SAY “YES, I DO” TO WHOM: A STUDY OF TAIWANESE IMMIGRANTS’ ATTITUDES TOWARD DATING, MATE SELECTION AND MARRIAGE
Gordon (1964) in his theory of assimilation predicts that when a society is fully integrated, minority’s distinct characteristics would wane and inter-group marriage will be common. Thereafter, inter-group marriage has been widely used as an indicator of race/ethnic relations. This study investigates the attitudes of Taiwanese immigrants, who reside in Burnaby, British Columbia, toward dating, mate selection and marriage, as a case study, for the understanding of the process of integration of minority groups residing in large ethnic communities in Canada. The study begins with a discussion about the current debates based on the assimilationist and integrationist approach with an application of Gramsci’s theory of “good sense” and “common sense”. The empirical question of this study is whether intra-group marriage of ethnic minority is a contingent outcome of such ethnic group in areas of high ethnic density (i.e., ethnic communities), or it is a spontaneous outcome of their established ethnic solidarity based on the emergence of panethnicity due to social exclusion. An overview of the historical development of ethnic Chinese communities in Canada then follows for the purpose of illustrating the structural context these immigrants reside in. A detail demographic profile of the Taiwanese immigrants in Burnaby is also included. An examination of the phenomenon, Asian panethnicity, as a by-product of the assimilationist approach, among first and 1.5 generation Asian immigrants in Census Metropolitan Area of Vancouver is provided. Internal force from within group to pull the members of the Taiwanese community together, as well as the ethnic boundary they draw, are discussed the in following chapter. Intergenerational and gender difference of the Taiwanese immigrants of this study are also investigated. In summary, the results of the study indicate that intra-group marriage is more than a contingent outcome of a high level of immigrant population density in an ethnic community. Rather, marrying someone of the same race/ethnicity is more of a spontaneous outcome of ethnic solidarity in places where the emergence of Asian panethnicity has been observed. Patterns of Gramsci’s “common sense” are found among immigrants who have passively rationalized their subordinate status; however, some patterns of “good sense” are also shown among immigrants with the capacity to become historically autonomous.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeElabor-Idemudia, Patience; Cheng, Hongming; Wason-Ellam, Linda
Copyright DateNovember 2013
CMA of Vancouver