Changing Practices and Shifting Perceptions: Chinese Immigrants “Integrating” into the Engineering Profession in Canada

  • Hongxia ShanEmail author


Informed by sociocultural learning theories and institutional ethnography, I not only explore the learning experiences of 14 Chinese immigrants in the engineering profession in Canada, but also trace the social organization of the engineering profession shaping immigrants’ learning experiences. The immigrant respondents’ related perception and practice changes particularly in the ways in which they communicate, socialize, and solve problems at work. Core to these changes is the adaptation to what is constructed as an individualistic, macho, competitive, and alienated engineering culture that discourages collegial and interpersonal relationships. Such a culture, I argue, is sustained through the project-based organization of the engineering profession. In this contingent culture, the textually mediated property of the engineering work has made engineering codes, protocols, and regulations a desirable learning object for immigrants seeking establishment in the profession.


Chinese Immigrant Engineering Work Engineering Profession Engineering Code Immigrant Settlement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shipping: Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of EducationUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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