Upcoming Events in March and April

1. Community Screening of Variety Survival Talkshow: more information and free tickets here.

2. Feminist Seminar: March 21, 2018 (Wed) 2-4pm; Room 240 (Soc Dept, 725 Spadina) (co-sponsored with Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Workshop)

Author: Sarah Shah (PhD student, U of Toronto)

Title: Great Expectations? Contextualizing Mental Health Outcomes of Intimate Partner Violence

Discussant: Cynthia Cranford (U of Toronto)

Abstract. Extant research indicates that women from more gender equitable countries enjoy higher levels of mental health than women from less equitable backgrounds. However, research also indicates that when women are confronted with unfair gendered interactions, they experience poor mental health outcomes. Whether women’s country of origin can shape mental health outcomes following experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) is, therefore, quite a perplexing puzzle. Does gender inequality of the country of origin affect the association between intimate partner violence and mental health outcomes among immigrant Canadian women? Is this relationship mediated or moderated by personal and social resources? This study is innovative in four distinct ways: first, it includes measures previously unused in IPV literature, including the Gender Inequality Index (GII) by year of immigration for country of origin, as well as levels of anger of the respondent and perceptions of mastery over the environment; second, it applies a hierarchal approach to analyzing the experiences of women as situated within social structures; third, it analyzes social and personal resources as well as country of origin in relation to outcomes following experiences of IPV, instead of analyzing IPV as an outcome; and finally, it uses primary data from a sample of Toronto women. Drawing on the stress process model and nested ecological framework theory, this study implements multilevel model techniques on the Neighborhood Effects on Health and Well-being (NEHW 2010) Study. Findings include that higher levels of gender equality correlated with higher rates of poor mental health following experiences of IPV, and that this relationship is mediated and buffered by mastery and social support, respectively. While I offer potential explanation for these findings using expectation states theory, I stress the actual mechanisms for these relationships remain are unknown. I conclude by discussing both the limitations of this study and directions for future research, including a call for nuanced understandings of the contextual effect of resources, stressors, and outcomes, with attention to the variance between these factors.

3. Feminist Seminar: April 25, 2018 (Wed) 2-4pm; Room 240 (Soc Dept, 725 Spadina) (co-sponsored with Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Workshop)

Author: Sohoon Lee (Postdoctoral Fellow, U of Toronto)

Title: Politics of informal bargaining: border and care labour in South Korea

Discussant: Fidan Elcioglu (U of Toronto)

Abstract. Although South Korea has no designated labour migration scheme for care work, migrant women comprise a substantial proportion of the country’s informal care workforce. Only a small fraction of the migrant care workers have their employment registered with the Ministry of Employment and Labor while the majority “prefer” finding their jobs through unofficial routes and working informally. This paper examines the meaning of public intervention in informal employment for migrant care workers by focusing on the politics of their labour. By comparing the stories of workers who are on temporary and long-term visas, the paper analyses what informality politics mean for migrant care workers who negotiate with their citizen-employers in the presence or the absence of the state.

Bio. Sohoon Lee is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto. Her postdoctoral research project explores the ‘informal’ politics between the migrant care workers and their employers in the liminal space of immigration, social protection and labour. Building upon her PhD thesis, she is currently working on a book manuscript on the temporality of ethno-kinship migration in South Korea through a combination of ethnography, in-depth personal and group interviews and analysis of laws and policies. Her research interests also include multicultural (damunhwa) policies in South Korea, return migrants and bottom-up development in Indonesia, and NGO-Trade Union relationship in migrant movement in South Korea. She has also undertaken consultancies with UN Women, Friedrich-Ebert- Stiftung (FES), and other NGOs to write on topics of migrant domestic workers, intersectionality and discrimination and labour rights protections in South Korea.