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Learning as sociocultural practice: Chinese immigrant professionals negotiating differences and identities in the Canadian labour market

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The last few decades have witnessed both an expansion and a transformation of immigration flows, which pose significant challenges with respect to how people work with differences across culture and space. Against this background, this paper explores how some Chinese immigrant engineers respond to differences in the Canadian labour market. It not only examines some of the learning practices engaged by the immigrants as they negotiate professional niches and professional identities, but also demonstrates how their learning process is socially mediated. In particular, it shows that licensure processes and immigrant settlement services are instrumental in entering immigrants into the cultural and social order in the Canadian labour market. It pinpoints a lack of recognitive justice in the ways in which immigrants' learning processes are institutionally reshaped. Informed by the sociocultural approach, this paper treats learning as a social participatory process, through which individual identities are constituted and reconstituted.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Educational Studies,University of British Columbia, Canada 2: Faculty of Education,University of Calgary, Canada

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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