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Aging in the context of immigration and care labour: The experiences of older Filipinos in Canada


Author: Ferrer, Ilyan
Under the direction of: Shane Brotman and Amanda Marie Grenier
McGill University
English Language English text

Keywords: Social sciences, Philippines, Intersections - Immigration - Work - Care, Retirement, Aging, Filipino diaspora in Canada, Domestic work.


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This doctoral dissertation examines how the intersections of immigration, labour, and care impact the late life experiences of older Filipinos in Canada. A critical ethnography was adopted to understand the interplay of lived experiences, identities, and policies (specifically related to retirement, aging, and immigration). Extended observations and in-depth semi-structured interviews with 18 older people, 6 adult children, and 13 community stakeholders identified the structural barriers that impinged on everyday experiences of aging within the Filipino Canadian diaspora living in Montreal. Several themes emerged including (1) the disjuncture between discourses on immigration and migration and the ways in which older racialized newcomers are welcomed into Canadian society, (2) the intersections between immigration and retirement policies and their impact on older Filipina women engaged in domestic work, and (3) the ways in which Filipino older adults provide and receive care in intergenerational and transnational settings in response to the paucity and scarcity of formal resources. The findings of this study offer new knowledge about the impact of immigration and labour policies on the lived experiences of aging and care practices among older members of racialized and immigrant communities in the Global North generally, and within Filipino communities in Canada specifically. This study concludes by proposing key recommendations related to social work policy, practice, and research in the field of aging and immigration.