Alone in Paradise: Exploring the Intersections of Gender, Ethnicity, Single Motherhood, Social Class, and Immigration

Authors

  • Gia Lam Athabasca University
  • Sandra Collins Athabasca University
  • Gina Wong Athabasca University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v56i1.69055

Abstract

There is a paucity of research that is centred on cross-cultural transitioning for single mothers who immigrate to Canada. Focusing on the intersections of gender, ethnicity, social class, single motherhood, and immigration increases the understanding of challenges affecting single, immigrant mothers. As part of a qualitative description study, we examined the complex experiences of immigrant women who had navigated cross-cultural transitions and single motherhood through the lens of their intersecting cultural identities and social locations. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit single, immigrant mothers from multiple counselling agencies in a western Canadian city. Content analysis of six semi-structured interviews elucidated the women’s experience experiences of gender and mothering discourses within various social contexts, the impact of intersectionality on their acculturation processes in Canada, their relationships with their children, and the challenges of economic and psychosocial acculturation. One overarching theme that was related to the contrasts between the women’s former world and new world formed a lens through which they made meaning of their lived experiences. Implications for counselling and social services are provided.

Author Biographies

Gia Lam, Athabasca University

Gia Lam is a registered psychologist in good standing with the College of Alberta Psychologists. She is passionate about supporting individuals in making positive and lasting changes in their lives. She completed her master of counselling at Athabasca University. Her research interests include cross-cultural transitioning for immigrant populations and single motherhood.

Sandra Collins, Athabasca University

Sandra Collins is a registered psychologist and a professor of counselling psychology in the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University. Her research and teaching focus on culturally responsive and socially just counselling practice, with a particular emphasis on creating open-source teaching and learning resources.

Gina Wong, Athabasca University

Gina Wong is a registered psychologist and a professor in the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University. Gina is a maternal and motherhood researcher, scholar, and practitioner. She specializes in reproductive mental health and has expertise in early parenting.

Published

2022-06-14

How to Cite

Lam, G., Collins, S., & Wong, G. (2022). Alone in Paradise: Exploring the Intersections of Gender, Ethnicity, Single Motherhood, Social Class, and Immigration. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 56(1), 70–107. https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v56i1.69055

Issue

Section

Articles/ Articles