Eric Fong, Jing Shen
Participation in Voluntary Associations and Social Contact of Immigrants in Canada

American Behavioral Scientist , 2016: 60, issue 5-6, pp. 617-636
ISSN: 0002-7642 (print); 1552-3381 (online)

We explore how participation by immigrants in voluntary groups is related to their social contact patterns. Our discussion is guided by the structural integration and the homophily perspectives. Drawing from the 2008 Canadian General Social Survey, the findings in general support the structural integration perspective. The findings also show that frequency of participation in voluntary groups and number of voluntary associations participated have independent and significant positive relationships with socioeconomic range of contact and number of high-status contacts, except that the number of voluntary associations involved does not relate to the number of high-status contacts among immigrants. In addition, the findings show that receiving education overseas does not relate to the range of contact and high-status contact. However, visible minority immigrants significantly has lower socioeconomic range of contact than other immigrants even controlling for voluntary association participation.