Portuguese and Chinese Immigrants in Canada

A comparative look at how Portuguese and Chinese immigrants have integrated into Canadian society.

This paper compares the Portuguese and Chinese immigrant groups in terms of how they have integrated into Canadian society over the past 20-30 years. The paper finds that the Portuguese have integrated into Canadian society better than the Chinese due to their European background and the fact that they are working class whereas Chinese Asians are often wealthy. The paper also notes cultural and racial differences between these two groups that have impacted their integration into Canadian society.
“In comparing the Portuguese and the Chinese immigrants groups and their integration into Canadian society two primary issues emerge: race and class. The issue of race is obvious, given that the Portuguese are of European heritage, while the Chinese are of Asian background. In this way, culture overlaps with race in that the Portuguese share a similar racial and cultural background (white European) with the dominant English and French groups in Canada, while the Chinese are very different from the European population in terms of both culture and race. The greater difference can be expected to make the Chinese integration more difficult than that of the Portuguese. However, researchers in the field of immigration have also noted the surprising importance of class in affecting integration. In terms of the comparison of the Portuguese and the Chinese, this factor certainly plays a role.”