A Case Study of the Vietnamese in Toronto: Contesting Representations of the Vietnamese in Canadian Social Work Literature
Keywords:Vietnamese-Canadians, Vietnamese refugees, Toronto, Canada, social work, intergroup conflict, community belonging, critical multiculturalism, exceptionalism
This article argues that the lived experiences and challenges of the Vietnamese community in Toronto are not reflected in the social work literature that continues to represent them as exceptional refugees. Over forty years after the fall of Saigon, a qualitative research study, “Discrimination in the Vietnamese Community, Toronto,” reveals that the Vietnamese community continues to experience intergroup conflicts stemming from war- and displacement-mediated identities of region, class, and temporal periods of migration. A critical review of the social work literature, using the theoretical lens of critical multiculturalism, traces the construction of the Vietnamese Canadians as successful “boat people” as part of the larger narrative of multiculturalism. This discourse of exceptionalism allows the needs of those who fall outside the constructed identity to remain unseen and underserved. Participant responses from this small pilot study will inform future investigation into the impact of intergroup conflicts hidden under the veneer of successful integration and adaptation of refugee and migrant groups.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2016 Anh Ngo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Refuge authors retain the copyright over their work, and license it to the general public under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License International (CC BY-NC 4.0). This license allows for non-commercial use, reproduction and adaption of the material in any medium or format, with proper attribution. For general information on Creative Commons licences, visit the Creative Commons site. For the CC BY-NC 4.0 license, review the human readable summary.