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Ethnic Identity Among Foreign-Born Chinese Canadian Elders*

  • Ellen M. Gee (a1)

Abstract

Based on data from a random sample of foreign-born Chinese elders (n = 708) interviewed in Vancouver and Victoria in 1995–96, this paper examines the extent, determinants, and consequences of ethnic identification. Of the respondents, who have a median age of 75 and a median age at immigration to Canada of 55, 49.3 per cent stated that they felt more Canadian than Chinese, 36.6 per cent felt more Chinese, and 14.1 per cent felt equally Chinese and Canadian. Logistic regression analysis is performed, in an attempt to discover the determinants of Chinese ethnic identity. Significant independent variables include: place of residence, age, years since immigration, English-speaking ability, and personal monthly income. Consequences of retention of Chinese ethnic identity are explored, in terms of religious affiliation, health-related behaviours, family variables, and well-being variables. Only well-being is affected by retention of Chinese identity, an effect that is negative and felt largely by women only.

En se fondant sur les données d'un échantillonnage aléatoire de personnes âgées d'origine chinoise nées à l'étranger (n = 708), interrogées à Vancouver et à Victoria en 1995–96, cet article examine l'importance, les facteurs déterminants et les conséquences de l'identification ethnique. Parmi les répondants dont la médiane d'âge est de 75 ans et qui avait une médiane d'âge de 55 ans lorsqu'ils ont immigré, 49,3 pour cent ont déclaré qu'ils se sentent plus canadiens que chinois, 36,6 pour cent se sentent plus chinois et 14,1 pour cent se sentent autant chinois que canadiens. L'analyse de régression logistique tente de découvrir les facteurs déterminants de l'identité ethnique chinoise. Les variables indépendantes significatives incluent le Heu de résidence, l'âge, le nombre d'années depuis l'immigration, la capacité de parler anglais et le revenu personnel mensuel. Les conséquences de la conservation de l'identité ethnique chinoise sont examinées, selon l'appartenance religieuse, les comportements liés à la santé, les variables familiales et celles liées au bien-être. La conservation de l'identité chinoise a des effets seulement sur le bien-être; ce sont des effets négatifs grandement ressentis uniquement par les femmes.

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References

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Ethnic Identity Among Foreign-Born Chinese Canadian Elders*

  • Ellen M. Gee (a1)

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