Interracial Marriages in the Canadian Society

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As the population in Canada continue to be more diverse ethnoculturally, a greater opportunity develops to form relationships with a person from a different ethnoculturally. In Canada, from 1960 onwards, the new immigrants are majorly non-European immigrants, but a substantial number of people are of Asian origins (Lee & Boyd, 2008)). According to Statistics Canada (2009), 58% of all immigrants in 2006 were Asian immigrants. The prevalence for intermarriages varies for specific visible minority group and by factors like marital status, sex, age, and residential place within Canada and socio-economic characteristics such as labor force and education have also been linked to intermarriages. Study on interracial marriages is important since such relationships show a reflection of other diversity aspects in Canadian family today and an indicator of predicting the assimilation levels among immigrants (Gordon, 1964). It also has a potential impact on identification with a visible minority group and social inclusion.

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Since the nineteenth century, interracial marriage has been increasing in Canada. New immigrants are mainly non-European immigrants the marital choice of immigrants is an indicator that predicts the level of racial boundaries in the host country. Marriage is defined either as exogamy or endogamy. Endogamy refers to marriage within a specific social group or the prevention of marriages between different ethnic groups. Exogamy is the marriage between spouses who belong to a different ethnic group (Mann, 1993). The study of Canadas immigrants settlements increases the understanding of the current situation in Canada (Hua, 2011). From the census done in 2006. 3.9 % of 7,482,800 Canadian couples were in interracial marriages. This can be attributed to many reasons. For example, more mixed unions are formed when individuals, meet, interact and form relationship in various, educational, work-related or social settings. The growth can also be due to increasing in a number of people in the visible minority groups; this results in a higher potential for individuals to meet spouses from outside their ethnic group.

In Canada, the correlation between the earnings of husbands and wives has been rising. This reflects the fact that there is a tendency of educated men and women to marry each other and form families with high income (Kenworthy, 2004). Intermarriage was more common in Filipinos, Koreans and Japanese than any other Asian ethnic group. This can be partly explained by the different immigration and settlement histories. Fathers education was associated with the socio-economic status of the family. This was a strong predicting factor for the childrens exogamy. Immigrant children from families of higher socioeconomic status were more likely to be connected with the homeland since their parents had stronger connections with the homeland that would influence the marital choices of their children (Hua, 2011). Chinese was the first Asians to immigrate to North America starting in the mid-19th century. Many of them worked in gold mines and railways. The Chinese Exclusion Act passed in USA and Regulate Chinese Immigration passed in Canada led to a decline in the population of Chinese until after World War II.

In contrast, Japanese who arrived after the Chinese established their families via traditions like picture brides despite the restricted immigration. There was a higher number of Canadian born Japanese than Chinese. This has also contributed to the higher interracial marriages among Japanese. Most Canadian Chinese consisted of immigrants who came to Canada as part of new immigration. When immigrant children of Chinese are choosing their spouse, Chinese parents do not impose their choices on children, but they continue with their role as facilitators through their social networks (Hua, 2011). The first Japanese settled in Canada along the BC coast with a number of them settling on Vancouvers Powell St, and in Stevenson. A majority of them were moved to internment camps in northern Ontario and were never able to come back.

Despite laws that restricted access to resources to Asian immigrants, Japanese immigrants were successful economically in their farming. This made the white farmers who contended with the immigrants economically, felt threatened and they resented them (Modell, 1977). The Japanese achievements were principally the result of the government of Japanese selecting immigration laborers in a careful manner (Azuma, 2005). Their financial achievements made them reasonable marriage partners for the whites. Although intermarriage was legally restricted, those with determination found ways like marrying in the Washington state where the minority group had repelled the ant miscegenation laws. Both Chinese and Japanese Canadians had the same geographic pattern of immigration. They both arrived at Port cities and then dispersed outwards. The Japanese settlers had a different experience from the Chinese Canadians. They were more educated and skillful than the Chinese. Most Japanese worked as fishermen whereas Chinese were more of semi-skilled or unskilled indentured laborers. Also, the Japanese had less restrictive policies of immigration. From the recent research done, Japanese was shown to have the greatest potential marrying outside their minority group (Milan, Maheux & Chui, 2010). Educational attainment affects the possibility of interracial marriages. Couples, where wives have higher educational achievements, are more likely to intermarry than educational homogamous couples (Tzeng, 2003).

The article gives a comparison of Canadian and USA Asian integration utilizing intermarriage as an indicator of integration. The results show more similarities and highlight the importance of gender, immigrant generation, and Asian ethnicity on intermarriage in both countries. The main difference is the lower Asian exogamy in Canada. This reflects the country differences in composition, demographic history, and distribution of Asian populations. The likelihood of exogamy to increase in both countries is high, and this is a representation of Asian social integration in USA and Canada. The intermarriage variations are brought about by education, age, immigration generation, Asian ethnic group, gender and other socio-demographic features. Younger age role in intermarriage is related to social attitudes and intermarriage norms. Educated people have greater opportunities of meeting potential spouses from a different ethnical background. High-income couples are more likely to practice exogamy than low-income couples. Previous research on Asian intermarriages reveals that women have a higher tendency to intermarry than men (Lee and Edmonston, 2005).

The arguments in the article included pertinent historical context and conclusions of scenes not found in the article were made the interpretations of the main argument on the differences in interracial marriages between two countries was persuasive. Although the authors arguments failed to explore ideas within the main scope of argument and use of evidence and use of evidence was ineffective. A way to reduce the difference in intermarriages between the two groups is the use of an official language. When both spouses do not speak an official language, the chances of intermarriage is reduced. The capability of negotiating life in a host society using an official language aids the immigrants to achieve economic and social assimilation which facilitate intermarriage (Tzeng, 2003).

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