Date of Award

9-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

Supervisor

Tina Moffat

Language

English

Abstract

While immigration and immigrant health have received widespread attention in the social science and health literature, the phenomenon of non-migrant mobility - changing residence within a neighborhood or city - is less well-studied. This research examines interview findings in the context of available socioeconomic data to generate hypotheses about the relationship between mobility and health in the Hamilton neighborhood of Beasley. Since the period of Hamilton's industrial expansion in the late l800s, Beasley neighborhood has served as a landing point for new immigrants to Canada. While immigration remains a source of Beasley's high mobility rates, nonmigrant mobility (within census tract) accounts for a significant proportion of mobility within Beasley. The socioeconomic circumstances surrounding immigrant and nonmigrant moves are dissimilar. Immigrants to Canada are motivated by ''pull'' factors such as economic and educational opportunity, and increased access to health services for their families. Non-migrant movers are "pushed" to move by economic instability and a lack of affordable, quality housing. In addition, the health effects of mobility differ for immigrant and non-migrant movers. While existing studies suggest that immigrant health improves upon arrival (Hyman 2001), the health of non-migrant movers may be compromised by their mobility status. The thesis generates hypotheses for the study of urban mobility and concludes with methodological suggestions for future research.

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