The New African Diaspora in Vancouver documents the experiences of immigrants from countries in sub-Saharan Africa on Canada's west coast. Despite their individual national origins, many adopt new identities as 'African' and are actively engaged in creating a new, place-based 'African community.' In this study, Gillian Creese analyzes interviews with sixty-one women and men from twenty-one African countries to document the gendered and racialized processes of community-building that occur in the contexts of marginalization and exclusion as they exist in Vancouver. Creese reveals that the routine discounting of previous education by potential employers, the demeaning of African accents and bodies by society at large, cultural pressures to reshape gender relations and parenting practices, and the absence of extended families often contribute to downward mobility for immigrants. The New African Diaspora in Vancouver maps out how African immigrants negotiate these multiple dimensions of local exclusion while at the same time creating new spaces of belonging and emerging collective identity.
Gillian Creese is the director of the Centre for Women's and Gender Studies and a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia.
Acknowledgments Introduction: Migration, Diaspora Spaces, and 'Canadianness' 1 A New African Diaspora 2 Erasing Linguistic Capital 3 Downward Mobility, Class Dislocation, and Labour Market Barriers 4 Reproducing Difference at Work 5 Gender, Families, and Transitions 6 Identity and Spaces of Belonging 7 Practices of Belonging: Building the African Community Notes References