Population Change and Lifecourse

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2010 Projects

2011 Graduate Research Development Conference

The conference builds on the foundations of the 2009 Graduate Research Development Conference. It aims to provide students with valuable presentation skills, allow students to interact with experts in their area of interest, help create knowledge mobilization networks, and increase the level of interaction between the newer and the more established researchers in Canadian demographic studies. This knowledge mobilization project, a one-day student conference to be organized by Stacey Hallman andGeorgios Fthenos of the Department of Sociology, University of Western Ontario, will be held immediately prior to the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Population Society at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Fredericton, New Brunswick, in May-June 2011. Papers concerning some aspect of population change or life course studies, either contemporary or historical, will be solicited from approximately 10 graduate students. Participating students will be matched with one or two experts who will give commentary on the paper and on the presentation, including the strengths as well as areas in which the student can improve.

Cluster support for the project: $11,500

Thinking family and life transitions, rethinking public policies

August 26-27, University of Ottawa

The objective of this conference is to provide an opportunity to analyse some of the transitional events that permit us to see the dynamics underlying families. More than a social category, the family evolves and transforms itself through key transitions that are often studied – the arrival of a new member (marriage or union, birth, adoption), or the departure of one (death, separation, divorce, moving out of the parental home) – or through transitions that occur in social roles (work, mutual help, kinships, etc.). Some transitions such as residential mobility and migration are less often studied, even though they have a strong impact on the temporal and spatial organization of families. Analyzing these transitions enables us to understand how social networks and interactions evolve, and whether they are influenced by these changes in families. Throughout this conference, we will see how studying the life course – and thus analyzing transitions – leads us to revisit the social representations of the family that influence policy-makers. We will give particular attention to the way families nowadays experience social spaces and temporality. Through a multidisciplinary approach, we will examine the link between public policies and the different representations of the family. This conference is organized by The University of Ottawa’s RGILSC, the Research Group on Interactions, Life Paths and Social Choices. This group was co-founded by Stéphanie Gaudet, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and by Maurice Lévesque and Nathalie Burdone.

Cluster support for the proposed project: $3000

Understanding the Populations of the Past: Developments and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

The Federation of Canadian Demographers (FCD), led by Danielle Gauvreau, Alain Gagnon, Marc Tremblay, and Kevin McQuillan, is organizing a conference on June 1-2, at Concordia University, Montreal on the occasion of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Conference aims at bringing together demographers and historians to help build a longer view and a deeper understanding of the Canadian population’s past and present. In Canada, newly available digitized census samples (1911-1951) and their corresponding contextual data open up new opportunities for comparative and longitudinal studies; more than ever, they make it possible to move beyond the traditional divide between high-quality Catholic parish registers and more limited quality sources for the non-catholic population. Added to the already existing availability of other digitized censuses from the 19th century, all this new information provides opportunities to develop a long term view on the settlement and the socio-demographic context of the lives of Canadians. Linked to one another, information on individuals from successive censuses allows life course analyses for long periods of time and at the scale of the entire country.

Cluster support for the project: $2,500

International Metropolis Workshop

A Life Course Perspective on Immigrants and Immigration Policy: An International Metropolis Workshop

The Cluster thematic committee on Immigrants ant Migrants, led by Barry Edmonston, is proposing to organize a workshop at the International Metropolis Conference in The Hague, The Netherlands, 4-8 October 2010. The International Metropolis Conference is the most important and well-attended annual meeting of representatives from universities, governments, businesses, and non-government organizations with an interest in international migration. This proposed project builds on a workshop sponsored by the Immigrants and Migrants Committee, to be held on 4 June 2010 at Centre Urbanisation, Culture et Société of the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Montréal. The workshop in Montréal includes 11 research papers dealing with lifecourse perspectives on immigration. The International Metropolis Conference provides an excellent opportunity for dissemination of the results of the June workshop to a larger and different audience.

Cluster support for the proposed project: $6375

Project Final Report

2010 Socio-Economic Conference of Statistics Canada

The Statistics Canada's 2010 Socio-Economic Conference, held on April 26-27 at the Palais des congrès de Gatineau, provides a forum for empirical research focusing on issues of concern in Canadian public policy. The conference targets studies discussing emerging economic trends and their underlying causes, the ability of various groups to participate in society and the economy, recent research on health, justice and the environment. The Conference focuses on studies directly relevant to Canada, while at the same time welcoming comparative international studies that shed light on Canadian public policy issues. It places a premium on empirical studies making innovative use of Canadian data. The Cluster's participation includes the organization of 6 Contributed Sessions: (a) Aging Workforces/Older Workers: Challenges and Opportunities, (b) Canadian Families and Policy Challenge,(c) Immigrant Integration, (d) Public policies and health inequalities, (e) The Cost of Caregiving, (f) Social Participation. A number of members will also be presenting contributed papers, chair sessions, and act as discussants. On the occasion of the Conference, the Cluster will hold a meeting with its Advisory Council and Leadership Group, and a Meeting of the Whole.

Children’s Health & the Environment: International Workshop on Research, Policy and Practice

The physical environment plays a vital role in development through the lifecourse. Engaging play spaces, stimulating learning environments, safe and sturdy shelter, vibrant public spaces, well-connected neighbourhood pathways, accessible public transport, and protected natural environments all contribute to the personal growth, education, and healthy development of children through adulthood. Indeed, developing child-friendly environments is not only beneficial for children and young people, but for entire communities. But how should we work toward creating healthy, supportive environments for children and youth? This is the question that will be tackled in workshop on June 28-30 at the University of Western Ontario organized by a team lead by Jason Gilliland, Associate Professor of Geography. The thematic focus of the Conference will be on the relationship between children’s health and the environment, and aims at the identification of effective ways of creating healthier environments for children and youth of all backgrounds.

Cluster funding for the project: $8,000

Project Final Report

Aboriginal Employment Symposium

It is well known that lower levels of employment and labour force participation are ongoing problems for Canadian Aboriginal populations, particularly in Aboriginal communities. However urban Aboriginal peoples are also more likely to experience difficulties in the labour market than are other Canadians. Unlike some areas in which there are relatively large urban Aboriginal populations, such as the Prairies, employers in medium sized cities in Southern Ontario may be relatively unaware of either the presence of local Aboriginal populations, or have poor links with local Aboriginal communities. This is despite the fact that many firms may be willing to employ Aboriginal people, or motivated to have better relationships with local communities. This Symposium brings Aboriginal youth, potential employers and educators together in order to discuss and explore themes related to Aboriginal youth and employment. The topics of the Symposium will include: characteristics , size, and dynamics of the local Aboriginal population; aspects of the lives of Aboriginal youth; the importance of early employment and training opportunities; and training opportunities for Aboriginal youth in the local area. The Symposium is a project of Martin Cooke of University of Waterloo, Gus Hill of York University, and Jennifer McWhirter of University of Waterloo.

Cluster funding for the project: $1,650 Project Withdrawn

Synthesis Paper: Characteristics and Key Needs of Urban Aboriginal Populations in Southern Ontario

The goal of this project is to summarize and present the existing knowledge regarding urban Aboriginal populations, the changes in these populations and the major needs in these populations, to urban service provider organizations. In order to help address some of these issues, we propose a Synthesis Paper that would review the existing literature on: 1) the composition and change of urban Aboriginal populations, 2) the social and health service needs of this population, and 3) the literature on the best practices for service providers dealing with Aboriginal clients. That paper will be summarized in a Policy Brief, a four‐page summary aimed at service providers and made available on the PCLC website. The third component is a Fact Sheet for urban service providers. This one‐page sheet would further present key messages from the synthesis paper and the research brief in a form that is easily distributed to front‐line service provider staff. These fact sheets would be distributed by e‐mail and mail to social and health service providers in: Windsor, London, Kitchener‐Waterloo, Stratford, Cambridge, Hamilton, and Guelph.

Project team: Martin Cooke, University of Waterloo; Gus Hill, York University, and Jennifer McWhirter of University of Waterloo.
Cluster funding for the project: $5885

Discussion Paper (1)1: The Social and Health Service Needs of Aboriginal Peoples in Smaller Urban Centres in Southern Ontario
Research Brief #13:The Social and Health Service Needs of Aboriginal Peoples in Urban Southern Ontario

Workshop to Broaden Understanding of Senior Housing Issues

Using Community Action to Broaden Understanding of Caregiving and Seniors Housing Issues in an Aging Population

A workshop co-sponsored by the Population Change and Lifecourse Strategic Knowledge Cluster (PCLC) and the Atlantic Seniors Housing Research Alliance (ASHRA) will be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland on May 20-21, 2010. The project team is co-lead by community representative, Kelly Heisz, Executive Director, Seniors Resource Centre, Newfoundland and academic, Judy-Lynn Richards, Associate Professor, UPEI and Adjunct Researcher, University of Western Ontario. The purpose of this workshop is to broaden understanding about caregiving and seniors’ housing issues in an aging population by 1) imparting knowledge on these issues to users 2) having users create community-specific action plans on these issues and 3) providing research content to workshop organizers and participants who can then share this knowledge with others so they can learn from and use the strategies. This workshop will promote a better understanding on these seniors issues and it will further inform policy and research practice. Specifically, in this workshop researchers will share their findings on caregiving from their study, Social Inclusion of the Oldest-old (85+): Toward Supportive Housing Policies. It will also move forward the knowledge translation agenda of ASHRA, which includes increasing the usage of the findings of its study on housing needs and preferences of seniors in Atlantic Canada.

Cluster funding for the project: $8420.50

Learning through Life: Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning

Tom Schuller, Associate Director of National Institute of Adult Continuing Education and the Director of The Commission of Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning in the United Kingdom, made a presentation on "Learning through Life" in January 13, 2010 at the Demography Colloquium Series of the Population Studies Centre of the University of Western Ontario. The talk was co-sponsored by the Cluster through its thematic committee on Lifelong Learning. Dr Schuller, together with Paul Belanger, Professor , Université du Québec à Montréal, and Cluster thematic committee leader on Lifelong Learning, also met with a group of faculty members, researchers, and students at the Department of Sociology for a discussion of lifelong learning over the life course in Canada and in other countries.

At the Research Data Centre of the University of Western Ontario

The Western RDC has launched its RDC@Western Research Highlights (formerly its e-Newsletter) featuring published papers based on research done at the Research Data Centre. The featured paper is presented at the RDC Brown Bag Series that focuses on the implications of the research findings.

Papers of Cluster members recently featured include: