This book examines the social organization of recent immigrant South Asian women’s mothering work. It explicates the processes that contribute to those belonging to this social group making changes to their mothering work after immigrating to Canada despite having reservations about doing so. The book draws its findings from interviews with 20 South Asian immigrant mothers who were raising school aged children in Canada and had been in the country for less than five years. Government policies, websites and newspaper reports also form important data sources for this study. Using institutional ethnography, the book shows the disjuncture between the mothering work of the South Asian immigrant woman and institutionally backed neoliberal discourses in Canada around mothering, schooling and immigrant employment. It highlights the manner in which the settlement experiences for South Asian immigrant women can become stressful and complicated by the changes that these women are required to make in line with these institutional discourses. The study explicates how the work of immigrant mother in the settlement process changes over time as she participates in social relations that require her to raise her children as autonomous responsible citizens who can participate in a neoliberal economy characterised by precarious work. The research that informs this book has implications for the social work profession, which is connected in many ways to the settlement experiences of immigrant women.
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"Dr. Chaze’s work is based on in-depth interviews with South Asian immigrant mothers about their everyday experience, therefore recognizing the “authority of experience” – the interviewed women. Consequently, Dr. Chaze’s research enhances the reader’s understanding of exactly what happens when these immigrant mothers are settling in Canada, various stressors and coping strategies used, the role of their culture and its impact on their mothering. This work is a powerful tool for all service providers working with or intervening in the lives of South Asians in Canada, in that it decodes South Asian immigrant parenting. In a nutshell, this research breaks down an abstract complex term of “settlement needs and challenges of South Asian immigrant women” into a concrete, actionable framework. [...] Studies such as The Social Organization of South Asian Immigrant Women’s Mothering in Canada should move beyond academia and change people’s knowledge, understanding, and attitudes towards these social issues. This research fills a gap in the literature in relation to immigrant mothers and their settlement experiences and highlights the need to revise governmental policies such as immigration, housing, employment, child welfare, and other policies that negatively impact newcomer women and families, and warns that failure to do so would continue to marginalize these women in Canadian society."Archana MedhekarCertified Family Law Specialist and Accredited Family MediatorAssociation of Family and Conciliation Courts Spring Newsletter, Issue 19 (2018)
Dr Ferzana Chaze is Professor in the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies at Sheridan College, Canada. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, Canada, and the University of Mumbai, India, and a PhD in Social Work from York University, Canada. Her teaching and research interests include a focus on immigrants and their settlement, diversity and inclusion, social policy, and research methods.