The Effects of Precarious Employment on Immigrant Chinese Canadian Fathers with Children in Middle Childhood

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Weng, Zhiyu
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University of Guelph

Given the prevalence of visible minority immigrants, especially Chinese workers, in precarious employment (PE), and the primacy of fathers’ economic provision role, the goals of this study were to explore: (1) immigrant Canadian Chinese fathers’ perception of their familial roles and involvement with their school-aged children; (2) the effects of their employment on fathering; and (3) their strategies to improve employment and meet work-family needs. Participants were eight immigrant Chinese Canadian fathers in PE. Semi-structured interviews were used in thematic analysis. It was found that parents closely coordinated in their daily family functioning. Mothers are also important income source. The findings revealed that besides actual tasks such as chores and childcare, fatherhood is also a “state of mind” and a “way of being”. Cognitive strategies were used to understand their experience and optimize their work and family lives such as turning challenges into teaching moments and designing a self-sustainable career path.

precarious employment immigrants, fathers, school-aged children, middle childhood, co-parenting