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Religiously Affiliated Settlement Agencies: Critical Actors in the Settlement System Presented By: John Biles* (Integration Branch) Prairie Metropolis and Beyond November 4-5, 2011 (Edmonton).
Religiously Affiliated Settlement Agencies: Critical Actors in the Settlement System
Presented By: John Biles*
Prairie Metropolis and Beyond
November 4-5, 2011 (Edmonton)
* Opinions expressed are those of the presenter, and do not necessarily reflect those of Integration Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada or the Government of Canada.
Service Provider Organizations – agencies that have CIC contribution agreements to deliver settlement services (Biles 2008)
Immigrant Serving Agencies “deliver services to newcomers that are not offered by other institutions, advocate change to discriminatory policies and practices, and assist mainstream organizations in adapting their models of education, service delivery and development within ethno-racial communities” (Beyene et al. 1996 in George et al. 2007).
Immigrant groups, organizations and service providers fulfill several important functions
(Cordero-Guzman 2005; Holder 1998):
“Studying immigrant organisations enables us to make better sense of the complex and dynamic developments that take place within immigrant communities” (Schrover and Vermeulen 2005).
Need to consider a partnership model with “mainstream” and “ethno-racial” family services delivering culturally sensitive services to diverse clientele (Bridgman 1993).
“Religion is a blind spot for public policy in Canada” (Biles and Ibrahim 2005).
“. . . we must include religion in theories of contemporary international migration. The ways in which migrants actively make use of existing cultural institutions, such as the church and religious practices, throughout various stages of the migration process, from the decision to migrate to the development of transnational communities, are critical to understanding contemporary international migration (Hagan and Ebaugh 2003).
“It is now becoming increasingly commonly accepted in public and academic discourse that religious groups have been at the forefront of settlement initiatives for decades, even centuries” (Bramadat and Biles 2005).
“While religious communities and religion per se now play minor roles in the setting of immigration levels, agreement on the mix, and definition of selection criteria, they continue to have a significant involvement in settlement and integration” (Biles and Ibrahim 2005).
Religious institutions can and do challenge the Canadian state (Lippert 2005, Biles 2005b)
“Surprisingly little has been written on the role of ethnicity in shaping Canada’s Christian churches” (Bramadat and Seljak 2008)
Participation in ethnic organizations facilitates political participation in Amsterdam (Fennema and Tillie 1999)
Not replicable in Brussels, although cross-cultural membership did correlate with increased political participation (Jacobs et al. 2004).
Overall religious affiliation does encourage voluntary group involvement (Lam 2002)
Religiously active are more active in volunteer work and demonstrate a strong spillover effect, suggesting that religious citizens also volunteer for more secular organizations (Ruiter and De Graaf 2006).
Religion’s influence on civic engagement goes beyond personal religiosity (Lam 2006)
“Volunteering to help others solve community problems is more likely among members of churches that emphasize this-worldy social concerns”; social pressure works (Wilson and Janoski 1995; Bekkers and Schuyt 2008)
Protestants/ “Other” / No religion are more likely to be members of voluntary associations than Catholics and Jews (Lam 2006, 2002)
To some degree religious organizations compete with secular organizations for the time and energy of members; attendance at religious services has a small negative effect on voluntary sector membership, except for Catholics where the reverse is true (Lam 2002; Becker and Dhingra 2001; Wilson and Janoski 1995).
What is it called? Voluntary, Not-for-Profit, Third Sector
What is it?
What Does it Do?
Twelve groupings: culture and recreation; education and research; health; social services; environment; development and housing; law, advocacy and politics; philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism; international; religion; business and profession associations; groups not elsewhere classified (Banting 2000)
How Does it Function?
“the election of the Conservative government under Stephen Harper has prompted civil society actors to strengthen their ties to their own members and to make alliances across sectors” (Holly 2009).
“The harsh reality – the real elephant in the room – is that while all agree on the value of a vibrant voluntary sector, the practice of several federal governments of cutting back capacity further over the past decade and a half has begun the process of systematically killing the sector by eliminating funding sources, adding administrative burdens to reduce project risk to zero, and transferring transaction costs to a sector ill-equipped to take them up” (Graham 2009, Banting 2000).
“Access to new transnational opportunities for migrants’ organised action is therefore not independent from the opportunities they have at the national level. . . For all the under-exploitation, it can therefore be claimed that a progressive movement towards a multi-levelled and multi-spacial [sic] participation and representation of migrants does appear to be already under way” (Danese 1998).
“In today’s post-modern era, religious communities have become vigorous creators of an emergent transnational society” (Rudolph 1997). Bramadat’s concern that this terminology is exclusionary (2005).
Today immigrant associations are considered as likely to be a continuation of pre-migration experience as a desire to assimilate (Moya 2005).
“Recent research shows that the claims of the transnationalists are exaggerated” (Fennema 2004).
Source: Agnes Meinhard and her team currently undertaking a research project funded under the National Metropolis Research Competition.
INSERT Calgary Model
Source: City of Calgary 2011
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