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The Use of Human Capital and Limitations of Social Capital in Advancing Economic Security among Immigrant Women Living in Central Alberta, Canada

Choon-Lee Chai (), Kayla Ueland () and Tabitha Phiri ()
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Choon-Lee Chai: Department of Sociology, Red Deer College, Red Deer, AB T4N 5H5, Canada
Kayla Ueland: Faculty of Law, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N42, Canada
Tabitha Phiri: Center Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association, Red Deer, AB T4N 4A3, Canada

Social Sciences, 2018, vol. 7, issue 11, 1-25

Abstract: In this research, the challenges of using human capital and the effectiveness of social capital as an alternative resource used by immigrant women from non-English-speaking countries living in Central Alberta for them to attain economic security are studied. Evidence indicates heavy use of bonding social capital by immigrant women—primarily through family, ethnic, and religious networks—as a “survival” resource at the initial stage of settlement. The bonding social capital is relatively easy to access; nevertheless, in the case of visible minority immigrant women living in Central Alberta, bonding social capital has limited capacity in helping them to obtain economic security because their family and friends themselves often lack economic resources. As a result, these immigrant women are expected to compete in the labor market using their human capital to obtain higher-paying jobs. The challenge among immigrant women remains in seeking recognition of non-Canadian credentials, and/or successful acquisition and deployment of Canadian credentials in the primary labor market.

Keywords: immigrant women; economic security; human capital; social capital; settlement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A B N P Y80 Z00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:7:y:2018:i:11:p:220-:d:180637