Transnationalism, Citizenship and Sense of Belonging among Elderly Hong Kong Immigrants in Canada

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Li, Ka Ming
Previous research has looked into the life experiences of middle-aged and younger Hong Kong immigrants in Canada, while the unique experiences of elderly Hong Kong immigrants have not been analyzed in detail. This research aims to fill the gap by focusing on the transnational linkages, concepts of citizenship and sense of belonging among elderly Hong Kong immigrants. It analyzes their multigenerational transnational family arrangements and experiences of racism. Through questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews with thirty-five elderly Hong Kong immigrants residing in Vancouver at the time of data collection, it is shown that they engage in transnationalism to satisfy emotional needs instead of for economic reasons; they hold a high rate of dual citizenship and have a strong sense of belonging and commitment to Canada despite limited citizenship participation and language barriers; and they do not perceive encountering serious racism in their daily lives in Canada despite language and educational constraints. Being mostly grandparents and not in the workplace, their multigenerational transnational family arrangements also impact on their sense of belonging and overall immigration experience. This research acts as one of the first steps to further exposing the unique experiences of elderly immigrants in Canada.
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