Asian Immigrants in “Two Canadas”

Racialization, Marginalization and Deregulated Work

By Habiba Zaman  

Paperback $21.00

Canada is experiencing a major demographic shift, with two-thirds of the population in major cities predicted to belong to racialized groups, particularly Asian newcomers, by 2031. But how are these immigrants faring in this new Canada? Employing the International Labour Organization’s concept of “basic security” and the voices of immigrants themselves, Asian Immigrants in “Two Canadas” demonstrates that their security – such as work, job, employment, and voice and representation – has been compromised in multi-dimensional ways. Changes to immigration policy and the neoliberal restructuring of the Employment Standards Act in British Columbia have led to further marginalization within the labour market and the creation of deregulated and hazardous workplaces – resulting in the emergence of “two Canadas” within the Canadian welfare state. Representing a diverse group of immigrants, this book demonstrates a shared experience of precariousness and insecurity – an experience that has led to a broad- based alliance of Asian immigrant workers aimed at addressing workplace security and rights.

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  • Introduction and Context
  • Economic Security, Decent Work, BC’s Employment Standards Act and Restructuring: Intersections and Crosswalks
  • Recent Immigrants: An Example of Racialized and Marginalized Space
  • Reproduction of Racialized Space:  Narratives about Dimensions of Security
  • Work Security: Deregulated Work Sustains Workplace Hazards
  • Individual and Collective Agency: Intersections of Basic Security and Asian Immigrants’ Lives
  • Conclusion: Vision for an Alliance
  • Appendices
  • References


  • Habiba Zaman

    HABIBA ZAMAN is a professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Workplace Rights for Immigrants in BC: The Case of Filipino Workers and Breaking the Iron Wall: Decommodification and Immigrants Women’s Labor in Canada.

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