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The Composition and Structure of Immigrants Network in Canada: the case of Ghanaian Immigrants in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area

Authors: Emmanuel Kyeremeh*, , Godwin Arku, Western University, Eunice Akua Annan-Aggrey, Western University
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Migration, Canada
Keywords: personal networks, Ghanaian immigrants, migration project, context of reception
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In large immigrant receiving societies like Canada, the personal network of the immigrant plays a vital role in their integration. Members of the immigrants’ personal network, which consist of the family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances, offer diverse forms of assistance that may enhance their integration. In light of this, the current study examines the personal networks of one of the recent immigrants groups in Canada. Using an ego-network analysis and interviews with Ghanaian immigrants in the Toronto census metropolitan area, the study reveals the diversity of configurations of their personal networks. The findings indicate that the personal network of Ghanaian immigrants consist of ties with fellow Ghanaians that are created in Canada, increased or sustained ties with Ghanaians in Ghana and the diaspora and few contacts with members of the host society. The nature of this network is explained by examining the migration project of immigrants prior to migrating together with the context of reception in Canada. The results show that the desire to stay permanently in Canada and making Canada their second home drives them to create ties with their co-ethnics. In addition, results indicate that the presence of Ghanaian association and religious organizations, which may be facilitated by Canadian multicultural policies, creates the avenue for them to form ties with their co-ethnics. Overall, immigrants acknowledge the importance of members of the host society towards their integration but associate their integration to other factors including the presence of an existing community in Canada

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