Insight Out: Transnational Migration and Social Reproduction: Eldercare Work of Chinese Immigrant Women Professionals in Canada by Prof. Guida Man


LA&PS Professors received more than $2 million in 2020 Insight Grants from SSHRC. Keep reading the #LAPSInsightOut series to learn more about the amazing research happening in our Faculty.

Guida C. Man

Guida C. Man

Department of Sociology Professor Guida C. Man was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant valued at $99,980 for her research project “Transnational Migration and Social Reproduction: Eldercare Work of Chinese Immigrant Women Professionals in Canada.”

Professor Man is also a Faculty Associate at the Centre for Feminist Research, and the York Centre for Asian Research. Her research focuses on the interactions of im/migration and transnationalism, gender and work, Chinese immigrant families and communities, and social inequities in the context of global economic restructuring.

Her new project examines three fundamental areas of inquiry: transnational migration, eldercare (social reproduction), and global economic restructuring. It specifically investigates trends of immigrant women adopting transnational strategies to accomplish the work of eldercare in the context of globalization and transnationalism.

The research will be carried out mainly in Toronto and involves in-depth interviews with recent immigrant women from mainland China and Hong Kong. The conceptual framework of the study is informed by three interdisciplinary scholarly conventions: life history research (LH); institutional ethnography (IE); and intersectional gender, race, ethnicity, and class analysis (GREC).

Professor Man explains that one of the challenges of her work is making participants feel safe and comfortable in sharing their experiences. Care will be taken to help the participants reflect on how transnational migration transforms their eldercare work and how social reproductive responsibilities impinge on their employment. Man is interested in exploring women’s personal experiences. Since women are integral agents of a household, she is hoping to learn about the transnational migration strategies they devised to survive the adverse circumstances.

Her research is timely, and speaks to the current collapse of the eldercare systems, and the inevitable responsibility impinged on women in the home. The increasing duties of caring for children, the elderly, and the sick influence the mental and physical wellbeing of these women.

The scholarly contribution of the study is three-fold. First, it will add to existing literature on immigration and settlement, with a focus on the transnational migration of women professionals. Second, the study will fill information gaps on immigrant women by treating them as active agents, rather than seeing them as merely “affected” by the immigration process. Third, the results of the study will have implications for policies and practices at the local, national, and global level to address the needs of settlement as well as integration of immigrants.