Ann's research is largely motivated by questions related to the immigrant and ethnic integration process, and how this is shaped by social, economic and political conditions and institutions in places of origin and destination, social networks and social capital, families, culture, ethnic and racial communities, human capital and motivation, and the context of migration - including immigration policies and international relations.

A second area of research considers spatial manifestations of urban inequality and consequences for individuals, families and communities. Included in this area are topics such as residential patterns and residential segregation or residential integration, internal migration, residential mobility and homeownership, and neighbourhoods.

Current Projects

Insights from Canada's settlement sector: Exploring agency data on temporary migration (aka Agency Data on Migration (ADMIG) Project)

Principal Investigator

Partners: Luin Goldring, York; Luann Good Gingrich, York; Philip Kelly, York; Valerie Preston, York; John Shields, Ryerson

Community Partners: Access Alliance, Ontario Coalition of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Social Planning Toronto, World Education Services

projectAbstract: Temporary migrants are a vulnerable and less visible group in research studies because of the lack of data and access to them. To fill major gaps in our knowledge, there is potential to use and share the data collected by agencies. Analyses of reliable agency records would improve our understanding of this growing and increasingly at-risk group and thus better inform policy and program changes. ADMIG explores the feasibility of this potentially rich source of data – migrant agency data – to generate knowledge on immigrants, refugees, and other migrants.

An analysis of public and private discourses of education migration in Canadian schools: A case study of South Korean families


Partners: Eunjung Lee (PI), University of Toronto; Min-Jung Kwak, York University; Samuel Noh, University of Toronto; Wansoo Park, University of Windsor; Sung Hyun Yun, University of Windsor

Grant: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Standard Research Grant 2011-2014

tkfs logoAbstract: This study aims to understand how foreign students, their parents, and school personnel (i.e., teachers and administrators) experience, interpret, and negotiate the multiple (often conflicting) discourses of education migration, focusing on students in primary and secondary school systems. The objectives of the project are: (1) to analyze how immigration policy in Canada interlinks with education policies and practices of schools and school boards to frame a particular image of the education migrant; (2) to examine the expectations and lived experiences of education migration among students, parents, and school personnel; (3) to explicate differences between public and private discourses of education migration; and (4) to explore and disseminate strategies for addressing challenges and promoting positive experiences amongst student migrants.

Development, migration strategies and prospects for integration: Understanding contemporary transnationalism among South Korean families

Principal Investigator

Partners: Eunjung Lee, University of Toronto; Samuel Noh, University of Toronto; Wansoo Park, University of Windsor; Sung Hyun Yun, University of Windsor; Jose Itzigsohn, Brown University; Min-Jung Kwak, York University; Jeeseon Park (Ohio State University)

Grant: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Standard Research Grant 2009-2012

rose-of-sharonAbstract: The main objective of this program of research is to understand how South Korean family migration strategies and strategies of social reproduction are shaped by the global social and economic order and how the migration strategy, in turn, shapes the experiences of settlement and integration. We focus on several aspects including: 1. The determinants of contemporary transnational family migration versus intact family migration within a global economic context and notions of space in social reproduction; 2. The different settlement experiences between the two types of migrant families and their on-going connections to South Korea; and 3. The impact of the different types of familyhood on social integration and incorporation.

Worked to death: Gendered-racialized dimensions of economic security for later life Canadians


Partners: Nancy Mandell (PI), York University; Meg Luxton, York University; Valerie Preston, York University

Grant: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Standard Research Grant 2009-2012

piggy bankAbstract: In this project, we explore the gendered and racialized practices of economic security experienced by residents in Canada aged 55 and up. Using 2006 Census data, 6 focus groups and 30 in-depth interviews, we analyze the ways in which men and women’s encounters through the life course have shaped their understandings of economic security in later life. The general analytic framework guiding this investigation is intersectional and life course driven; that is, we pay attention to the ways in which gender and race intersect and are shaped by historical and social contexts within which older people engage in paid and unpaid work. By doing so, we hope to reveal the structural and individual contexts within which aged, gendered and racialized lives are moving into old age.

Past Projects

The mobility experiences of immigrants and the Canadian born, and homeownership

Principal Investigator

Grant: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) External Research Program 2008-2010

Abstract: Are immigrants less embedded in their places of settlement and more likely to move within Canada compared to the Canadian-born? And second, among immigrants and the Canadian born who relocate, for whom is it more likely to end in homeownership? Despite research interest in the internal migration of immigrants, there is a lack of attention on their residential mobility and the processes associated with homeownership. While the two types of mobility (i.e. internal migration and residential mobility) are conceptually distinct, their juxtaposition will prove insightful on immigrant adaptation and settlement, and on the associated implications for housing.

The economic integration of Korean immigrants and consequences for social engagement

Principal Investigator

Community Partner: KCWA Family and Social Services

Grant: CERIS-The Ontario Metropolis Centre RFP 2008-2009

Abstract: The unique experience of Korean integration, particularly in regards to economic integration, argues for increasing our research attention on this group. With more than one third of the community in self-employment, understanding the social, cultural and political factors associated with various economic outcomes, and in turn, how these economic outcomes impact on social engagement and well-being, will prove instrumental for researchers, and community and governmental organizations. Results from this study are expected to enhance the knowledge base that informs social programs and services, and broader policy debates on how our social and economic policies affect the livelihoods of immigrants to Canada.

The Provincial Nominee Program, new immigrant destinations and community capacity: Korean immigrant settlement, integration and reception in New Brunswick

Co-Principal Investigator

Partner: Chedly Belkhodja, Département de science politique, Université de Moncton (Co-PI)

Grant: New Brunswick Population Growth Secretariat 2009-2010

Abstract: Using focus groups and in-depth interviews with multiple actors in the settlement process (i.e. Korean immigrants, community organizations, settlement agencies, school boards, the business community, and municipal and provincial governments) in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John, this study will explore: the impact of the PNP on Korean immigrants and on local communities; the experiences of settlement for this relatively new ethnic community, their efforts at community building and the specific challenges they face; and finally, how the host community shapes integration processes.

Early Korean immigrants and entrepreneurship

Principal Investigator

Grant: York Faculty of Arts Research Grant (FARG) 2008-2009

Abstract: The main goal of this project is to shed some insight into how Canada’s economic structure impacts on immigrants’ economic options and the role of social capital in the development of ethnic economies, using the case of Korean immigrants. Self-employment has been and continues to be the route to economic integration for many immigrant groups and we have much to learn from the earliest wave of Korean immigrants.