration Matters, a series exploring migration scholarship at York University, will take place Jan. 29 from 12:30 to 2pm in 519 Kaneff Tower. The presentation will be given by York geography Professor Phillip Kelly, who is also the director of the York Centre for Asian Research. Kelly’s lecture is titled “When the Escalator Gets Stuck: Inter-generational Social Mobility in Canada’s Filipino Community”.

Phillip Kelly
Phillip Kelly

Canadian scholarship on inter-generational social mobility in immigrant communities has noted that there are some clear exceptions to the overall pattern of upward mobility among 1.5 and 2nd generation youth. Kelly’s paper takes up the case of one such group – the children of immigrants from the Philippines.

Using qualitative evidence to supplement the more common reliance on statistical data, Kelly will argue that three sets of factors shape youth educational and employment trajectories in the Filipino community: family resources of money and time; the networks and information flows through which youth navigate the labour market; and, the ways in which cultural constructions of ‘Filipino-ness’ shape the self-esteem and aspirations of young people. These arguments are based on data gathered by the Filipino Youth Transitions in Canada project, a research collaboration with Filipino community organizations in four Canadian cities.

Kelly’s research examines the consequences of migration and transnationalism for labour markets, workplaces, and class mobility, with a particular focus on the Filipino community in Toronto and sending areas in the Philippines.  He is currently principal investigator of the Filipino Youth Transitions in Canada project and  was previously director of the Toronto Immigrant Employment Data Initiative.  His recent publications include Economic Geography: A Contemporary Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013; with Neil Coe and Henry Yeung) and Migration and Rural Change in Southeast Asia (Routledge 2013). 

Migration Matters will also be co-sponsoring an event in March with the Global Labour Research Centre (GLRC) at York University. The GLRC hosts a regular seminar series on global labour issues.  On Thursday, March 13 from 12 to 2pm, the seminar will focus on labour migration and unfree labour. The session will focus largely on migration and temporary labour programs and will include presentations from migration scholars Aziz Choudry (McGill University), Adrian Smith (Carleton University), organizers from the Toronto Workers Action Centre (Deena Ladd or Sonia Singh), and possibly Fay Faraday (the incoming Packer Chair in Social Justice at York University).

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, see the Migration Matters launch story in the Jan. 15 YFile.