Exploring individual level resilience

The purpose of this research is to start to unpack migrant resilience at the individual level by studying professional migrants who have been identified as 'successful' in their adaptation and integration in Canada. This group of respondents comes from the Canadian Immigrant Awards database (winners from 2009 to 2017). With current descriptive/nomination data for 25 winners over the last 9 years, we hope to achieve the following three goals: Understanding the multifaceted basis of what makes immigrants successful and worthy of the nomination; in depth exploration of stories of winners (through qualitative interviews), and finally a Survey of the Winners as well as additional group of migrant job seekers (comparison group of individuals currently in the coping phase) to understand indicators of success through quantitative method and to complement earlier qualitative phase.

Knowledge Mobilization is a key aspect of this partnership and we plan to create one information workshop in early 2018 to disseminate our findings from the study on Individual Resilience factors as well as our Resilience Pathways model. This will allow other collaborators to learn and integrate these findings in other ongoing projects within our partnership. Secondly, we will devise a special version of this workshop for Settlement sector and agencies that are integral part of this partnership.

  • Summer 2017- Stage 1 (prep for Stage 2) - mainly exploration of existing data, understanding of pathways to success/ literature review and preparation of the interview protocol. In August 2017 first pilot interviews will be conducted. The student will also be learning about the literature on migrant integration as well as career success and resilience and exploring various measures of potential use in the survey at a later time.
  • Fall 2017 - Stage 2 - In depth interview with 30-50 Canadian Award winners - As each interview is conducted our transcriber will be doing transcription shortly after so that we can be analyzing some initial data during actual interview process. This will help to fine tune our interview protocol.
  • Winter 2018 - Stage 2 (Analysis and planning of Stage 3): In this period the researchers and the PhD student will be conducting in depth analysis of the interviews and writing first reports. We will also aim to start writing the Academic paper #1at the same time using both Stage 1 findings from the short bios of the winners and actual interviews. We will also reflect on the research findings and the process and decide how to structure the Stage 3 (surveys of winners and job seekers).

Principal Investigators:

  • Jelena Zikic, Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director School of HRM, York University jelenaz@yorku.ca
  • Jeffrey Reitz, Professor, University of Toronto
  • Roya Rashidi, PhD student, York U
Community Partners:
  • Canadian Immigrant Magazine/RBC, in the second phase potentially other settlement agencies and immigrant groups (e.g., COSTI, AccessEmployment PINs)

What is our approach?

This research will respond to the following questions: What makes an immigrant succeed in the local society? What kind of personality, social and societal factors may support this success? What is the role of other institutions involved in potentially helping to shape the labour market success of a migrant? How do personal vs. institutional factors interact in the context of migrant career success? These are all issues of current value for the settlement sector as well as policy makers.