Ethno-cultural diversity in home care work in Canada

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Anne Martin-Matthews
Joanie Sims-Gould
John Naslund


Worldwide, immigrant workers are responsible for much of the care provided to elderly people who require assistance with personal care and with activities of daily living. This article examines the characteristics of immigrant home care workers, and the ways in which they differ from non-migrant care workers in Canada. It considers circumstances wherein the labor of care is framed by ethno-cultural diversity between client and worker, interactions that reflect the character of this ethno-cultural diversity, and the strategies employed by workers to address issues related to this diversity. Findings from a mixed methods study of 118 workers in the metropolitan area of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, indicate that while the discriminatory context surrounding migrant home care workers persists, issues of ethno-cultural diversity in relationships are complex, and can also involve non-foreign born workers.

Multi-cultural home care is not always framed in a negative context, and there often are positive aspects.


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