Emigration of Scottish steelworkers to Canada: impacts on social networks

Newbold, K. B., Watson, S. and Ellaway, A. (2014) Emigration of Scottish steelworkers to Canada: impacts on social networks. Population, Space and Place, (doi: 10.1002/psp.1852)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp.1852


Throughout the 1960s–1980s, many steelworkers emigrated from the regions in and around Glasgow, Scotland, seeking better economic opportunities in other industrial cities, including Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. However, little is known about how this move affected the social networks of the steelworkers and their families at the time of immigration and how their social networks had evolved over time. Fifteen former Scottish steelworkers living in the Hamilton area and the daughter of one deceased steelworker were interviewed for this study. Immigration to Canada had clearly disrupted their social networks, as many experienced the loss of valued relationships with parents, neighbours, and co-workers left behind in Scotland. These losses led to homesickness for many steelworkers and their wives and had driven some families back to their home country. Despite cultural similarities to the broader population, the steelworkers still experienced social isolation at times that limited their ability to form supportive networks (particularly with co-workers and neighbours). Over time, a change in lifestyle as a result of immigration increased social advantages in Canada, and involvement in recreational sports contributed to the strengthening of relationships (particularly with their immediate family members and fellow Scottish immigrants) and the formation of new social networks, albeit ones that differed from those they had left behind in Scotland. This study helped to identify circumstances that both challenge and ease the formation of social networks for immigrants and contribute to our understanding of how context influences the evolution of social networks for new arrivals.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ellaway, Dr Anne
Authors: Newbold, K. B., Watson, S., and Ellaway, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Population, Space and Place
ISSN (Online):1544-8452
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Population, Space and Place
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656631Neighbourhoods and HealthAnne EllawayMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/8IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU